Neuron-Epithelial Cell Fusion Occurs in the Central Murine Cornea
Courson, Justin A.
Hanlon, Samuel D.
Burns, Alan R.
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Of the 21 interactions observed in the central cornea, 43% were fusing with basal corneal epithelial cells. Nerves undergoing fusion were twice as large in diameter as standard corneal stromal nerves. Fusing nerves lack mitochondria and functional microtubules. In this study a novel form of cell interaction in the cornea was discovered and phenotypically defined; this form of cell interaction occurs exclusively in the central cornea, involves a nerve axon twice as large as nerves penetrating the basal lamina and contributing to the epithelial nerve plexus, and is devoid of mitochondria and microtubules.