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Cell-based therapy for photoreceptor layer reconstruction to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis

Transplantation of rod precursors could help reconstruct the outer nuclear layer of photoreceptors to treat AMD and retinitis. In a mouse model of severe human retinitis pigmentosa, subretinal transplantation of photoreceptor precursor cells from postnatal mice led to regeneration of the outer retinal layer of lost photoreceptors. In the same mice, the precursor cells differentiated into mature light-sensing rods that integrated with neuronal synapses, leading to visual function as characterized by the pupil light response. Next steps include differentiating embryonic stem cells to rod precursors for use in subretinal transplantation.

SciBX 6(3); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.71
Published online Jan. 24, 2013

Unpatented; licensing status not applicable

Singh, M.S. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Jan. 3, 2013;
Contact: Robert E. MacLaren, University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.