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PLoS One. 2013 Aug 19;8(8):e71855. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071855. eCollection 2013.

Engrafted human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived anterior specified neural progenitors protect the rat crushed optic nerve.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is a common occurrence in several eye diseases. This study examined the functional improvement and protection of host RGCs in addition to the survival, integration and neuronal differentiation capabilities of anterior specified neural progenitors (NPs) following intravitreal transplantation.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

NPs were produced under defined conditions from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and transplanted into rats whose optic nerves have been crushed (ONC). hiPSCs were induced to differentiate into anterior specified NPs by the use of Noggin and retinoic acid. The hiPSC-NPs were labeled by green fluorescent protein or a fluorescent tracer 1,1' -dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) and injected two days after induction of ONC in hooded rats. Functional analysis according to visual evoked potential recordings showed significant amplitude recovery in animals transplanted with hiPSC-NPs. Retrograde labeling by an intra-collicular DiI injection showed significantly higher numbers of RGCs and spared axons in ONC rats treated with hiPSC-NPs or their conditioned medium (CM). The analysis of CM of hiPSC-NPs showed the secretion of ciliary neurotrophic factor, basic fibroblast growth factor, and insulin-like growth factor. Optic nerve of cell transplanted groups also had increased GAP43 immunoreactivity and myelin staining by FluoroMyelin™ which imply for protection of axons and myelin. At 60 days post-transplantation hiPSC-NPs were integrated into the ganglion cell layer of the retina and expressed neuronal markers.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE:

The transplantation of anterior specified NPs may improve optic nerve injury through neuroprotection and differentiation into neuronal lineages. These NPs possibly provide a promising new therapeutic approach for traumatic optic nerve injuries and loss of RGCs caused by other diseases.

PMID:
23977164
PMCID:
PMC3747054
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0071855
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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