Transplantation of Autologous Iris Pigment Epithelial Cells to the Subretinal Space: I. Morphological Features
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Purpose: To investigate the cellular morphology in the subretinal space following transplantation of iris pigment epithelial (IPE) cells from the same eye.
Methods: Following an iridectomy, fresh IPE cells were prepared. After pars plana vitrectomy, a suspension of autologous IPE cells was injected into the subretinal space in 37 rabbits. The grafts were monitored by ophthalmoscopy and calor fundus photography. Rabbits were sacrificed at 1, 2, 3 and 6 months, respectively, and the eyes examined with light and electron microscopy.
Results: The grafted area retained the same configuration over 6 months but then appeared less pigmented. At 1-3 months, the IPE formed one or more contiguous layers on top of native RPE. At 6 months, cells compatible with grafted IPE were present in the subretinal space forming mono-layer like chains integrating with the native RPE. Depigmented cells of presumed IPE origin were seen. lt was commonly observed that the apical portion of RPE cells disclosed abundant melanin granules. With time the grafted cells appeared to decrease in number but focal clusters of IPE cells and large macrophages were present.
Conclusion: Transplanted IPE cells survived for up to 6 months in the subretinal space. Our observations suggest a scenario of remodeling of the cellular layers in the subretinal space over time where grafted IPE cells formed a compound layer with the native RPE. Transplantation of autologous IPE cells may have a potential as a treatment modality in selected cases of age-related macular degeneration with impending degeneration of RPE and choriocapillaris.
Retina, IPE cells transplantation, Autologous transplantation, Subretinal space, Blood-retinal barrier (BRB), Macrophages, Melanin pigment, Photoreceptor damage
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-79525OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-79525DiVA: diva2:543293