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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 412743, 13 pages
Review Article

Progenitors for the Corneal Endothelium and Trabecular Meshwork: A Potential Source for Personalized Stem Cell Therapy in Corneal Endothelial Diseases and Glaucoma

1Eye Institute, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
2Department of Eye and Vision Science, Institute of Ageing and Chronic Disease, University of Liverpool, University Clinical Departments Building, The Duncan Building, Daulby Street, Liverpool L69 3GA, UK
3Research Center of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
4St. Paul's Eye Unit, Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Prescot Street, Liverpool L7 8XP, UK

Received 10 August 2011; Accepted 8 September 2011

Academic Editor: Ken-ichi Isobe

Copyright © 2011 Wing Yan Yu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Several adult stem cell types have been found in different parts of the eye, including the corneal epithelium, conjunctiva, and retina. In addition to these, there have been accumulating evidence that some stem-like cells reside in the transition area between the peripheral corneal endothelium (CE) and the anterior nonfiltering portion of the trabecular meshwork (TM), which is known as the Schwalbe's Ring region. These stem/progenitor cells may supply new cells for the CE and TM. In fact, the CE and TM share certain similarities in terms of their embryonic origin and proliferative capacity in vivo. In this paper, we discuss the putative stem cell source which has the potential for replacement of lost and nonfunctional cells in CE diseases and glaucoma. The future development of personalized stem cell therapies for the CE and TM may reduce the requirement of corneal grafts and surgical treatments in glaucoma.