Research press release


Nature Biotechnology

Transplantation of laboratory-derived retinal cells



今回Robin Aliたちは、胚性幹細胞から実験室で作製した未成熟桿体細胞の研究を行った。胚性幹細胞の方が、ヒトの患者に応用できる可能性が高い。Aliたちは、最近発表された「三次元」法を利用して作製した未成熟視細胞をさまざまな種類の網膜疾患をもつマウスの網膜に移植すると、網膜に組み込まれることを発見した。さらに、生きたマウスの体内で、移植された細胞が成熟して、完全に発生した機能をもつ桿体細胞と外見的に同じような細胞になることもわかった。このマウスの視力を回復させるには、今回の研究で作製した移植可能な細胞よりもはるかに大量の細胞が必要になるため、今回は移植マウスの視力が回復したかどうかは調べていない。

Light-sensing cells generated in a Petri dish from mouse embryonic stem cells can integrate into the retinas of adult mice with retinal disease and mature after transplantation, according to a report published online this week in Nature Biotechnology. The study represents a step in the development of cell therapies to correct vision loss due to retinal disease or injury.

In age-related macular degeneration and various inherited retinal disorders, the function of the retina is lost through damage to light-sensing cells called ‘photoreceptors.’ Previously it was shown that the vision of mice with similar disorders could be improved by transplanting into their retinas immature photoreceptors isolated from the retinas of young mice with no visual impairment.

Robin Ali and colleagues now study immature ‘rod’ photoreceptors made in the laboratory from embryonic stem cells, a cell type that has more potential for translation to human patients. They find that immature photoreceptors produced using a recently published ‘three-dimensional’ method integrate into the retinas of recipient mice with various forms of retinal disease. Furthermore, in the environment of a live mouse, the transplanted cells mature into cells that appear similar to fully developed, functional rod photoreceptors. The group did not assess whether the animals’ vision was improved as this would have required a far larger number of transplantable cells than could be produced in this study.

doi: 10.1038/nbt.2643


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