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Linnéa Taylor, Damian Moran, Karin Arnér, Eric Warrant, Fredrik Ghosh; Stretch to See: Lateral Tension Strongly Determines Cell Survival in Long-Term Cultures of Adult Porcine Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(3):1845-1856. doi: 10.1167/iovs.12-11420.
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To explore the effect of lateral tension as a survival factor for retinal explants in vitro. The central nervous system (CNS) resides in a highly mechanical milieu. However, the importance of biomechanical homeostasis for normal CNS function has not been extensively explored. Diseases in which normal mechanical forces are disrupted, such as retinal detachment of the eye, are highly debilitating and the mechanisms underlying disease progression are not fully understood.
Using a porcine animal model, we developed a novel technique of culturing adult retinal explants under stretch for up to 10 days in vitro (DIV). These were compared with standard (no stretch) and free-floating cultured explants. Cell survival was analyzed using immunohistochemistry, and retinal architecture using hematoxylin and eosin staining.
Compared with unstretched specimens, which at 10 DIV degenerated into a gliotic cell mass, stretched retinas displayed a profound preservation of the laminar retinal architecture as well as significantly increased neuronal cell survival, with no signs of impending gliosis.
The results confirm that biomechanical tension is a vital factor in the maintenance of retinal tissue integrity, and suggest that mechanical cues are important components of pathologic responses within the CNS.
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