TRANSPLANTATION OF HLA-TYPED, CRYOPRESERVED HUMAN ADULT RETINAL PIGMENTED EPITHELIAL CELLS FROM A CELLBANK
M. Valtink, A. Sobottka Ventura, J. Bednarz, G. Richard
Purpose: The transplantation of retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE) into the subretinal space is discussed as a possible therapy in case of age-related macula degeneration. Former transplantations in human failed due to cell culture-related difficulties. The problem of graft rejection also has to be considered In an eyebank RPE can easily be obtained from donor eyes. The cells can be cultivated, HLA- typed and cryoconservated for subsequent transplantation. Methods: From 1996 to 1998 320 cultures of adult human retinal pigmented epithelial cells were obtained according to the methods established in our laboratories. 208 of these cultures were either not used due to poor growth, contamination, morphological changes, or were used for experimental purposes. 75 cell cultures were HLA-typed, and 62 of these retained the typical characteristics for RPE and were cryopreserved to establish a RPE bank.
Results: Since January 1998 patients who agreed to RPE transplantation are registered on a waiting list. In February 1998 one patient was found with corresponding HLA-class II-antigens (mismatch on loci A, B, DBP1) to a cryopreserved RPE culture and transplantation was performed.
Discussion: Establishing a RPE bank offers the possibility to preserve RPE for a longer period of time and to provide them for transplantations. Sterility and viability of the cells have to be controlled.
Universitäts-Augenklinik, Martinistrasse 52, D-20246 Hamburg