Selective retina therapy and thermal stimulation of the retina: different regenerative properties - implications for AMD therapy

Elisabeth Richert, Julia Papenkort, Claus von der Burchard, Alexa Klettner, Philipp Arnold, Ralph Lucius, Ralf Brinkmann, Carsten Framme, Johann Roider, Jan Tode*

*Corresponding author for this work


Background: Selective Retina Therapy (SRT), a photodisruptive micropulsed laser modality that selectively destroys RPE cells followed by regeneration, and Thermal Stimulation of the Retina (TSR), a stimulative photothermal continuous wave laser modality that leads to an instant sublethal temperature increase in RPE cells, have shown therapeutic effects on Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in mice. We investigate the differences between both laser modalities concerning RPE regeneration. Methods: For PCR array, 6 eyes of murine AMD models, apolipoprotein E and nuclear factor erythroid-derived 2- like 2 knock out mice respectively, were treated by neuroretina-sparing TSR or SRT. Untreated litter mates were controls. Eyes were enucleated either 1 or 7 days after laser treatment. For morphological analysis, porcine RPE/choroid organ cultures underwent the same laser treatment and were examined by calcein vitality staining 1 h and 1, 3 or 5 days after irradiation. Results: TSR did not induce the expression of cell-mediators connected to cell death. SRT induced necrosis associated cytokines as well as inflammation 1 but not 7 days after treatment. Morphologically, 1 h after TSR, there was no cell damage. One and 3 days after TSR, dense chromatin and cell destruction of single cells was seen. Five days after TSR, there were signs of migration and proliferation. In contrast, 1 h after SRT a defined necrotic area within the laser spot was seen. This lesion was closed over days by migration and proliferation of adjacent cells. Conclusions: SRT induces RPE cell death, followed by regeneration within a few days. It is accompanied by necrosis induced inflammation, RPE proliferation and migration. TSR does not induce immediate RPE cell death; however, migration and mitosis can be seen a few days after laser irradiation, not accompanied by necrosis-associated inflammation. Both might be a therapeutic option for the treatment of AMD.

Original languageEnglish
Article number412
JournalBMC Ophthalmology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 12.2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Selective retina therapy and thermal stimulation of the retina: different regenerative properties - implications for AMD therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this