Plexiform layer synaptic and photoreceptor cell components were investigated in retinas of Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) dystrophic rats transplanted with normal retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells by immunocytochemistry using previously characterized monoclonal antibodies. In retinas of normal adult rats and RPE‐cell transplanted retinas of 4 month‐old RCS rats, HNK‐1, a marker for a carbohydrate of the neural cell adhesion molecule (N‐CAM), was detected immunocytochemically in the inner and outer plexiform layers and ganglion cell bodies and their axons. HNK‐1 was also detected in the inner plexiform layer of nontreated retinas of 4 month‐old RCS rats, but was reduced to scattered patches in the outer plexiform layer. In addition, immunoreactivity for the SVP‐38 antibody recognizing synaptophysin was found in both plexiform layers of normal adult rat retinas and RPE‐transplanted retinas of 4 month‐old RCS rats. Furthermore, photoreceptor cell bodies and their inner and outer segments were immunostained for the opsin monoclonal antibody RET‐P1 in retinas of normal adult rats and RPE‐cell transplanted retinas of 4 month‐old RCS rats. However, in nontreated retinas of 4 month‐old RCS rats, only immunostained debris material was detected. These results strongly suggest that normal RPE transplants not only rescue photoreceptor cells in RCS rats, but also maintain an essential functional capacity, in this case, synaptic components in the plexiform layers. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience