MHC expression in fragment and full-thickness allogeneic embryonic retinal transplants

F Ghosh, Jörgen Larsson, Kennerth Wilke

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12 Citations (SciVal)


BACKGROUND: The study was carried out to evaluate the expression of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules in retinal transplants with different tissue integrity.

METHODS: Twelve adult rabbits received an allogeneic subretinal neuroretinal transplant, in the form of either fragmented embryonic cells or a complete full-thickness embryonic retina. A controlled transvitreal approach was used for both transplantation types. The grafts were examined histologically after 31 or 49 days with hematoxylin and eosin staining and immunohistochemical analysis of MHC class I and class II expression.

RESULTS: All five fragment transplants developed into rosettes. Two of them displayed MHC class I-labeled cells, and four MHC class II-labeled cells. The cells were concentrated on the scleral side of the graft, and there was also a marked increase of labeled cells in the choroid. MHC labeling was often associated with defects in the retinal pigment epithelium. Six of the seven full-thickness grafts displayed a laminated morphology with well-developed retinal layers. The seventh consisted of rosettes. None of these grafts displayed MHC class I- or class II-labeled cells.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings suggest that host immune response against fragmented and intact neuroretinal grafts is different, indicating tissue integrity as one factor affecting graft-host immune interactions. The absence of immune response in full-thickness grafts is encouraging and important in the struggle to find therapies for retinal degenerative disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)589-98
Number of pages10
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Jul

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Ophthalmology


  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Fetal Tissue Transplantation
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Graft Rejection
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye
  • Rabbits
  • Retina
  • Transplantation, Homologous
  • Comparative Study
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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