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Yiqin Zhang, Rajesh K. Sharma, Berndt Ehinger, Maria–Thereza R. Perez; Nitric Oxide–Producing Cells Project from Retinal Grafts to the Inner Plexiform Layer of the Host Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(12):3062-3066.
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purpose. Amacrine cells expressing nitric oxide synthase (NOS) are seen in normal retinas and
retinal grafts to extend long processes, which can be followed for long
distances. Taking advantage of the morphologic features of
these cells, the present study examined whether graft–host connections
involve cells capable of producing nitric oxide, a recognized retinal
methods. Embryonic day 15 rabbit retinas were transplanted to the subretinal
space of adult rabbits. The localization of the neuronal form of NOS
was assessed by immunocytochemistry in grafts that had reached the
equivalent ages of postnatal days 5, 12, 20, 45, 90, and 102.
results. NOS-containing cells and processes were seen in all the
transplants. Processes were found to project mainly toward areas within
the graft. Yet, at all survival times examined, single immunolabeled
fibers could be seen to cross the graft–host border. In fortuitous
cases, it was possible to establish that the bridging fiber originated
in the graft. Further, bridging fibers were seen to reach the
NOS-immunolabeled host inner plexiform layer.
conclusions. Graft NOS-containing cells are not only capable of projecting
into the host but also of reaching the appropriate target for
NOS-containing fibers within the host retina. This indicates that at
least some graft–host connections are established by graft cells that
retain their ability to synthesize a modulatory compound and which
potentially could contact their partner cells in the host
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