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Regen Med. 2019 Apr 12. doi: 10.2217/rme-2019-0022. [Epub ahead of print]

The use of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of progressive retinal diseases: a review.

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Polish Center of Cell Therapy & Immunotherapy in Częstochowa, Waly Dwernickiego 43/45, 42-202 Częstochowa, Poland.
Agamed Center of Ophthalmology, Jasnogórska 4, 42-202 Częstochowa, Poland.
Polski Bank Komórek Macierzystych SA (FamiCord Group), Jana Pawła II 29, 00-867 Warsaw, Poland.


Some ocular diseases, such as dystrophies, retinal and macular degeneration, optic nerve atrophy, and Stargardt disease, are progressive and irreversible. In this review, we focus on the use of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) in the treatment of these diseases. In animal studies, MSC transplantation significantly delayed retinal degeneration, led to the regeneration of cone cells, and supported the survival of retinal ganglion cells and axon regeneration. In clinical practice, patients with Behcet's disease with retinal vasculitis who received MSC injections experienced a decrease in retinal vasculitis but no improvement in vision acuity. Nonetheless, there is no evidence that MSCs are carcinogenic, and they even reduce the size of tumors in vitro. Furthermore, MSCs do not trigger the immune response.


MSCs; Stargardt disease; cone-rod dystrophies; macular degeneration; mesenchymal stem cells; ophthalmic diseases; optic nerve atrophy; retinal degeneration; stem cell therapy


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