facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Stem cells turned into photoreceptors could treat vision loss

July 22, 2013 at 7:57 PM   |   Comments

LONDON, July 22 (UPI) -- British scientist say embryonic stem cells turned into photoreceptors can integrate into a live retina, possibly promising new treatments for eye diseases.

Writing in the journal Nature Biotechnology, researchers from University College London report producing rod-like photoreceptors from embryonic stem cells and successfully transplanting them into the retinas of mice.

The result suggests embryonic stem cells may one day lead to treatment for eye diseases sush retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration or other degenerative conditions that can cause loss of vision.

The researchers say they've developed a new method for growing embryonic stem cells that allows them to become immature eye cells and self-organize into three-dimensional structures similar to those seen in a developing retina.

In laboratory tests, the structures were transplanted into the retinas of night-blind mice where they integrated with the natural cells of the eye and formed synaptic connections, the MIT Technology Review reported Monday.

While the technique is probably years away from human trials, embryonic stem cells are already being tested in clinical trials in Japan for macular degeneration.

Researchers there say an alternative source of stem cells, dubbed induced pluripotent stem cells, will soon move into human trials as a treatment for eye disease.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV Perth's first iPhone buyer immediately drops brand new phone on live TV
2
Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police Android phones to join iPhone in saying no to the police
3
Report: Facebook Messenger app is loaded with spyware Report: Facebook Messenger app is loaded with spyware
4
'Finding Nemo' has some basis in science... some 'Finding Nemo' has some basis in science... some
5
2014 summer was hottest on record, NOAA says 2014 summer was hottest on record, NOAA says
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback