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A. Kubota, K. Nakashima, Y. Tano, K. Nishida; Müller Glial Cells Have a Potential to Differentiate Into Photoreceptor Cells Through in vitro Aggregate-Culture and Transplantation Into Subretinal Space. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5093.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We have reported that rat Müller glial cells can be converted into a neuronal lineage by in vitro aggregate-culture (ARVO 2006). But they didn’t express markers of retina-specific neurons such as photoreceptor cells. It has been previously reported that embryonic stem cells or retinal progenitor cells become retina-specific neurons when transplanted into vitreous space or subretinal space, suggesting that retina-specific environment might be a key requirement for retinal cell development. In this experiment, we tested whether rat Müller glial cells can be converted to photoreceptor cells by subretinal transplantation.
Müller glial cells were obtained from 2-week-old green fluorescent protein transgenic rats according to the method previously reported. After reached to subconfluency, they were passaged to non-adhesive coated culture dishes in serum-free defined medium for aggregate-culture. As a control, they were passaged to adhesive culture dishes for monolayer-culture. After 5 days culture, these cells were collected and transplanted into subretinal space of 2-week-old Long-Evans rats. Seven days after aggregate-culture or monolayer-culture, eye balls were fixed and immunostained with an antibody of opsin.
Aggregate-cultured Müller glial cells expressed a photoreceptor cell-specific marker, opsin. In contrast, monolayer-cultured Müller glial cells didn’t express the marker.
Rat Müller glial cells can be converted to photoreceptor cells by in vitro aggregate-culture and subsequent transplantation into subretinal space. These results suggest that Müller glial cells might be used as a cell source for photoreceptor cell regeneration in the patients with degenerative retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa.
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