Longterm cultures of the aged human RPE do not maintain epithelial morphology and high transepithelial resistance
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Visual rehabilitation achieved with peripheral RPE autografts in exudative AMD is only modest. Moreover, complication rates using the popular RPE–choroid patch technique remain relatively high.
Tissue-engineered transplants might improve the outcome of RPE transplantation. A culturing step could place cells on a substrate prior to transplantation, thereby optimizing delivery and long-term function . This would require sufficient cellular plasticity (i.e., response to environmental stimuli) to achieve a well-differentiated, functional graft. While culture plasticity was confirmed for fetal cells or RPE cell lines [2, 3], only sparse information is available for aged RPE .
We studied the influence of culture conditions on select differentiation characteristics in long-term primary RPE cultures from ten human donors above age 55, and compared them to a 23-year-old and two fetal donors (20 and 21 weeks of gestation respectively). The main outcome measures at 6 weeks...
KeywordsARPE19 Cell Corneal Endothelial Cell Transepithelial Resistance Bovine Corneal Endothelial Cell Culture Condition Variant
This work was supported by an E. Schrödinger Fellowship grant (J2463- B13) from the Austrian Science Foundation to BVS, and with A. Rabensteiner Awards in 2005 and 2006 to BVS from the Austrian Ophthalmic Society. The authors wish to thank Jane Hu and Dr. Dean Bok, JSEI/UCLA for advice on culture media formulation and fetal RPE cell culture techniques. Miri Englander assisted with RPE culture maintenance. Dr. Itaya from the Zarbin laboratory is gratefully acknowledged for providing the silicone scraping spatula.