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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 1997 Feb;235(2):103-10.

Tolerance of human fetal retinal pigment epithelium xenografts in monkey retina.

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St. Eriks Hospital, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm Sweden.



RPE transplantation offers the possibility of treating certain forms of retinal degeneration. Understanding how to optimize the surgical technique for performing RPE transplantation, especially in primates, is therefore of considerable interest.


Fifteen patch RPE transplants were performed in six monkeys. The transplant sites were examined at follow-up by ophthalmoscopy, biomicroscopy, fluorescein angiography and histology. Foveal and peripheral retinal transplants were compared.


Human fetal RPE xenografts can survive without rejection for at least 6 months after transplantation in monkey retina. Such grafts form a basal lamina and make intimate contacts with the outer segments of the host. Both rods and cones retain a normal appearance when in contact with unrejected transplants. Rejection occurred in only 30% (3/10) of the peripheral but in 60% (3/5) of the foveal transplants.


Cultured human fetal RPE patch transplants can survive and maintain local photoreceptor integrity for relatively long periods of time in monkey subretinal space without immunosuppression. Rejection, when it occurs, is more frequent near the fovea.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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