Amniotic membrane as support for human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cell growth

Acta Ophthalmol Scand. 2003 Jun;81(3):271-7. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-0420.2003.00076.x.


Purpose: The aim of this work was to culture human retinal pigment epithelium (hRPE) cells over human amniotic membrane (hAM). Human AM was studied for its viability as an adequate support for transplantation of an hRPE cell monolayer with preserved cell polarity to the subretinal space.

Methods: Human AM was obtained from pregnant women during caesarean section. The hAM was sectioned and the pieces were fixed to culture dishes. Human RPE cells were cultured from adult corneal donors and were seeded over hAM. Phase-contrast photographs were obtained. Selected specimens were processed by transmission electronic microscopy (TEM).

Results: The attachment and growth of hRPE cells over hAM was observed. Human RPE cells constituted tight colonies that maintained epithelial phenotype. Using TEM, we identified a monolayer of hRPE cells, with cuboidal to spheroidal morphology. These cells showed integration with the substrate and cell-cell contacts were detected.

Conclusion: Amniotic membrane may be a suitable substrate for hRPE growth. Further studies are required in order to determine the viability of hRPE on hAM in the subretinal space.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 3T3 Cells / cytology
  • Adult
  • Amnion / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Polarity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Microscopy, Phase-Contrast
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / cytology*
  • Pigment Epithelium of Eye / ultrastructure