Limbal stem cell deficiency in patients with inherited stem cell disorder of dyskeratosis congenita

ASLAN D., AKATA R. F., Holme H., Vulliamy T., Dokal I.

International Ophthalmology, vol.32, no.6, pp.615-622, 2012 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 32 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10792-012-9611-8
  • Journal Name: International Ophthalmology
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.615-622
  • Keywords: Dyskeratosis congenita, Limbal stem cell deficiency, Stem cell, Telomerase
  • Gazi University Affiliated: Yes


The aim of this study is to present the limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) cases with features resembling dyskeratosis congenita (DC), a heritable disease of stem cells principally caused by telomerase deficiency. The clinical, laboratory and molecular findings of four cases are presented. A complete systemic examination was performed in a standardized manner for each patient. Laboratory measurements included investigations of the tests used for screening DC. All eight known disease-causing genes in DC (DKC1, TERC, TERT, NOP10, NHP2, TINF2, C16orf57, and TCAB1) were screened for mutations. The family members of the cases were also assessed, when possible. In all four patients, multisystem involvement was present, along with the disorder affecting corneal LSCs. The affected tissues were mainly the skin and its adnexa, the oral cavity and the hematopoietic system, which are rapidly renewing tissues, consistent with the presence of a stem cell disorder. Similarly affected cases were seen in different generations in families, suggesting an underlying inherited disorder. No mutation was detected in any of the known disease-causing genes in these patients. Based on the presented cases and with the contribution of the review of previously reported DC cases available, we suggest that DC is one of the inherited causes of LSCD and that those cases presenting with LSCD might represent a subgroup of DC caused by mutations in an as yet undefined gene. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.