Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye disease is a multifactorial chronic disorder, in which the lacrimal gland fails to produce enough tears to maintain a healthy ocular surface. Some severe cases may develop corneal damage and significant vision loss. Treatment primarily involves palliation using ocular surface lubricants, but can only provide temporary relief. Construction of a bioengineered lacrimal gland having functional secretory epithelial cells is a potentially promising option for providing long-term relief to severe dry eye patients. Using sphere-forming culture techniques, we cultured adult rabbit lacrimal gland progenitor cells and prepared a lacrimal gland scaffold by decellularization. When progenitor cells were seeded onto the decellularized scaffold, they formed duct-and acinar-like structures in the three-dimensional culture system. Lacrimal gland epithelial cells showed good cell viability, cell differentiation, and secretory function in decellularized lacrimal gland matrix, as indicated by morphology, immunostaining, and β-hexosaminidase secretion assay. This study demonstrated the potential suitability of utilizing tissue-specific progenitor cells and a tissue-derived bioscaffold for lacrimal gland restoration.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering