Castanheira P, Torquetti L, Nehemy MB, Goes AM.

Source

Department of Biochemistry, Biological Sciences Institute, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the pattern of retinal integration and differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) injected into the vitreous cavity of rat eyes with retinal injury.

METHODS:

Adult rat retinas were submitted to laser damage followed by transplantation of DAPI-labeled BM-MSCs grafts. To assess the integration and differentiation of BM-MSCs in laser-injured retina, host retinas were evaluated 2.4 and 8 weeks after injury/transplantation.

RESULTS:

Our results demonstrated that the grafted cells survived in the retina for at least 8 weeks and almost all BM-MSCs migrated and incorporated into the neural retina, specifically in the outer nuclear layer (ONL), inner nuclear layer (INL) and ganglion cell layer (GCL) while a subset of grafted cells were found in the subretinal space posttransplantation. At 8 weeks immunohistochemical analysis with several retinal specific markers revealed that the majority of the grafted cells expressed rhodopsin, a rod photoreceptor marker, followed by parvalbumin, a marker for bipolar and amacrine cells. A few subsets of cells were able to express a glial marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein. However, grafted cells failed to express pan-cytokeratin, a retinal pigment epithelium marker.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results suggest the potential of BM-MSCs to differentiate into retinal neurons. Taken together, these findings might be clinically relevant for future mesenchymal stem cell therapy studies concerning retinal degeneration repair.

PMID:

19039457

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]

Free full text

N Engl J Med. 2008 May 22;358(21):2231-9. Epub 2008 Apr 27.