Brain tissue transplanted to the anterior chamber of the eye

1. Fluorescence histochemistry of immature catecholamine and 5-hydroxytryptamine neurons reinnervating the rat iris
  • Lars Olson
  • Åke Seiger

DOI: 10.1007/BF00315125

Cite this article as:
Olson, L. & Seiger, Å. Z. Zellforsch. (1972) 135: 175. doi:10.1007/BF00315125


Knowing the ontogenesis of the central monoamine neurons of the rat it is possible to obtain, by free-hand dissection from embryos and newly born animals, pieces containing dopamine (DA), noradrenaline (NA), and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) neurons that are small enough to permit homologous transplantation to the anterior chamber of the eye of adult animals. With this technique it was established that all three types of immature monoamine neurons are able to survive in the anterior chamber. Fluorescence histochemical analysis of whole mount preparations of the sympathetically denervated host irides revealed that both the catecholamine- and the 5-HT-neurons are able to partly reinnervate the irides, forming networks of varicose nerve terminals similar to the normally present sympathetic adrenergic ground plexus.

Monoamine nerve cell bodies are attached to the irides but the majority of fluorescent nerve cell bodies is located within the transplants. Serial sectioning of these transplants showed rather well organized brain tissue, containing groups of fluorescent and non-fluorescent cell bodies, many areas being innervated by monoamine nerve terminals. When brain tissue was transplanted before the normal appearance of fluorescent neuroblasts (embryos with a crown-rump length less than 8 mm) monoamine neurons developed and matured within the eye.

The amount of newly formed nerves of central origin recovered on the irides increased with time between the 2nd and 4th postoperative week and persisted after 2 months. The yield of new fibers was better using transplants from embryos with a crown-rump length between 15 and 30 mm than using transplants from larger embryos and newly born animals.

If embryonic brain tissue known to be devoid of monoamine nerve cell bodies but containing monoamine nerve terminals in the adult state (cortex cerebri and cerebelli, spinal cord) was transplanted to sympathetically non-denervated eyes, the sympathetic adrenergic fibers seemed to be able to innervate the transplants.

Key words

Central monoamine neurons (rat) Intraocular transplantation Heterotopic iris reinnervation Fluorescence histochemistry 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars Olson
    • 1
  • Åke Seiger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of HistologyKarolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden

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