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Ocul Surf. 2005 Jan;3(1):15-26.

The corneal epithelial stem cell niche.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, George Washington University Medical Center, Washington, DC 20037, USA.


In recent years, it has become generally accepted that the corneal epithelial stem cells are localized in the basal cell layer of the limbal epithelium. However, a number of questions remain regarding the number, markers, generation, and maintenance of the corneal epithelial stem cells. One of the key questions concerns what makes up the microenvironment or niche that is responsible for allowing the stem cells to remain and function throughout the life of the tissue. This review will consider the unique aspects of the limbus and compare these to what is known about other stem cell niches.

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