Retinal Progenitor Cells
Schepens Eye Research Institute
posted on 03/04/2009
As part of the central nervous system, the retina shares the recalcitrance of brain and spinal cord with respect to functional repair. One strategy for replacing these cells has been to transplant retinal tissue from healthy donors to the retina of the diseased host.
For the first time, successful isolation of viable stem cells derived explicitly from neural retinal tissue (sometimes also referred to as “neuroretina”, as opposed to the underlying non-neuronal retinal pigment epithelium) as been performed. The cells have been isolated from late embryonic/early post natal mice and from adult mice as well as from post-mortem human neuroretinal tissue, including juvenile and aged donors. The cells can integrate the host retina following in vivo grafting or explanting to a diseased retina.The first stem cells derived form neuroretina are capable of self-renewal and multipotent and retina-specific differentiation both in vivo and in the eye. The retina stem cells could have implications for the treatment of retinal degeneration, in which neuronal replacement and photoreceptor rescue are major therapeutic goals.
File Number: SERI-121
Ph.D. Michael Young
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