To report occurrence of acute severe inflammation after surgical implantation of mycoplasma-infected induced pluripotent stem cell-derived RPE (iPS-RPE) cells into the eyes of healthy primates, and determine the immunopathological mechanisms of the inflammation.
Ophthalmic allogeneic transplantation of iPS-RPE cells was performed in the subretina of major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-matched (two eyes) and MHC-mismatched (one eye) healthy cynomolgus monkeys. The clinical course after transplantation was observed using color fundus photography, fluorescence angiography, and optical coherence tomography. After the animals were killed at 1 month after surgery, eyeballs were removed and pathologically examined. Microorganisms were analyzed by PCR methods and BLAST analysis using preserved graft iPS-RPE cells and the recipients' vitreous humor. Mixed lymphocyte-RPE assay was performed on the mycoplasma-infected and noninfected iPS-RPE cells in vitro.
In tested eyes, abnormal findings were observed in the grafted retina 2 weeks after surgery. Here, we observed retinal vasculitis and hemorrhage, retinal detachment, and infiltration of inflammatory cells into the retina of the eyes. One month after surgery, animals were killed due to the severe immune responses observed. Using PCR methods, sequence analysis detected mycoplasma-DNA (Mycoplasma arginini species) in both the grafted RPE cells and the collected vitreous fluids of the monkeys. Mixed lymphocyte-RPE assay revealed that the infected iPS-RPE cells enhanced the proliferation of inflammatory cells in vitro.
Transplantation of graft iPS-RPE cells contaminated with mycoplasma into the subretina caused severe ocular inflammation. Mycoplasma possesses the ability to cause immune responses in the host.