Müller and macrophage-like cell interactions in an organotypic culture of porcine neuroretina

Mol Vis. 2008;14:2148-56. Epub 2008 Nov 28.


Purpose: To analyze the in vitro Müller cell modifications in an organotypic culture of porcine neuroretina in response to the addition of a blood-derived mononuclear fraction (MNF; monocytes and lymphocytes) as a source of macrophages.

Methods: Control and MNF-stimulated neuroretinal explants were examined at 3, 6, and 9 days of culture. Specimens were processed for epoxy-resin embedding and cryosectioning. Light and immunofluorescence microscopy were performed, using toluidine blue staining and antibodies against glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), as a reactive gliosis marker, and cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein (CRALBP), as a Müller cell marker.

Results: Compared to controls, explants cocultured with MNF displayed increased cellular disorganization and larger tissue invasion of the subretinal space at 9 days of culture. Immunostaining of the MNF-treated explants revealed evidence of more reactive gliosis and greater number of GFAP-immunoreactive Müller cells that had increased width and processes extending into the subretinal space and forming a multilayer tissue. Astrocytes also responded to the MNF addition, producing extensions that invaded the neuroretinal outer layers.

Conclusions: Addition of MNF stimulates modifications of Müller cells, producing a wider intraretinal reactive gliosis and tissue proliferation at the subretinal space (outer layers of the retina). These findings emphasize the role of macrophage-like cells in the production of changes in retinal structure observed after retinal detachment in humans.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication*
  • Coculture Techniques
  • Cryoultramicrotomy
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / cytology
  • Macrophages / cytology*
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Organ Culture Techniques
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Sus scrofa
  • Tolonium Chloride


  • Tolonium Chloride