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Arq Bras Oftalmol. 2010 Sep-Oct;73(5):474-9.

Possible mechanisms of retinal function recovery with the use of cell therapy with bone marrow-derived stem cells.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Universidade de São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.


Bone marrow has been proposed as a potential source of stem cells for regenerative medicine. In the eye, degeneration of neural cells in the retina is a hallmark of such widespread ocular diseases as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa. Bone marrow is an ideal tissue for studying stem cells mainly because of its accessibility. Furthermore, there are a number of well-defined mouse models and cell surface markers that allow effective study of hematopoiesis in healthy and injured mice. Because of these characteristics and the experience of bone marrow transplantation in the treatment of hematological disease such as leukemia, bone marrow-derived stem cells have also become a major tool in regenerative medicine. Those cells may be able to restore the retina function through different mechanisms: A) cellular differentiation, B) paracrine effect, and C) retinal pigment epithelium repair. In this review, we described these possible mechanisms of recovery of retinal function with the use of cell therapy with bone marrow-derived stem cells.

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