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Stem Cell Transplantation for Retinal Degenerations
Titre de la conférence
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
ARVO E-Abstract 881
Date de publication
Within the last few years, several reports have revealed that cell transplantation can be an effective way to replace lost neurons in the central nervous system (CNS) of patients affected with neurodegenerative diseases. Concerning the retina, the concept that newborn photoreceptors can integrate the retina and restore some visual functions was univocally demonstrated recently in the mouse eye (MacLaren et al. 2006) and remains to be achieved in human. These results pave the way to a standard approach in regenerative medicine aiming to replace lost photoreceptors. With the discovery of stem cells a great hope has appeared towards elaborating protocols to generate adequate cells to restore visual function in different retinal degeneration processes. Retinal stem cells (RSCs) are good candidates to repair the retina and are present throughout the retina development, including adulthood. However, neonatal mouse RSCs derived from the radial glia population have a different potential to proliferate and differentiate in comparison to adult RSCs. Moreover, we observed that adult mouse RSCs, depending on the culture conditions, have a marked tendency to transform, whereas neonatal RSCs show subtle chromosome abnormalities only after extensive expansion. These characteristics should help to identify the optimal cell source and culture conditions for cell transplantation studies. These results will be discussed in light of other studies using RSCs as well as embryonic stem cells. Another important factor to consider is the host environment, which plays a crucial role for cell integration and which was poorly studied in the normal and the diseased retina. Nonetheless, important results were recently generated to reconsider cell transplantation strategy. Perspectives to enhance cell integration by manipulating the environment will also be presented.
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