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Journal of Neural Transplantation
Volume 1 (1989), Issue 3-4, Pages 77-85

Developing Retina and PNS Segments for Transplantation Into the Adult Host Eye: Reconstruction of the Mammalian Visual System. 1. Methodology

1Department of Bioengineering, School of Engineering, The Cooper Union, 51 Astor Place, New York, NY 10003, USA
2Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine, Old Westbury, NY 11756, USA

Copyright © 1989 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


Various techniques have been explored to determine the uses and limitations of techniques that enable the adult CNS to regenerate, but relatively little attention has been given to the consideration of a "reconstructed" visual system. Using this approach, one can design experiments to study the uses of exogenous tissues in reestablishing neuronal circuits that have been damaged. Toward this end, experiments were designed to determine whether embryonic retinal ganglion cells can project axons into a grafted PNS "bridge", and enter adult host targets that were partially deafferented. Embryonic eyes of E11, E14, E18 and E21 rats were sutured to peripheral nerve segments which served as bridges between the host eye and frontal cortex. Projections between the developing retina and the host brain could then be evaluated using HRP tracing techniques. From a methodological standpoint, the preparations are 65% effective; i.e., a viable bridge results between the embryonic eye and the host forebrain. The results presented in the accompanying paper demonstrate that the technique can yield results indicative of embryonic retinal development and axonal projection through the graft and into the host brain. This partial reconstruction of the visual system may prove a useful tool in understanding the uses and limitations of grafting in the CNS.