Clinical & experimental ophthalmology

Pathological vitreous causes cell line-derived (but not donor-derived) retinal pigment epithelial cells to display proliferative vitreoretinopathy-like features in culture.

PMID 24612444


It is well understood that epithelial mesenchymal transformation occurs when retinal pigment epithelial cells, sourced from either a cell line or cadaver eye, are cultured in the presence of cadaver-derived vitreous. We sought to study the changes in retinal pigment epithelial cells when cell line-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells are cultured in the presence of pathological vitreous. Prospective study. 42 patients with rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. D407 retinal pigment epithelial cells were cultured in the presence of cadaver-derived vitreous or vitreous/subretinal fluid derived from patients undergoing retinal reattachment surgeries. Besides the changes in phenotypic characteristics, the viability, proliferation, migration, mesenchymal marker expression and changes in the extracellular matrix components were also evaluated. Fibrotic phenotype in cell culture. Our study clearly demonstrates that cell line-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells (unlike donor-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells) cultured in the presence of patient-derived vitreous/subretinal fluid, exhibit characteristic features of proliferative vitreoretinopathy. We propose that it is the synergistic effect of the combined use of (i) pathological vitreous, rather than cadaver-derived vitreous (since rhegmatogenous retinal detachment-derived pathological vitreous and subretinal fluid contain exaggerated amounts of growth factors, which could predispose to proliferative vitreoretinopathy development) and (ii) cells from an immortal cell culture (cell line), rather than from primary cell cultures (since cells subjected to continuous serial passaging acquire some mesenchymal characteristics), which together result in not only a unique phenotype, but also prime these cells towards display of features associated with proliferative vitreoretinopathy.