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Stem Cells. 2011 Sep;29(9):1391-404. doi: 10.1002/stem.694.

Effective transplantation of photoreceptor precursor cells selected via cell surface antigen expression.

Author information

1
UCL Institute of Child Health, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, University College London, London, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Retinal degenerative diseases are a major cause of untreatable blindness. Stem cell therapy to replace lost photoreceptors represents a feasible future treatment. We previously demonstrated that postmitotic photoreceptor precursors expressing an NrlGFP transgene integrate into the diseased retina and restore some light sensitivity. As genetic modification of precursor cells derived from stem cell cultures is not desirable for therapy, we have tested cell selection strategies using fluorochrome-conjugated antibodies recognizing cell surface antigens to sort photoreceptor precursors. Microarray analysis of postnatal NrlGFP-expressing precursors identified four candidate genes encoding cell surface antigens (Nt5e, Prom1, Podxl, and Cd24a). To test the feasibility of using donor cells isolated using cell surface markers for retinal therapy, cells selected from developing retinae by fluorescence-activated cell sorting based on Cd24a expression (using CD24 antibody) and/or Nt5e expression (using CD73 antibody) were transplanted into the wild-type or Crb1(rd8/rd8) or Prph2(rd2/rd2) mouse eye. The CD73/CD24-sorted cells migrated into the outer nuclear layer, acquired the morphology of mature photoreceptors and expressed outer segment markers. They showed an 18-fold higher integration efficiency than that of unsorted cells and 2.3-fold higher than cells sorted based on a single genetic marker, NrlGFP, expression. These proof-of-principle studies show that transplantation competent photoreceptor precursor cells can be efficiently isolated from a heterogeneous mix of cells using cell surface antigens without loss of viability for the purpose of retinal stem cell therapy. Refinement of the selection of donorphotoreceptor precursor cells can increase the number of integrated photoreceptor cells,which is a prerequisite for the restoration of sight.

PMID:
21774040
PMCID:
PMC3303132
DOI:
10.1002/stem.694
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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