The present study was undertaken to provide an improved environment in which to examine the capacity of more mature CNS tissue to survive following transplantation. Tissue containing serotonin (5-HT) neurons from nucleus raphe dorsalis of 4- and 8-week-old rats was transplanted to the anterior chamber of the eye. Baseline conditions were improved by minimizing the time of the grafting procedure and enhancing the nutrition and oxygenation of the grafting medium. Additional treatment of the grafts during the 4 weeks of in oculo development included either: (1) intermittent hyperbaric oxygen (HBO), (2) continuous hyperoxia, or (3) control. In vivo measurement revealed that all grafts decreased significantly in size, a majority of which still demonstrated a small degree of vascularization. Microscopically, a significant percentage of the grafts demonstrated 5-HT-immunoreactive (5-HT-ir) fiber outgrowth into the host irides, although 5-HT-ir cell bodies could not always be discerned. In terms of percentage of grafts with surviving 5-HT-ir fibers, the best results were seen with the grafts treated with continuous hyperoxia (3 out of 4), as compared to HBO-treated grafts (4/18) and the control group (3/24). For both the HBO-treated and control groups, slightly better results were seen with 4-week-old vs 8-week-old donor tissue. The density and the surface area covered by the 5-HT-ir fibers was not correlated with either treatment or donor age. Thus, while continuous hyperoxia or HBO treatment may have a positive effect, the enhanced baseline conditions appear to provide an environment in which to demonstrate that 5-HT neurons from 4- and 8-week-old rats possess the capacity to survive transplantation.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989U226100026
View details for PubMedID 2713686