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Klin Monbl Augenheilkd. 1995 Feb;206(2):71-7.

[Transplantation of retinal components].

[Article in German]

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Univ.-Augenklinik Mainz.



The objective of recent animal experimental studies is to substitute destroyed or degenerated retina and to improve visual function by transplanting retinal components. Mature or immature retinal components were transplanted into the subretinal space of different animal species.


Embryonic and non-embryonic retina components of different animals or of humans are used as grafts. They are transplanted to adult host animals. There is the possibility of utilizing a posterior transscleral approach or a vitreoretinal approach. The latter offers a better visual control. Transplantation of retinal pigment epithelium could rescue photoreceptors in adult rats with inherited or age-related macular degeneration.


After the transplantation it was possible to measure significantly higher visual evoked potentials in the transplanted eye than in the untreated fellow eye. Additionally, an almost normal pupillary reflex was identified. As it is not possible to adequately determine visual acuity in rodents, it is necessary to examine, as to whether visual improvement is also evident in primates.


The eye is an immunologically privileged location for transplants because of retinal autoantigenic specific immunosuppression that protects the transplant from immunologic rejection. Many questions regarding operation technique, gaining of transplantation tissue and immunoreaction are to be answered before the use is possible on humans. The counseling of the patients and the informational policies towards the media should be correspondingly retentive.

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