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Stem Cells International
Volume 2016, Article ID 7961816, 8 pages
Review Article

Control of Cross Talk between Angiogenesis and Inflammation by Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Ocular Surface Diseases

Tianjin Medical University Eye Hospital, The College of Optometry, Tianjin 300384, China

Received 11 November 2015; Accepted 29 February 2016

Academic Editor: Yingmei Feng

Copyright © 2016 Fei Li and Shao-zhen Zhao. 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.


Angiogenesis is beneficial in the treatment of ischemic heart disease and peripheral artery disease. However, it facilitates inflammatory cell filtration and inflammation cascade that disrupt the immune and angiogenesis privilege of the avascular cornea, resulting in ocular surface diseases and even vision loss. Although great progress has been achieved, healing of severe ocular surface injury and immunosuppression of corneal transplantation are the most difficult and challenging step in the treatment of ocular surface disorders. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), derived from various adult tissues, are able to differentiate into different cell types such as endothelial cells and fat cells. Although it is still under debate whether MSCs could give rise to functional corneal cells, recent results from different study groups showed that MSCs could improve corneal disease recovery through suppression of inflammation and modulation of immune cells. Thus, MSCs could become a promising tool for ocular surface disorders. In this review, we discussed how angiogenesis and inflammation are orchestrated in the pathogenesis of ocular surface disease. We overviewed and updated the knowledge of MSCs and then summarized the therapeutic potential of MSCs via control of angiogenesis, inflammation, and immune response in the treatment of ocular surface disease.