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Stem Cell Reports. 2014 Jan 2;2(1):64-77. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2013.11.005. eCollection 2014 Jan 14.

Human RPE stem cells grown into polarized RPE monolayers on a polyester matrix are maintained after grafting into rabbit subretinal space.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Bonn 53127, Germany.
2
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Bonn, Bonn 53127, Germany ; Mettapracharak Eye Institute, Raikhing, Nakhon Pathom 73210, Thailand.
3
Department of Ophthalmology, University of Muenster, Muenster 48149, Germany.
4
Neural Stem Cell Institute, Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA.

Abstract

Transplantation of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is being developed as a cell-replacement therapy for age-related macular degeneration. Human embryonic stem cell (hESC) and induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived RPE are currently translating toward clinic. We introduce the adult human RPE stem cell (hRPESC) as an alternative RPE source. Polarized monolayers of adult hRPESC-derived RPE grown on polyester (PET) membranes had near-native characteristics. Trephined pieces of RPE monolayers on PET were transplanted subretinally in the rabbit, a large-eyed animal model. After 4 days, retinal edema was observed above the implant, detected by spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and fundoscopy. At 1 week, retinal atrophy overlying the fetal or adult transplant was observed, remaining stable thereafter. Histology obtained 4 weeks after implantation confirmed a continuous polarized human RPE monolayer on PET. Taken together, the xeno-RPE survived with retained characteristics in the subretinal space. These experiments support that adult hRPESC-derived RPE are a potential source for transplantation therapies.

PMID:
24511471
PMCID:
PMC3916756
DOI:
10.1016/j.stemcr.2013.11.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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