Long-term survival and glial differentiation of the brain-derived precursor cell line RN33B after subretinal transplantation to adult normal rats

Anita Blixt Wojciechowski, Ulrica Englund Johansson, Cecilia Lundberg, Karin Warfvinge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (SciVal)


The potential use of in vitro-expanded precursor cells or cell lines in repair includes transplantation of such cells for cell replacement purposes and the activation of host cells to provide "self-repair." Recently, we have reported that cells from the brain-derived cell line RN33B (derived from the embryonic rat medullary raphe and immortalized through retroviral transduction of the temperature-sensitive mutant of the simian virus 40 ([SV40] large T-antigen) survive for at least 4 weeks, integrate, and differentiate after subretinal grafting to normal adult rats. Here, we demonstrate that grafts of these cells survive for at least 4 months after subretinal transplantation to adult, normal immunosuppressed rats. Implanted cells integrate into the retinal pigment epithelium and the inner retinal layers, and the anterior part of the optic nerve. In addition, the RN33B cells migrate within the retina, occupying the whole retina from one eccentricity to the other. A large fraction of the grafted cells differentiate into glial cells, as shown by double labeling of the reporter genes LacZ or green fluorescent protein, and several glial markers, including oligodendrocytes. However, the cells did not differentiate into retinal neurons, judging from their lack of expression of retinal neuronal phenotypic markers. A significant number of the implanted cells in the host retina were in a proliferative stage, judging from proliferative cell nuclear antigen and SV40 large T-antigen immunohistochemistry. To conclude, the cells survived, integrated, and migrated over long distances within the host. Therefore, our results may be advantageous for future design of therapeutic strategies, since such cells may have the potential of being a source of, for example, growth factor delivery in experimental models of retinal degeneration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-173
JournalStem Cells
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2002

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Cell and Molecular Biology


  • Stem Cells/*cytology/metabolism
  • Cell Survival/*physiology
  • Cell Movement/physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Transformed
  • Retina/cytology/metabolism/surgery
  • Rats
  • Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen/metabolism
  • Phenotype
  • Neurons/cytology/metabolism
  • Neuroglia/*cytology/metabolism
  • Graft Survival/*physiology
  • Genes
  • Reporter/genetics
  • Cell Division/physiology
  • Cell Differentiation/*physiology
  • Cell Culture/*methods
  • Brain Tissue Transplantation/*methods
  • Polyomavirus Transforming/metabolism
  • Antigens


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