The Macula pp 17-25 | Cite as

The importance of maintaining the RPE phenotype in retinal transplantation

  • Mike Boulton


Retinal degeneration is a major cause of visual loss and is associated with a variety of conditions (e.g. age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa, macular dystrophy). Morphologically, such degeneration can occur in the neural retina (e.g. retinitis pigmentosa) or retinal pigment epithelium (e.g. AMD). While a number of therapies have been proposed for the treatment of retinal degeneration, transplantation of cells or tissue has received considerable attention in the last decade [18, 20]. Of particular interest is retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) transplantation which has the advantage over neural retinal transplantation that it only involves one cell type, does not require neural networking and is a reasonably straightforward procedure, although not without complications as will be discussed later.


Retinal Pigment Epithelium Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell Retinal Degeneration Photoreceptor Outer Segment Human Retinal Pigment Epithelium Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Algvere PV, Gouras P, Dafgard Kopp E (1999) Long-term outcome of RPE allografts in nonimmunosuppressed patients with AMD. Eur J Ophthalmol 9: 217–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Arsenijevic Y, Taverney N, Kostic C, Tekaya M, Riva F, Zografos L, Schorderet D, Munier F (2003) Non-neural regions of the adult human eye: a potential source of neurons? Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 44: 799–807PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Beatty S, Koh H-H, Henson D, Boulton M (2000) The role.of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of age-related macular degeneration. Sury Ophthalmol 45: 115–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Binder S, Stolba U, Krebs I, Kellner L, Jahn C, Feichtinger H, Povelka M, Frohner U, Kruger A, Hilgers RD, Krugluger W (2002) Transplantation of autologous retinal pigment epithelium in eyes with foveal neovascularization resulting from age-related macular degeneration: a pilot study. Am.J Ophthalmol 133: 215–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Boulton M, Dayhaw-Barker P (2001) The role of retinal pigment epithelium: topographical variation and ageing changes. Eye 15: 384–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Boulton M, Khaliq A, McLeod D, Moriarty P (1994) Effect of “hypoxia” on the proliferation of retinal microvascular cells in vitro. Exp Eye Res 59: 243–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Boulton M, Marshall J, Mellerio J (1984) Retinitis pigmentosa: a quantitative study of the apical membrane of normal and dystrophic human retinal pigment epithelial cells in tissue culture in relation to phagocytosis. Graefe’s Arch Ophthalmol 221: 214–29CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Boulton M, Rózanowska M, Rózanowska B (2001) Retinal photodamage. J Photochem Photobiol B (biol) 64: 144–61CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Boulton ME (1991) Ageing of the retinal pigment epithelium. In: Osborne N, Charder G (eds) Progress in retinal research, vol 11. Oxford, New York: Pergamon Press, pp 125–51Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Campochiaro P (1998) Growth factors in the retinal pigment epithelium and retina. In: Marmor M, Wolfensberger T (eds) The retinal pigment epithelium. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 459–77Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Campochiaro PA, Jerdan JA, Glaser BM (1986) The extracellular matrix of human retinal pigment epithelial cells in vivo and its synthesis in vitro. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 27: 1615–21PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chader G, Peppergerg D, Crouch R, Wigged B (1998) Retinoids and the retinal pigment epithelium. In: Marmor M, Wolfensberger T (eds) The retinal pigment epithelium. New York, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 68–85Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cooper G (2000) The cell: a molecular approach. Washington: ASM Associates; Sunderland, Massachusetts: Sinauer AssociatesGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Forrester J, Dick A, McMenamin P, Lee W (1999) The eye: basic science in practice. Edinburgh, London: WB SaundersGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Hogan M, Alvarado J, Weddell J (1971) Histology of the human eye. Philadelphia: SaundersGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kanuga N, Winton HL, Beauchene L, Koman A, Zerbib A, Halford S, Couraud PO, Keegan D, Coffey P, Lund RD, Adamson P, Greenwood J (2002) Characterization of genetically modified human retinal pigment epithelial cells developed for in vitro and transplantation studies. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 43 (2): 546–55PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Lane C, Boulton M, Bird A, Marshall J (1988) Growth of pure cultures of retinal pigment epithelial cells using chorioretinal biopsies in the miniature pig. Exp Eye Res 46: 813–7PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Litchfield TM, Whiteley SJ, Lund RD (1997) Transplantation of retinal pigment epithelial, photoreceptor and other cells as treatment for retinal degeneration. Exp Eye Res 64: 655–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Lodish H, Berk A, Zipursky S, Matsudaira D, Darnell J (2001) Molecular cell biology. New York: WH FreemanGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Lund RD, Kwan AS, Keegan DJ, Sauve Y, Coffey PJ, Lawrence JM (2001) Cell transplantation as a treatment for retinal disease. Prog Retin Eye Res 20: 415–49PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Marmor M, Wolfensberger T (1998) The retinal pigment epithelium. New York, Oxford: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Murata T, Cui J, Taba KE, Oh JY, Spee C, Hinton DR, Ryan SJ (2000) The possibility of gene therapy for the treatment of choroidal neovascularization. Ophthalmol 107: 1364–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Niemann H (2001) Current status and perspectives for the generation of transgenic pigs for xenotransplantation. Ann Transplant 6: 6–9PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Sheng Y, Gouras P, Cao H, Berglin L, Kjeldbye H, Lopez R, Rosskothen H (1995) Patch transplants of human fetal retinal pigment epithelium in rabbit and monkey retina. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 36: 381–90PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Thumann G, Aisenbrey S, Schraermeyer U, Lafaut B, Esser P, Walter P, Bartz-Schmidt KU (2000) Transplantation of autologous iris pigment epithelium after removal of choroidal neovascular membranes. Arch Ophthalmol 118: 1350–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Thumann G (2001) Development and cellular functions of the iris pigment epithelium. Sury Ophthalmol 45: 345–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Winkler B, Boulton ME, Gottsch J, Sternberg P (1999) Oxidative damage and age-related macular degeneration. Molecular Vision 5: 32PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag/Wien 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Optometry and Vision SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

Personalised recommendations