Aims - The authors studied how artificially damaged Bruch's membrane influenced growth and differentiation of transplanted embryonic retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and of host RPE cells in rabbits. Methods - Embryonic RPE cells obtained from pigmented rabbits were transplanted into the subretinal space of adult albino rabbits. The host RPE was removed with a silicone cannula, and Bruch's membrane was damaged by scratching with a micro-hooked 27 gauge needle under the detached retina in closed vitrectomy. The transplantation sites were examined 3, 7, and 14 days after surgery by light and electron microscopy. Results - Varying degrees of damage in Bruch's membrane were observed. Pigmented and hypopigmented RPE cells showed a normal polarity and tight junctions were seen at the sites of mild to moderate damage 3-7 days after the surgery. In contrast, fibroblast-like cells with no such features of RPE cells formed multiple layers at the sites of severe damage involving the full thickness of Bruch's membrane and the choriocapillaris even 14 days after the surgery. Without transplantation, host RPE cells repopulated the damaged areas in the same way as transplanted RPE cells. Conclusions - Transplanted embryonic RPE cells as well as host RPE cells grew and differentiated on the moderately damaged Bruch's membrane, while the severely damaged Bruch's membrane did not allow differentiation of RPE cells although these cells could grow and cover the damaged areas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience