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Mol Med. 2012 Dec 6;18:1312-9. doi: 10.2119/molmed.2012.00242.

Long-term safety and efficacy of human-induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) grafts in a preclinical model of retinitis pigmentosa.

Author information

  • 1Bernard & Shirlee Brown Glaucoma Laboratory, Columbia University, New York, New York, USA.

Abstract

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved phase I/II clinical trials for embryonic stem (ES) cell-based retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) transplantation, but this allograft transplantation requires lifelong immunosuppressive therapy. Autografts from patient-specific induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells offer an alternative solution to this problem. However, more data are required to establish the safety and efficacy of iPS transplantation in animal models before moving iPS therapy into clinical trials. This study examines the efficacy of iPS transplantation in restoring functional vision in Rpe65(rd12)/Rpe65(rd12) mice, a clinically relevant model of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Human iPS cells were differentiated into morphologically and functionally RPE-like tissue. Quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunoblots confirmed RPE fate. The iPS-derived RPE cells were injected into the subretinal space of Rpe65(rd12)/Rpe65(rd12) mice at 2 d postnatally. After transplantation, the long-term surviving iPS-derived RPE graft colocalized with the host native RPE cells and assimilated into the host retina without disruption. None of the mice receiving transplants developed tumors over their lifetimes. Furthermore, electroretinogram, a standard method for measuring efficacy in human trials, demonstrated improved visual function in recipients over the lifetime of this RP mouse model. Our study provides the first direct evidence of functional recovery in a clinically relevant model of retinal degeneration using iPS transplantation and supports the feasibility of autologous iPS cell transplantation for retinal and macular degenerations featuring significant RPE loss.

PMID:
22895806
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3521789
Free PMC Article

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