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R B Aramant, M J Seiler, S L Ball; Successful cotransplantation of intact sheets of fetal retina with retinal pigment epithelium.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(7):1557-1564.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: Many retinal diseases, such as macular degeneration, affect both retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and photoreceptors. Therefore, retinal repair may require transplantation of both tissues together as a cograft. METHODS: As recipients of retina-RPE cografts, 7- to 10-week-old albino Royal College of Surgeons rats that lose their photoreceptors because of a pigment epithelium defect were used. Freshly harvested intact sheets of RPE with neural retina from pigmented normal rat fetuses were gel embedded for protection and transplanted into the subretinal space. RESULTS: After 6 to 7 weeks, with the support of the cografted RPE sheet, transplanted photoreceptors developed fully in organized parallel layers in the subretinal space. Immunohistochemistry for rhodopsin, rod alpha-transducin, and S-antigen and peanut agglutinin labeling for cone interphotoreceptor matrix domains suggested that the photoreceptors in the graft were capable of normal function. CONCLUSIONS: Freshly harvested intact sheets of fetal RPE and retina, transplanted together into the subretinal space, can develop a normal morphology. Such transplants have the potential to benefit retinal diseases with dysfunctional RPE and photoreceptors.
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