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  • SOX2-positive retinal stem cells are identified in adult human pars plicata by single-cell transcriptomic analyses.

SOX2-positive retinal stem cells are identified in adult human pars plicata by single-cell transcriptomic analyses.

MedComm (2022-12-31)
Xiaotang Wang, Wei Fan, Zongren Xu, Qi Zhang, Na Li, Ruonan Li, Guoqing Wang, Siyuan He, Wanqian Li, Dan Liao, Zhi Zhang, Nan Shu, Jiaxing Huang, Chenyang Zhao, Shengping Hou
ABSTRACT

Stem cell therapy is a promising strategy to rescue visual impairment caused by retinal degeneration. Previous studies have proposed controversial theories about whether in situ retinal stem cells (RSCs) are present in adult human eye tissue. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) has emerged as one of the most powerful tools to reveal the heterogeneity of tissue cells. By using scRNA-seq, we explored the cell heterogeneity of different subregions of adult human eyes, including pars plicata, pars plana, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), iris, and neural retina (NR). We identified one subpopulation expressing SRY-box transcription factor 2 (SOX2) as RSCs, which were present in the pars plicata of the adult human eye. Further analysis showed the identified subpopulation of RSCs expressed specific markers aquaporin 1 (AQP1) and tetraspanin 12 (TSPAN12). We, therefore, isolated this subpopulation using these two markers by flow sorting and found that the isolated RSCs could proliferate and differentiate into some retinal cell types, including photoreceptors, neurons, RPE cells, microglia, astrocytes, horizontal cells, bipolar cells, and ganglion cells; whereas, AQP1- TSPAN12- cells did not have this differentiation potential. In conclusion, our results showed that SOX2-positive RSCs are present in the pars plicata and may be valuable for treating human retinal diseases due to their proliferation and differentiation potential.

MATERIALS
Product Number
Brand
Product Description

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EGF human, Animal-component free, recombinant, expressed in E. coli, ≥98% (SDS-PAGE), ≥98% (HPLC), suitable for cell culture
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DNase I, grade II, from bovine pancreas