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Hum Gene Ther. 2016 Aug;27(8):609-20. doi: 10.1089/hum.2016.083.

Signaling Networks of Retinal Ganglion Cell Formation and the Potential Application of Stem Cell-Based Therapy in Retinal Degenerative Diseases.

Author information

1
1 Department of Ophthalmology, Southwest Eye Hospital, Southwest Hospital, Third Military Medical University , Chongqing, China .
2
2 Schepens Eye Research Institute, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School , Boston, Massachusetts.

Abstract

Retinal degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, and glaucoma result in permanent loss of retinal neurons and vision. Stem cell therapy could be a novel treatment strategy to restore visual function. In an ideal situation, a homogenous population of stem cell-derived retinal neurons with high purity is used for replacement therapy. Thus, it is crucial to elucidate the molecular mechanisms that regulate the development of retinal progenitor cells and subsequent generation of specific retinal neurons. Here, recent findings concerning the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that regulate retinal progenitor cell maintenance and differentiation are summarized, especially transcriptional factors and extrinsic signals. Understanding these mechanisms is indispensable because they have potential clinical applications, chiefly the generation of specific retinal cells such as retinal ganglion cells to treat glaucoma and other optic neuropathy diseases.

PMID:
27466076
DOI:
10.1089/hum.2016.083
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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