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Donor-derived myofibroblasts in the ocular surface after allogeneic haematopoetic stem cell transplantation

Journal article
Authors D Hallberg
P Wernsted
Charles Hanson
Y Wettergren
Kristina Stenberg
Mats Brune
Ulf Stenevi
Published in Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica
Volume 84
Pages 774-780
ISSN pISSN: 1395-3907
Publication year 2006
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation
Institute of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine
Institute of Clinical Sciences
Pages 774-780
Language en
Links doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0420.2006.00748...
Keywords allogenic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation – myofibroblast – polyploidy –
Subject categories Medical and Health Sciences


ABSTRACT. Purpose: To identify and characterize cells of donor origin in the ocular surface of female recipients who have undergone allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) from a male donor. Methods: Cytological impressions from the eyes of nine allografted patients (17 eyes) were analysed. Donor cells were identified using sex-chromosomespecific fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). Cells were characterized by immunohistochemistry (IHC) using the CK3 and CK19 epithelial markers, the panleucocytic marker CD45 and the myofibroblast marker a-SMA. Results: No epithelial cells of donor origin were observed in the corneal or conjunctival samples. Cells of donor origin were found in the corneal samples, although these were often too degraded to allow characterization by IHC. In the conjunctiva, a median of 86% of the total number of cells were of recipient origin, including a subgroup (2%) of giant cells exhibiting polyploidy (range 4–18 n), found in the limbal region. Donor cells were detected in the conjunctiva of all nine patients at a median ratio of 9%, of which two-thirds were CD45+⁄ a-SMA+. Conclusions: We observed superficially located myofibroblasts of donor origin in all allografted patients, but not in samples from healthy controls. Whether myofibroblasts are implicated in ocular graft-versus-host disease requires further studies.

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