Migratory capacity of the cell line RN33B and the host glial cell response after subretinal transplantation to normal adult rats

Glia. 2004 Jul;47(1):58-67. doi: 10.1002/glia.20033.


As previously reported, the brain-derived precursor cell line RN33B has a great capacity to migrate when transplanted to adult brain or retina. This cell line is immortalized with the SV40 large T-antigen and carries the reporter gene LacZ and the green fluorescent protein GFP. In the present study, the precursor cells were transplanted to the subretinal space of adult rats and investigated early after grafting. The purpose was to demonstrate the migration of the grafted cells from the subretinal space into the retina and the glial cell response of the host retina. Detachment caused by the transplantation method was persistent up to 4 days after transplantation, and then reattachment occurred. The grafted cells were shown to migrate in between the photoreceptor cells before entering into the plexiform layers. Molecules involved in migration of immature neuronal cells as the polysialylated neural cell adhesion molecule (PSA-NCAM) and the collapsing response-mediated protein 4 (TUC-4) was found in the plexiform layers of the host retina, but not in the grafted cells. The expression of the intermediate filaments GFAP, vimentin, and nestin was intensely upregulated immediately after transplantation. A less pronounced upregulation was observed on sham-operated animals. In summary, the RN33B cell line migrated promptly posttransplantation and settled preferably into the plexiform layers of the retina, the same layers where the migration cues PSA-NCAM and TUC-4 were established. In addition, both the transplantation method per se and the implanted cells caused an intense glial cell response by the host retina.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Cycle Proteins / metabolism
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Movement / physiology*
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • Graft Survival / physiology*
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / metabolism
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Nestin
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1 / metabolism
  • Neuroglia / cytology
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / growth & development
  • Retina / surgery
  • Sialic Acids / metabolism
  • Stem Cell Transplantation / methods*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / physiology*
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Vimentin / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Cdkn1b protein, rat
  • Cell Cycle Proteins
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nes protein, rat
  • Nestin
  • Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule L1
  • Sialic Acids
  • Tumor Suppressor Proteins
  • Vimentin
  • polysialyl neural cell adhesion molecule
  • Cyclin-Dependent Kinase Inhibitor p27