Isolation and Characterization of a Canine Corneal Epithelial Cell Population
The use of corneal epithelial cells (CECs) for evaluation of the effect of different treatment modalities on corneal healing is an important technique that reduces the need for experiments in live animals. The isolation and culture of corneal epithelial cells is often a difficult process due to the structure of the cornea and the proliferative nature of corneal keratocytes. This project was focused on the isolation, culture, and characterization of a population of canine CECs as a first step toward use in future studies of the effects of treatment on the healing of CECs defects. In this study, we isolated a population of cells from canine corneas, grew the cells in culture for several passages, and evaluated the cells for morphological characteristics of CECs. Immunostaining for cytokeratin and vimentin was conducted to verify the epithelial nature of the isolated cells, and data regarding the percentage of CECs present in each population was recorded. Our future studies will be aimed at evaluation of different medical treatments on the proliferation of isolated CECs and healing of canine corneal defects.