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LA Daher, AK Roy, CA Vacanti, MP Vacanti; Development of Photoreceptor Cells from Retinal Spore-like Cells in the Adult Mammal . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):3683.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose: To investigate the development of photoreceptor cells from retinal spore-like cells. Spore-like cells are small, dormant, undifferentiated cells that " have the potential to regenerate tissues lost to disease or damage." These cells have previously been identified in various tissues of the Fisher rat including the retina. Many researchers have studied different progenitor cells in the retina. In this study, we investigated the potential of spore-like cells derived from rat and porcine retina to develop into mature photoreceptors. Methods: In the first set of experiments, cells were isolated from the Lewis rat posterior chamber of the eye utilizing reduced-bore titration with pasteur pipettes and filtration. In later experiments, Yorkshire swine retina was removed from the posterior chamber with forceps and titrated separately for a more pure retinal derived cell isolation. Results: In the experiments involving Lewis rats, viable spore-like cells and cellular debris were initially detectable in phase contrast microscopy. On day three, cell clusters and various differentiated cells were observed. Many cells had the appearance of corneal cells. Cells were fixed and stained with RET-P1, a retinal rod marker , at days two, seven, and fifteen. All samples expressed some RET-P1 on all days. In the experiments involving porcine retina, on day three, what appeared to be immature retinal pigment epithelial cells were seen in phase contrast microscopy. On day six, clustering was observed, implying differentiation. Standard transmission electron microscopy showed evidence of photoreceptor cell differentiation as well as small undifferentiated cells. Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that retina-derived spore-like cells in Lewis rats and Yorkshire pigs develop into photoreceptor cells. Further research will determine the potential of these cells for retina replacement.
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