Intraocular Transplantation of Human Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells in a Rabbit Model of Experimental Retinal Holes

Ophthalmic Research

Xuqian W., Kanghua L., WeiHong Y., Xi Y., Rongping D., Qin H., Fangtian D., Chunhua Zhao R.

46(4):199-207 October 2011 

Aims:
To investigate whether human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cell (hAD-MSC) transplantation would ameliorate the healing process of a rabbit model of retinal holes.

Methods:
Retinal holes were made in the left eyes of 20 New Zealand white rabbits and randomly filled by hAD-MSCs (transplantation group) or phosphate-buffered saline (control group), respectively. Frequency-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan was performed on days 2, 4, 12, 20 and 32 postoperatively, and immunofluorescence was performed on days 12 and 32 to further identify the cell types of the injured area.

Results:
Frequency-domain OCT scan showed that the mean center thickness of the reconstructed tissue reached a normal level on day 12 in the transplantation group, while in the control group, the mean center thickness was normal on day 32. Furthermore, compared to the control group where only anti-glial fibrillary acidic protein-labeled glial-like cells were detected, donor-derived opsin-positive photoreceptor-like cells and protein kinase C-positive bipolar-like cells were sporadically found in the transplantation group.

Conclusions:
Transplanted hAD-MSCs could engraft in the retinal hole of a rabbit model, and clearly accelerated the healing process and ameliorated injury recovery.

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