Sialoadhesin Expression in Intact Degenerating Retinas and Following Transplantation.

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Purpose: Resident microglial cells normally do not express sialoadhesin (a sialic acid binding receptor), whereas recruited inflammatory macrophages have been shown to do so. The expression of sialoadhesin was examined here in the course of photoreceptor cell degeneration and following transplantation. Methods: Sialoadhesin expression was analyzed in retinas of rd1 and rds mice. For transplantation studies, neonatal (P2) retinal cells derived from GFP mice were injected intraocularly in adult rd1 mice and controls. Antibodies recognizing different sialoadhesin epitopes, CD11b, and MHC-II were used to identify activated microglial cells in intact retinas and 21 days post-transplantation. Results: In rd1 mice, a few CD11b-positive cells were observed in the outer nuclear layer in the central retina at postnatal day (P) 11 and in increasing numbers between P12 21. In rds mice, CD11b-expressing cells were found from P16 and onwards. No sialoadhesin expressing cells were observed within the rd1 or rds mouse retinas at any of the ages examined (up to P150). Specific staining was only observed in cells found in the vitreal margin of the retina and in surrounding tissues (sclera, cornea, ciliary body, choroid). Following transplantation to normal and rd1 mice, a variable number of sialoadhesin-positive cells were detected within the grafts, in the graft-host interface, and in the subretinal space. Conclusions: The significant activation of microglia/macrophages observed in the various stages of degeneration in rd1 and rds mouse retinas is not accompanied by sialoadhesin expression. However, sialoadhesin-expressing cells are observed following transplantation. The occurrence of such cells could be of significance for the integration and long term survival of retinal grafts, as expression of sialoadhesin could facilitate other phagocytic receptors.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Ophthalmology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5602-5610
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch