Neither intraocular grafts of retinal cell homogenates nor live non-retinal neurons produce behavioral recovery in rats with light-damaged retinas

Manuel del Cerro, David Diloreto, Christopher Cox, Eliot S. Lazar, Donald A. Grover, Constancia del Cerro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Previously we have observed that fetal retinal cells grafted to the subretinal space of blind rats produced a functional recovery as determined by testing the visual inhibition of the startle response. Following those studies, we performed experiments to test whether the injection itself, cell by-products, or unrelated neural cells could also produce an effect. Visual function was tested by examining the inhibitory effect of a brief light flash (3001x) on the acoustic startle response to an immediately following intense noise burst in light blinded Fischer 344 rats. Animals were tested before and after grafts of fetal retinal cell homogenates, dissociated perinatal cerebellar cells, and sham injections in the subretinal space. Behavioral testing continued every 2 wk for 14 wk after the graft. In the pretests, the light flash inhibited the startle response, maximal at intervals of 40-70 ms with recovery thereafter. In contrast, after exposure for 4 wk to fluorescent light (3001x) and a rest in a normal 12/12 h light/ dark environment the rats showed reflex facilitation to the light, maximal at an interval of 110 ms, followed by a late period of reflex inhibition. The light flash had no effect on other rats that had been blinded by bilateral enucleation. Light blinded animals receiving either cerebellar grafts or retinal cell homogenates were no different in performance from their sham injected control animals. The present data suggest that neither subretinal injections of neural cells nor non-specific neurochemical factors are able to elicit a positive behavioral response in visually impaired animals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalCell Transplantation
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Behavior
  • Neural transplants
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation

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