The intravitreal injection of autologous cultured fibroblasts has been used by many groups to study proliferative vitreoretinopathy. Ninety-five New Zealand white rabbits were used to study the pathological effects on the ocular tissues following such an injection over various time periods up to six months. The ocular tissues were studied by light microscopy, electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and autoradiography. The cells which contributed to the inflammatory response (initially neutrophils, then later macrophages and lymphocytes) were found to gain entry into the vitreous via the pars plana, pars plicata, and the vessels associated with the optic nerve head. In the experimental eyes the detached retinae had a reduced ability to incorporate 3H proline. Both epiretinal and subretinal membranes were found on the retinal surfaces. The majority of the glial cells within the membranes were identified as Müller cells. The retinal pigment epithelium beneath the detached retinae incorporated 3H thymidine and detached into the subretinal space. Clear evidence was obtained of both epithelial cell migration through the retina and involvement within epiretinal membranes.
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