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Transplantation of cultured human retinal pigment epithelium into rabbit subretina

  • S. He
  • H. -M. Wang
  • T. E. Ogden
  • S. J. Ryan
Laboratory Investigations

Abstract

Transplantation of normal retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) into a diseased eye holds promise for treatment of several blinding disorders. Previuos studies have involved immunosuppression and implantation of freshly isolated cells. We report here the successful transplantation of cultured human RPE cells into rabbits that were not immunosuppressed. A modified pars plana transvitreal technique was used for RPE transplantation. The cultured RPE cells, loaded with carbon as a marker, were transplanted into the denuded Bruch's membrane of albino rabbits. The animals were followed for from 1 week to 3 months. On histologic examination at 2 months, no infiltrating lymphocytes were found in the vitreous cavity or choroid, even though Bruch's membrane was damaged. At about 3 months there were some macrophages in the subretina of transplanted eyes, indicating that an immunoreaction does occur eventually. Electron microscopy of the transplanted RPE showed apical-basal polarity and gap junctions. Restored function was attested to by the presence of phagosomes and phagocytosed outer segments in the transplanted cells. Our findings suggest that there is a weak, delayed immunoreaction to human RPE cells transplanted beneath the retina of the rabbit; however, functional recovery of the transplanted cells occurs before this immune response develops.

Keywords

Immune Response Retina Histologic Examination Retinal Pigment Epithelium Functional Recovery 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. He
    • 1
  • H. -M. Wang
    • 1
  • T. E. Ogden
    • 1
  • S. J. Ryan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of Southern California, School of Medicine, The Doheny Eye InstituteLos AngelesUSA

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