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M. Wang, G. Qiu, M.J. Seiler, S. Deb, T. Vien, Z. Chen, S.R. Sadda; Time Course of Retinal Progenitor Cell Differentiation Following Subretinal Transplantation Into Retinal Degenerate Rats . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5748.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To study the differentiation profile of retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) following subretinal transplantation into retinal degenerate(RD) rats at different time points, and to further determine whether the extent of degeneration of the host retina modulates cell fate determination.
Materials and Methods: :
RPCs were isolated from embryonic day 17 human alkaline phosphatase (hPAP)–positive rat retina, and expanded in serum–free defined culture medium supplemented with EGF and bFGF. RPCs at passage 2 were transplanted into the subretinal space of one eye of RD rats at different stages of degeneration (ages P28 and P48). In control animals, PBS was injected in the same fashion in one eye. Rats were sacrificed at post–transplantation week 1, 2, 3 and 4. Immunohistochemistry for various retinal markers including rhodopsin, PKC, calretinin, calbindin, and GFAP was performed.
Transplanted RPCs organized into a multicellular layer in the subretinal space as early as post–operative week one. Extensive migration of grafted cells into the remaining host retina was observed in some transplanted eyes at various follow–up time points. Both rhodopsin and GFAP immunoreactive cells were seen within the grafts in post–operative week one, demonstrating that in this in vivo microenvironment, RPCs retain the potential for differentiation toward multiple cell fates. Of interest, rhodopsin expression appeared to increase over time. By postoperative week 4, the majority of the grafted cells were rhodopsin immunoreactive. No significant increase in GFAP immunoreactive cells in the graft was observed over this 4–week time. Expression of PKC, calbindin, calretinin and synapsin within the graft varied over time. A similar differentiation profile of RPC grafts was seen in both P28 and P48 day old recipients.
The differentiation and maturation of RPCs following subretinal transplantation in RD rats appears to show a time course of events. This could provide opportunities for influencing cell fate determination. The differentiation profile of E17 derived RPCs was not affected by the stage of the host retinal degeneration, suggesting an important role for intrinsic cues.
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