October 31, 2014

Stem Cells Might Now Replace Photoreceptors


Stem Cells Might Now Replace Photoreceptors

The media has been full of news about sight restoration from stem cells. In trials, stem cells are healing the retinal layer (retinal pigment epithelium) that supports the nerve cells (photoreceptors) responsible for seeing light. Scientists, however, have not yet been able to replace damaged photoreceptor cells in humans, but a recent study offers hope that the situation may change.
Professor Marius Ader (DFG-Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden) and Dr. Günther Zeck (Natural and Medical Sciences Institute, University of Tübingen) have reported successful transplantation of cone-like photoreceptors into the retinas of light-blind mice. This is an important first step in the creation of neural cells in addition to RPE cells for restoration of sight in people with macular degeneration and related diseases of the retina. View graphics and explanations of the retinal layers.
Tiago Santos-Ferreira1, Kai Postel1, Henrike Stutzki, Thomas Kurth1, Günther Zeck, Marius Ader. Daylight vision repair by cell transplantation. Stem Cells, DOI: 10.1002/stem.1824.

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