One of the challenges in retina research is studying the cross-talk between different retinal cells such as retinal neurons, glial cells, and vascular cells. Isolating, culturing, and sustaining retinal neurons in vitro have technical and biological limitations. Culturing retinal explants may overcome these limitations and offer a unique ex vivo model to study the cross-talk between various retinal cells with well-controlled biochemical parameters and independent of the vascular system. Moreover, retinal explants are an effective screening tool for studying novel pharmacological interventions in various retinal vascular and neurodegenerative diseases such as diabetic retinopathy. Here, we describe a detailed protocol for retinal explants' isolation and culture for an extended period. The manuscript also presents some of the technical problems during this procedure that may affect the desired outcomes and reproducibility of the retinal explant culture. The immunostaining of the retinal vessels, glial cells, and neurons demonstrated intact retinal capillaries and neuroglial cells after 2 weeks from the beginning of the retinal explant culture. This establishes retinal explants as a reliable tool for studying changes in the retinal vasculature and neuroglial cells under conditions that mimic retinal diseases such as diabetic retinopathy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)