Research published online PUBMED
- M. Nicolas
Darwin or Lamarck? Understanding the ocular surface and its normal or abnormal differentiation in order to cure ocular surface destruction with corneal opacification
According to the World Health Organization, 5.1% of blindnesses or visual impairments are related to corneal opacification. Cornea is a transparent tissue placed in front of the color of the eye. Its transparency is mandatory for vision. The ocular surface is a functional unit including the cornea and all the elements involved in maintaining its transparency i.e., the eyelids, the conjunctiva, the lymphoid tissue of the conjunctiva, the limbus, the lacrymal glands and the tear film. The destruction of the ocular surface is a disease caused by : traumatisms, infections, chronic inflammations, cancers, toxics, unknown causes or congenital abnormalities. The treatment of the ocular surface destruction requires a global strategy including all the elements that are involved in its physiology. The microenvironnement of the ocular surface must first be restored, i.e., the lids, the conjunctiva, the limbus and the structures that secrete the different layers of the tear film. In a second step, the transparency of the cornea can be reconstructed. A corneal graft performed in a healthy ocular surface microenvironnement will have a better survival rate. To achieve these goals, a thorough understanding of the renewal of the epitheliums and the role of the epithelial stem cells are mandatory.