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Shangli Ji, Zhiyuan Li, Heping Xu, Jiansu Chen, Shibo Tang; Rescue of retinal ganglion cells by human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells in a microbead induced ocular hypertension rat model. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(9):6111.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To investigate the potential therapeutic benefits of intravitreally transplanted human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UC-MSCs) on an animal model of microbead-injection induced ocular hypertension (OHT).
UC-MSCs were isolated from human umbilical cords and cultured. The OHT model was induced via intracameral injection of polystyrene microbeads of Sprague–Dawley adult rat eyes. Thirty-six healthy adult rats were randomly divided into three groups: normal control, OHT model treated with intravitreal transplantation of UC-MSCs or PBS. Two days after OHT was induced, 5 µl 105 UC-MSCs suspension or PBS were injected into the vitreous cavity of rats. UC-MSCs localization and integration were examined via immunohistochemistry. Neuroprotection was quantified by counting retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) and axons two weeks after transplantation, and the expression levels of glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) were assessed via immunohistochemistry and Western blot, respectively.
Elevated IOP sustained at least three weeks after intracameral microbead injection and the number of β-III-tubulin+ RGCs had significantly declined compared to PBS injected eyes. After intravitreal transplantation, UC-MSCs survived for at least two weeks and predominantly located in the vitreous cavity. However, a proportion of cells migrated into the ganglion cell layer (GCL) of host retina but without differentiation. Intravitreal UC-MSC transplantation resulted in a statistically significant increase of the number of RGCs and axons as well as the expression of GDNF, BDNF, but significant decrease of the GFAP expression.
Intravitreal transplantation of UC-MSCs has revealed neuroprotection in microbead-injection induced OHT, and the effects might be related to the secretion of tropic factors (BDNF and GDNF) and the modulation of glial cell activation.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2018 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Honolulu, Hawaii, April 29 - May 3, 2018.
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