Transplantation of tissue grafts into the anterior eye chamber: A method to study intrinsic neurons

E. Adeghate, T. Donáth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Intrinsic nerves play a crucial role in the regulation of body functions. It is therefore of paramount importance to be able to study the biology of intrinsic nerves in tissue grafts. The anterior eye chamber of rats has long been used to study different biological mechanisms, growth and differentiation of a variety of tissues, because of the transparency of the cornea, which also allows macroscopic changes to be seen. Despite its extended use, a detailed, easy to follow description of the technique of tissue and cell transplantation into the anterior eye chamber has not been presented. In this study, pancreatic tissue fragments were transplanted into the anterior eye chamber of rats alone or with brain tissue fragments to examine the survival and viability of intrinsic nerves in these tissue fragments, which have been detached from their original extrinsic nerves. The pancreatic transplants contained intact 5-HT and AChE-positive intrinsic neurons. The brain tissue grafts contained many AChE-enzyme reactive cells. The method is simple and can be used to study the morphology or physiology of intrinsic neurons in any tissue fragment. The grafts are easily vascularised and reinnervated because of the rich blood and nerve supply of the iris which forms the bed of the anterior eye chamber. The graft will also survive with ease because the anterior eye chamber is an immunologically privileged site. In conclusion, the intrinsic nerves of pancreatic and brain tissue fragments can survive after several weeks of transplantation into the anterior eye chamber of rats. In addition to this, these intrinsic nerves have the ability to produce and or store neurotransmitters and their enzymes. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-39
Number of pages7
JournalBrain Research Protocols
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Enzyme histochemistry
  • Eye chamber
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Intrinsic nerve
  • Neurotransmitter
  • Rat
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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