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Mol Vis. 2017 Jan 28;23:8-19. eCollection 2017.

Mertk gene expression and photoreceptor outer segment phagocytosis by cultured rat bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China Key Laboratory of Vision Loss and Restoration, Ministry of Education, Beijing, China.
2
Department of Ophthalmology, China Medical University, the First Affiliated Hospital, Shenyang, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BM-MSCs) are multipotential stem cells that have been used for a broad spectrum of indications. Several investigations have used BM-MSCs to promote photoreceptor survival and suggested that BM-MSCs are a potential source of cell replacement therapy for some forms of retinal degeneration.

PURPOSE:

To investigate the expression of the MER proto-oncogene, tyrosine kinase (Mertk), involved in the disruption of RPE phagocytosis and the onset of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa in rat BM-MSCs and to compare phagocytosis of the photoreceptor outer segment (POS) by BM-MSCs and RPE cells in vitro.

METHODS:

MSCs were isolated from the bone marrow of Brown Norway rats. Reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) and western blot analyses were used to examine the expression of Mertk. The phagocytized POS was detected with double fluorescent labeling, transmission electron microscopy, and scanning electron microscopy.

RESULTS:

Mertk expression did not differ among the first three passages of BM-MSCs. Mertk gene expression was greater in the BM-MSCs than the RPE cells. Mertk protein expression in the BM-MSCs was similar to that in the RPE cells in the primary passage and was greater than that in the RPE cells in the other two passages. BM-MSCs at the first three passages phagocytized the POS more strongly than the RPE cells. The process of BM-MSC phagocytosis was similar to that of the RPE cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

BM-MSCs may be an effective cell source for treating retinal degeneration in terms of phagocytosis of the POS.

PMID:
28210098
PMCID:
PMC5287449
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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