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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2015, Article ID 263756, 10 pages
Research Article

Effect of Storage Temperature on Key Functions of Cultured Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells

1Department of Medical Biochemistry, Oslo University Hospital, Kirkeveien 166, P.O. Box 4956, Nydalen, 0424 Oslo, Norway
2Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Sognsvannsveien 9, 0372 Oslo, Norway
3Department of Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Oslo, Sognsvannsveien 10, P.O. Box 1052, Blindern, 0316 Oslo, Norway

Received 23 June 2015; Revised 30 August 2015; Accepted 31 August 2015

Academic Editor: Manuel Vidal-Sanz

Copyright © 2015 Lara Pasovic et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. Replacement of the diseased retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) with cells capable of performing the specialized functions of the RPE is the aim of cell replacement therapy for treatment of macular degenerative diseases. A storage method for RPE is likely to become a prerequisite for the establishment of such treatment. Herein, we analyze the effect of storage temperature on key functions of cultured RPE cells. Methods. Cultured ARPE-19 cells were stored in Minimum Essential Medium at 4°C, 16°C, and 37°C for seven days. Total RNA was isolated and the gene expression profile was determined using DNA microarrays. Comparison of the microarray expression values with qRT-PCR analysis of selected genes validated the results. Results. Expression levels of several key genes involved in phagocytosis, pigment synthesis, the visual cycle, adherens, and tight junctions, and glucose and ion transport were maintained close to control levels in cultures stored at 4°C and 16°C. Cultures stored at 37°C displayed regulational changes in a larger subset of genes related to phagocytosis, adherens, and tight junctions. Conclusion. RPE cultures stored at 4°C and 16°C for one week are capable of maintaining the expression levels of genes important for key RPE functions close to control levels.