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S.K. Mistry, D. Messina, I. Harris, T. Kihm, Y. Sauve, S. Wang, S. Girman, T. Holmes, L. Bin, R. Lund; Morphological and Functional Rescue in a Rodent Model of Retinal Degeneration With Umbilical Tissue Derived Cells . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5788.
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To examine efficacy of a defined cell population of human umbilical tissue derived cells (hUDC) to rescue photoreceptors from degeneration.
hUDC were isolated and maintained in culture. They were characterized in detail. A suspension of cells was injected into the subretinal space of postnatal day (P) 21 pigmented Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats. Animals were tested for a range of visual responses at P60, P90 & P120 after which eyes were fixed for histology.
: hUDC were essentially homogeneous and bound surface antigens characteristic of stromal cells such as CD10, 13 and 90, but not markers of hematopoietic or endothelial cells such as CD34 or CD31. hUDC from this process achieved >40 population doublings without karyotypic changes and were determined to secrete neurotrophic, neuroprotective and angiogenic factors such as BDNF, IL6, IL8 and bFGF via ELISA. After subretinal injection, they significantly preserved ERG responses at P60 and P90 compared to rats receiving cells derived from placental tissue, dermal fibroblasts, sham injection and untreated eyes. Further testing at P100 –120 showed that they sustained a mean performance significantly higher than sham–injected and unoperated controls on optomotor test for acuity and that visual perimetry recording from the superior colliculus examining luminance threshold responses also gave significantly improved performance over controls. Histological examination of rats receiving hUDC injections showed evidence of donor cell survival and substantial photoreceptor rescue over controls.
hUDC preserve photoreceptors and a range of visual functions in the RCS rat model; they are also readily obtainable in large numbers. As such they provide an efficient potential cell therapy treatment for patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa.
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