Characterizing temporal and spatial recruitment of systemically administered RPE65-programmed bone marrow-derived cells to the retina in a mouse model of age-related macular degeneration

Academic Article


  • Purpose: Previously, we reported that the intravenous injection of bone marrow-derived cells (BMDC) infected with lentivirus expressing the human RPE65 gene resulted in the programming of BMDC to promote visual recovery in a mouse model of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The aim of this study was to characterize the spatial and temporal recruitment of these programmed BMDC to the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) layer. Methods: C57BL/6J female mice received a subretinal injection of AAV1-SOD2 ribozyme to knock down (KD) superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and induce AMD-like pathology. BMDC were isolated from GFP+ mice and infected with a lentivirus expressing RPE65. One month after SOD2 KD, fifty thousand GFP+RPE65-BMDC were injected in the mouse tail vein. Animals were terminated at different time points up to 60 min following cell administration, and localization of GFP+ cells was determined by fluorescence microscopy of neural retina and RPE flat mounts and tissue sections. Results: GFP+RPE65- BMDC were observed in SOD2 KD neural retina and RPE as early as 1 min following administration. With increasing time, the number of cells in the neural retina decreased, while those in the RPE increased. While the number of cells in peripheral and central retina remained similar at each time point, the number of BMDC recruited to the central RPE increased in a time-dependent manner up to a maximum by 60 min post administration. Immunohistochemistry of cross-sections of the RPE layer confirmed the incorporation of donor GFP+ BMDC into the RPE layer and that these GFP+ human RPE65 expressing cells co-localized with murine RPE65. No GFP+ cells were observed in the neural retina or RPE layer of normal uninjured control eyes. Conclusions: Our study shows that systemically administered GFP+RPE65-BMDC can reach the retina within minutes and that the majority of these BMDC are recruited to the injured RPE layer by 60 min post injection. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Francelin C; Godoy J; Qi X; Silva JAF; Grant MB; Boulton ME
  • Start Page

  • 2987
  • End Page

  • 2994
  • Volume

  • 259
  • Issue

  • 10