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M. W. Djojosubroto, M. Eberhardt, T. P. Kraehenbuehl, M. Tekaya, M. P. Lutolf, J. A. Hubbell, Y. Arsenijevic; Cell Adhesion Peptide RGDSP and Laminin Support Proliferation and Migration of Postnatal Retinal Stem Cells in a 3D Hydrogel Culture System. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):1878.
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Retinal stem cells (RSCs) can be isolated from radial glia population of the newborn mouse retina (Angénieux et al., 2006). These RSCs have great capacity to renew and generate neurons including cells differentiated towards the photoreceptor lineage (Mehri-Soussi et al., 2006). However, our published results showed poor integration and survival rate after cell grafting into the retina. The uncontrollable environment of retina seems to be the problem. To bypass this, we are trying to generate hemi-retinal tissue in vitro that can be used for transplantation.
Expanded RSCs were seeded in a mixture of poly-ethylene-glycol (PEG)-polymer-based hydrogels crosslinked by peptides that also serve as substrates for matrix metalloproteinases. Different doses of crosslinker peptides were tested. Several growth factors were studied to stimulate cell proliferation and differentiation.
Cells were trapped in hydrogels and cultured in the presence of FGF2 and EGF. Spherical cell clusters indicating proliferation appeared within several days, but there was no cell migration within the gel. We then added cell adhesion molecules integrin ligand RGDSP, or laminin, or a combination of both, into the gel. Cells grown with laminin showed the best proliferation. Cells grown with RGDSP proliferated a few times and then started to spread out. Cells grown with the combination of RGDSP and laminin showed better proliferation than with RGDSP alone and larger spread-outs than with laminin alone. After stimulations with first FGF2 and EGF, and then only FGF2, some cells showed neuronal morphology after 2 weeks. The neuronal population was assessed by the presence of neuronal marker b-tubulin-III. Glial cells were also present. Further characterizations are undergoing.
RSC can grow and migrate in 3D hydrogel with the addition of FGF2, EGF, RGDSP and laminin. Further developments are necessary to form a homogenous tissue containing retinal cells.
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