Corneal limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) may be treated using ex vivo limbal epithelial stem cells (LESCs) derived from cadaveric donor tissue. However, continuing challenges exist around tissue availability, inflammation, and transplant rejection. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or recombinant human IL-1 stimulated primary human keratocyte and LESC models were used to investigate the anti-inflammatory properties of a short chain, IL-1 receptor antagonist peptide for use in LESC sheet growth to control inflammation. The peptide was characterized using mass spectroscopy and high performance liquid chromatography. Peptide cytotoxicity, patterns of cell cytokine expression in response to LPS or IL-1 stimulation, and peptide suppression of this response were investigated by MTS/LDH assays, ELISA, and q-PCR. Cell differences in LPS stimulated toll-like receptor 4 expression were investigated using immunocytochemistry. A significant reduction in rIL-1 stimulated inflammatory cytokine production occurred following LESC and keratocyte incubation with anti-inflammatory peptide and in LPS stimulated IL-6 and IL-8 production following keratocyte incubation with peptide (1mg/mL) ( < 0.05). LESCs produced no cytokine response to LPS stimulation and showed no TLR4 expression. The peptide supported LESC growth when adhered to a silicone hydrogel contact lens indicating potential use in improved LESC grafting through suppression of inflammation.