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J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2017 Jan-Mar;12(1):58-64. doi: 10.4103/2008-322X.200164.

Intravitreal Injection of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Patients with Advanced Retinitis Pigmentosa; a Safety Study.

Author information

1
Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.
2
Ophthalmic Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3
Ocular Tissue Engineering Research Center, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
4
Department of Regenerative Medicine, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.
5
Department of Stem Cells and Developmental Biology, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran; Department of Regenerative Medicine, Cell Science Research Center, Royan Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Technology, ACECR, Tehran, Iran; Department of Developmental Biology, University of Science and Culture, ACECR, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To examine the safety of a single intravitreal injection of autologous bone Marrow Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in patients with advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

METHODS:

A prospective, phase I, nonrandomized, open-label study was conducted on 3 eyes of 3 volunteers with advanced RP. Visual acuity, slit-lamp examination, fundus examination, optical coherence tomography, fundus auto-fluorescence, fluorescein angiography and multifocal electroretinography were performed before and after an intravitreal injection of approximately one-million MSCs. The patients were followed for one year. Further evaluation of MSCs was performed by injection of these cells into the mouse vitreous cavity.

RESULTS:

No, adverse events were observed in eyes of 2 out of 3 patients after transplantation of MSCs. These patients reported improvements in perception of the light after two weeks, which lasted for 3 months. However, severe fibrous tissue proliferation was observed in the vitreous cavity and retrolental space of the third patient's eye, which led to tractional retinal detachment (TRD), iris neovascularization and formation of mature cataract. Injection of this patient's MSCs into the vitreous cavity of mice also resulted in fibrosis; however, intravitreal injections of the two other patients' cells into the mouse vitreous did not generate any fibrous tissue.

CONCLUSION:

Intravitreal injection of autologous bone marrow MSCs into patients' eyes with advanced RP does not meet safety standards. Major side effects of this therapy can include fibrosis and TRD. We propose thorough evaluation of MSCs prior to transplantation by intravitreal injection in the laboratory animals.\.

KEYWORDS:

Intravitreal Injection; Mesenchymal Stem Cells; Retinitis Pigmentosa

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