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R.B. Aramant, B.B. Thomas, S. Arai, Z. Chen, S.R. Sadda, M.J. Seiler; Oxygen treatment improves visual responses to low light in retinal degenerate rats after retinal sheet transplantation . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(13):5183.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To determine whether post–operative oxygen treatment could improve the functional effect of fetal retinal sheet transplantation in transgenic (rhodopsin mutant) S334ter–3 rats. Methods: S334ter–3 rats were exposed to blue light for 5 d to accelerate photoreceptor degeneration. At postnatal day (P) 31–41, the rats received (in one eye) subretinal retinal sheet transplants from embryonic day (E) 18–19 pigmented normal rats expressing human alkaline phosphatase (hPAP). After surgery, rats were exposed to 75% oxygen for 7 days. Visual acuity responses were monitored using an optokinetic head tracking apparatus. In addition, visual responses were recorded electrophysiologically from the superior colliculus (SC) at P73–97. Controls included transplanted rats without oxygen treatment and rats without surgery. Results: In the optokinetic tests, 31% of oxygen–treated transplanted rats showed a better performance of the transplanted eye vs non–transplanted eye, similar to the non–oxygen treated transplant group (36%). 92% of oxygen–treated transplant rats tested with low light intensity (1cd/m2) stimulus had robust responses recorded from the SC in a restricted area corresponding to the retinal location of the transplant. In contrast, only 36% of non oxygen–treated transplanted rats demonstrated brisk responses with low light stimulation. The onset latency and the amplitude of the SC responses in the oxygen–treated rats were also more similar to those of normal rats, compared to the non oxygen–treated rats. Of note, non–transplanted rats showed no functional improvement following oxygen treatment alone. In oxygen treated transplanted rats, more frequent penetration of hPAP+ transplant processes into the host retina was observed. Conclusions: Oxygen treatment resulted in consistent electrophysiological visual responses to low light from the transplant area. The mechanism may be due to a direct effect of the transplant rods. Supported by: Foundation Fighting Blindness, Anonymous Sponsor, Foundation for Retinal Research, Fletcher Jones Foundation, NIH EY03040.
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