Cell attachment to, and contraction of, the retina in vitro

David Allamby, David Foreman, Louise Carrington, David McLeod, Mike Boulton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Scopus citations


Purpose. To examine the behavior of fibroblasts and retinal pigment epithelial cells after attachment to the retinal surface in vitro to elucidate the pathobiology of the early stages of epiretinal membrane formation. Methods. Human retinal pigment epithelial (HRPE) cells and bovine Tenon's capsule fibroblasts (BTFs) were seeded onto the surface of bovine retinal explants maintained in organ culture. The changes induced in the underlying retina, including contraction, were assessed during a period of up to 10 days. Immunohistochemistry was used to assess proliferation of the seeded cells and to determine deposition of extracellular matrix. Results. Explants of bovine neuroretina were maintained in organ culture, with good morphologic preservation of the inner limiting lamina and inner retinal layers, for 7 to 10 days. The HRPE cells and the BTFs attached to the retinal surface and exerted tractional forces, producing partial- and full-thickness retinal folding. Contraction commenced within 24 hours of attachment of the cells and continued for several days, with most of the contraction occurring within the next 48 to 72 hours. The HRPE cells and BTFs were found to be equally contractile. Deposition of cellular fibronectin (but not collagen type I) was demonstrated. Conclusions. The contractile cellular membranes generated in this organ culture system exhibit many of the morphologic and functional features of epiretinal membranes found in the early stages of proliferative vitreoretinopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2064-2072
Number of pages9
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Sep 1 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Contraction
  • Extracellular matrix
  • Organ culture
  • Proliferative vitreoretinopathy
  • Retinal pigment epithelium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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    Allamby, D., Foreman, D., Carrington, L., McLeod, D., & Boulton, M. (1997). Cell attachment to, and contraction of, the retina in vitro. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 38(10), 2064-2072.