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Characterisation and validation of the 8-fold quadrant dissected human retinal explant culture model for pre-clinical toxicology investigation
journal contributionposted on 03.02.2020, 00:00 by A Murali, Charmaine Ramlogan-Steel, Jason Steel, CJ Layton
© 2019 One of the major challenges in studying ocular toxicology is a lack of clinically-relevant retinal experimental models. In this study we describe the use of an in vitro human retinal explant strategy to generate a reproducible experimental model with utility in neuro-toxicity retinal studies. A retinal dissection strategy, referred to as the 8 fold quadrant dissection, was developed by dissecting human donor retinas into 4 fragments through the fovea in order to obtain 8 experimentally reproducible retinal explants from a single donor. This quadrant dissection gave rise to equivalent proportions of CD73+ photoreceptors and CD90+ ganglion cells in 8 fragments from a single donor and this remained stable for up to 3 days in culture. Major retinal cell types continued to be observed after 8 weeks in culture, despite breakdown of the retinal layers, suggesting the potential to use this model in long-term studies where observation of individual cell types is possible. The utility of this system was examined in a proof of principle neuro-toxicology study. We showed reproducible induction of toxicity in photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells by glutamate, cobalt chloride and hydrogen peroxide insults, and observed the therapeutic positive effects of the administration of memantine, formononetin and trolox. The quadrant dissected human retinal explants have the potential to be used in toxicology studies in human ocular diseases.