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Z.Q. Yin, L.F. Chen1, Y.X. Zeng; Retinal Progenitor Cells Re–Emerge in the Photoreceptor Layer of RCS Rats with the Onset and Development of Retinal Degeneration . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5784.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate whether retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) can re–emerge in the retina of Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats with the onset and development of retinal degeneration (RD).
The RCS rats with inherited retinal dystrophy were divided into 3 groups: – an initial stage group (RCS 15d), a mid–stage group (RCS 30d) and an advanced stage group (RCS 90d) according to severity of degeneration (n=4 animals each group). These were compared with RCS–rdy+p+ rats without retinal degeneration (Control groups, C15d, C30d, C90d). A transcription factor (Chx10) expressed by embryonic retinal progenitors was detected using immunofluorescence labeled and western–blot methods. The isolated retinal stem cells (RSCs) from timed–pregnancy embryonic day 17 (E17) Long Evans rats were co–cultured with the RCS 30d retinas in vitro in a Transwell three dimensional (3D) co–culture system. The morphological changes and migration of the RSCs were observed under a scanning electron microscope.
1. All of the retinal layers in the three control groups and in the RCS 15d group did not express Chx10 while positive expression was observed in the photoreceptor layers of the RCS 30d and 90d groups. 2. Using the western–blot method Chx10 protein could be measured in all RCS groups. However, its level was significantly elevated in RCS 30d compared with 15d and 90d groups (p<0.05). 3. In a Transwell 3D co–culture system, co–cultured RSCs of Long Evans rats were observed to show neuron –like cell differentiation and a tendency to move towards the retina of RCS 30d. Chx10 was detected in RCS 30d retinas after co–culture (using western–blot), but its expression was not increased compared with retinas prior to co–culture (p>0.05).
RPCs can re–emerge in the photoreceptor layer of RCS rats retina with the onset and development of RD, possibly resulting from the release of a chronic stimulating factor from the degenerating photoreceptor layer. The co–cultured RSCs can be induced to differentiate and are attracted to the degenerating retina, implying the existence of some kind of interaction between exogenous RSCs and endogenous stem cells of the degenerating retina.
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