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I. Pinilla, N. Cuenca, Y. Sauvé, G. Martínez–Navarrete, B. Lu, N. Bischoff, R.D. Lund; Schwann Cells Injected Into the Subretinal Space of RCS Rats Preserve Synaptic Organization and Function of the Retina . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):1424.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To examine what effects Schwann cells, which produce a range of neurotrophic factors, have on retinal circuitry and function after subretinal injection in RCS rats.
Schwann cells isolated from human peripheral nerve roots were injected as a suspension into the subretinal space of 21–day–old RCS rats. The electroretinogram (ERG) was recorded, followed by immunohistochemistry at 70, 90 and 120 day of age.
Cell transplants preserve a photoreceptor layer about 6 cells deep compared with areas away from the transplant where at most only one layer is present. Normal retinal cell morphology is preserved in the area of transplanted cells and pre– and post–synaptic markers, studied using bassoon, synaptophysin and mGluR6, show normal paired contacts between both rods and cones and their respective bipolar cells and with horizontal cells. Inner plexiform connectivity patterns involving rod bipolar axon terminals and amacrine cell dendrites also show normal configurations. The ERG b–wave, which requires photoreceptor synapses onto mGluR6 bearing bipolar cells, is also preserved up to 120 days of age.
Schwann cells prevent the deterioration of synaptic connectivity in both plexiform layers and the loss of ERG b–wave that normally occurs in RCS rats. Whether this is due to indirect effects associated with photoreceptor preservation or to a direct effect on inner retina cells remains to be elucidated.
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