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Eye stem cell transplantation to treat blindness enhances monkey retinal function

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Retinal cell transplantation is considered to be an attractive approach for treating blindness. The question is where to procure cells.

An international research team of scientists from the Singapore Science and Technology Research Agency (A * STAR), Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and the German ophthalmology clinic Sulzbach have used a type of eye stem cell to color the retina, which is essential for vision. .. This approach is promising for monkeys.

The findings indicate that these retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) stem cell-derived RPEs, or hRPESC-RPEs, are a useful source of cell replacement therapy for the treatment of RPE-related blindness caused by diseases such as macular degeneration. It suggests that there is a possibility.Results will be published in the journal Stem cell report..

RPE is a layer of tissue that supports the neurosensory retina and is important for vision. An estimated 200 million people have diseases associated with RPE dysfunction, such as macular degeneration. Although early attempts at RPE replacement used patient cells (a limited approach), scientists were looking for treatments using different stem cell populations.

2012, scientist Identified A type of adult RPE cell that is normally dormant, but can be activated to take on a stem cell-like state with self-renewal ability. The A * STAR-led team believed that these cells could differentiate into RPE cells and could be used for RPE replacement therapy.

In their study, researchers took hRPESC-RPE from the donated adult eyes and grew it into an RPE monolayer. When transplanted into monkey eyes on a polymer scaffold, the RPE patch was stably integrated for at least 3 months.

The team showed that the stem cell-derived RPE patch was partially taken over and was able to support normal light sensing functions. In addition, this method did not cause the vision-impairing retinal scars seen with other experimental approaches.

Relation: Reprogrammed skin cells restore vision in a mouse model of retinal disease

Multiple types of stem cells, including human embryonic stem cells and human induced pluripotent stem cells, have been proposed as alternative sources of retinal replacement.The team led by Mount Sinai previously used gene transfer Activate A type of retinal cell called a mullaglia that adopts stem cell-like characteristics. The team encouraged the cells to divide into light-sensing rod photoreceptors in blind mice.

Researchers led by the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health used five chemicals to directly transform skin cells into rod photoreceptors.

Researchers led by A * STAR believe that their work indicates the possibility of using hRPESC-RPE transplantation as a treatment for mountain degeneration. Researchers have suggested that further research is needed to test this method in monkey models of eye disease to measure therapeutic efficacy.

If the cells are successful, they can act as an unlimited resource for human RPE. Since cells are harvested from the human eye, researchers have proposed establishing an hRPESC-RPE donor bank to provide cells that match individual patients without immune rejection.

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