Direct visualization of a stratified epithelium reveals that wounds heal by unified sliding of cell sheets

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Observing cells in their original niche is a key link between the information gleaned from planar culture and in vivo physiology and pathology. A new approach combining the transparency of the cornea, Hoffman modulation optics, and digital imaging allowed movements of individual corneal cells to be viewed directly in situ. 3-Dimensional time-lapse movies imaging unstained cells within the stratified corneal epithelium during wound healing were made. Tracking cell movements dynamically provided a definitive answer to the long-standing question: does a stratified epithelium heal by "sliding" of cell sheets as a coherent unit or do individual cells "leap frog" each other at the wound margin? A wound in the corneal epithelium healed primarily by sliding of the whole epithelium, with similar to95% of cells moving with similar speed and trajectories and with little change in their relative position. Only 5% of cells changed layers, with equal proportions moving up or down. Epithelial healing in situ occurred in three phases: a latency, migration, and reconstruction phase. This model provides a unique system to study the behaviors of individual cells in their original niche. It shows that cells slide into a wound as a unified unit to heal a stratified epithelium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)397-406
Number of pages9
JournalThe FASEB Journal
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2003

Keywords

  • wound healing
  • stratified epithelium
  • corneal epithelium
  • corneal organ culture
  • cell migration
  • 3-DIMENSIONAL CONFOCAL MICROSCOPY
  • HINDBRAIN NEURAL CREST
  • TIME-LAPSE ANALYSIS
  • CORNEA IN-VIVO
  • ELECTRIC-FIELD
  • KERATINOCYTE MIGRATION
  • RABBIT CORNEA
  • CLOSURE
  • REEPITHELIALIZATION
  • FIBRONECTIN

Cite this