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C.O. Knop, Y. Li, C.K. Vorwerk, R.W. Nickells; Do Cell Culture Media Supplements Enhance Ganglion Cell Survival? . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):157.
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Purpose: A variety of growth factors are known to enhance ganglion cell survival and regeneration after different kinds of damaging stimuli. Other studies have suggested that optimal conditions probably require a complex cocktail of growth factors and agents. These factors are produced by various ocular cell types, often in response to some kind of trauma. We hypothesized that a therapeutic mixture of molecules suitable for cell survival may be found in some of the supplements used to enhance the health and growth of cells in culture. In this study, we tested some commercially available supplements in a CB6F1 mouse model of optic nerve crush. Methods: Supplements, ranging from fetal calf serum to a specialized additive for neurons were obtained from commercial sources. Eyes received an intravitreal injection of 2 µL of undiluted or diluted (to 10% in BSS) supplement 24 hours before optic nerve crush. Two weeks after crush, the mice were sacrificed and the numbers of surviving cells were counted from Nissl-stained wholemounts of both control and experimental eyes. Results: Untreated eyes showed a 30 ± 6.2% (mean ± sem) loss of cells 2 weeks after optic nerve crush. The majority of supplements tested did not significantly attenuate cell loss (Student t-test). A statistically significant protective effect was exhibited by the administration of a 10% solution of a supplement designed for glial cell cultures (G5 supplement: 11 ± 8.5%, p = 0.047) and a 100% solution of a serum supplement that is used for routine cell culture (11 ± 9.7%, p = 0.039). Conclusions: In this preliminary study, we showed that some cell culture supplements have a potential to attenuate ganglion cell death after optic nerve damage in vivo. Especially interesting is G5 supplement, which promotes glial cell growth in culture. This suggests that glia may enhance ganglion cell survival under certain conditions. These experiments are being extended to examine the effect over a longer time course.
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