May 2008
Volume 49, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2008
Ganglion Cell Neurites in Human Idiopathic Epiretinal Membranes
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • S. Y. Lesnik-Oberstein
    Ophthalmology, Univ of Amsterdam Acad Med Ctr, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  S.Y. Lesnik-Oberstein, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH Grant EY00888
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2008, Vol.49, 4694. doi:
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      S. Y. Lesnik-Oberstein; Ganglion Cell Neurites in Human Idiopathic Epiretinal Membranes. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4694. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose: : To identify and confirm the presence of neural elements in idiopathic epiretinal membranes collected from patients’ eyes during vitrectomy with epiretinal membrane peeling.

Methods: : Human epiretinal membranes were labeled immunohistochemically with antibodies for neurofilament protein, laminin and vimentin. These proteins are expressed in ganglion cells, the inner limiting membrane (ILM), and Mueller cells, respectively. None of the patients, from whom the idiopathic epiretinal membranes were collected, had eye pathology or systemic diseases that could influence the formation of epiretinal membranes.

Results: : Neurites labeled with anti-neurofilament were found in all 32 idiopathic epiretinal membranes examined. These neurites were presumed to originate from ganglion cells. The neurites were only observed in regions of anti-vimentin or -GFAP labeled glial cells, both of which were observed embedded in anti-laminin labeled material assumed to originate from the ILM.

Conclusions: : We show that neurofilamentous processes, presumed to originate from retinal ganglion cells, are found universally in idiopathic epiretinal membranes. This suggests that the presence of these membranes is sufficient to stimulate neurite growth in the absence of trauma or disease. The glia may play a permissive role in neurite growth both within the retina and into extra-retinal glial membranes, as neurites were invariably found in association with glial cells.

Keywords: retina • glia • ganglion cells 

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