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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2011, Article ID 948740, 6 pages
Research Article

Xenotransplantation of Human Neural Progenitor Cells to the Subretinal Space of Nonimmunosuppressed Pigs

1Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital of Lund, 22185 Lund, Sweden
2Children’s Hospital of Orange County, Orange, CA 92868-3874, USA
3Eye Deptartment and Eye Pathology Institution, Rigshospitalet, 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark
4Copenhagen Ophthalmology Center, Glostrup Hospital, 2600 Copenhagen, Denmark
5Harvard Medical School, Schepens Eye Research Institute, Boston, MA 02114, USA
6Stem Cell Research Center, Sue and Bill Gross Hall, University of California, Room 2035, 845 Health Sciences Road, Irvine, CA 92697-1705, USA

Received 2 January 2011; Accepted 12 April 2011

Academic Editor: Waldo Concepcion

Copyright © 2011 Karin Warfvinge 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.


To investigate the feasibility of transplanting human neural progenitor cells (hNPCs) to the retina of nonimmunosuppressed pigs, cultured hNPCs were injected into the subretinal space of 5 adult pigs after laser burns were applied to promote donor cell integration. Postoperatively, the retinal vessels appeared normal without signs of exudation, bleeding, or subretinal elevation. Eyes were harvested at 10–28 days. H&E consistently showed mild retinal vasculitis, depigmentation of the RPE, and marked mononuclear cell infiltrate in the choroid adjacent to the site of transplantation. Human-specific antibodies revealed donor cells in the subretinal space at 10–13 days and smaller numbers within the retina on days 12 and 13, with evidence suggesting a limited degree of morphological integration; however, no cells remained at 4 weeks. The strong mononuclear cell reaction and loss of donor cells indicate that modulation of host immunity is likely necessary for prolonged xenograft survival in this model.