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  • Repair of Retinal Degeneration by Human Amniotic Epithelial Stem Cell-Derived Photoreceptor-like Cells.

Repair of Retinal Degeneration by Human Amniotic Epithelial Stem Cell-Derived Photoreceptor-like Cells.

International journal of molecular sciences (2022-08-13)
Jinying Li, Chen Qiu, Jiayi Zhou, Yang Wei, Weixin Yuan, Jia Liu, Wenyu Cui, Jianan Huang, Cong Qiu, Lihe Guo, Luyang Yu, Zhen Ge
ABSTRACT

The loss of photoreceptors is a major event of retinal degeneration that accounts for most cases of untreatable blindness globally. To date, there are no efficient therapeutic approaches to treat this condition. In the present study, we aimed to investigate whether human amniotic epithelial stem cells (hAESCs) could serve as a novel seed cell source of photoreceptors for therapy. Here, a two-step treatment with combined Wnt, Nodal, and BMP inhibitors, followed by another cocktail of retinoic acid, taurine, and noggin induced photoreceptor-like cell differentiation of hAESCs. The differentiated cells demonstrated the morphology and signature marker expression of native photoreceptor cells and, intriguingly, bore very low levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules and a high level of non-classical MHC class I molecule HLA-G. Importantly, subretinal transplantation of the hAESCs-derived PR-like cells leads to partial restoration of visual function and retinal structure in Royal College of Surgeon (RCS) rats, the classic preclinical model of retinal degeneration. Together, our results reveal hAESCs as a potential source of functional photoreceptor cells; the hAESCs-derived photoreceptor-like cells could be a promising cell-replacement candidate for therapy of retinal degeneration diseases.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

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