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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Histologic correlation of human neural retinal transplantation.

PURPOSE: To describe the histologic findings of the transplanted eye of a 94-year-old man with neovascular age-related macular degeneration, who 3 years earlier underwent subretinal transplantation of both a fetal neural retinal sheet and a retinal microaggregrate suspension. METHODS: Serial sections of the posterior segment of the eye and the transplanted areas were processed and studied by routine histologic techniques, including both light and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Transplanted areas were also examined for the presence of glial, neuronal, and photoreceptor cell markers by standard immunohistochemical methods. RESULTS: After transplantation in this patient, there was no visual improvement. Light microscopic examination disclosed survival of the transplanted cells in the subretinal space with no evidence of inflammation or rejection. The neural retinal sheet transplant developed a layered configuration. The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) was absent over much of the posterior pole, including the area of transplantation. TEM examination and immunohistochemical analysis disclosed the presence of neuronal and glial cells within the transplant. A few transplant neuronal cell processes overlying a focus of residual RPE cells were positive for S-antigen, but well-developed photoreceptor outer segments were not present. CONCLUSIONS: Long-term survival of transplanted neural retinal tissue can be achieved in human patients without immunosuppression. The lack of photoreceptor development in this patient may be the result of absent or dysfunctional RPE. Nonetheless, the long-term survival of grafted tissue in the human subretinal space in the absence of immunosuppressive treatment is promising for future efforts in the field of neural retinal transplantation.[1]


  1. Histologic correlation of human neural retinal transplantation. del Cerro, M., Humayun, M.S., Sadda, S.R., Cao, J., Hayashi, N., Green, W.R., del Cerro, C., de Juan, E. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. (2000) [Pubmed]
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