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Michael Belkin, Avraham J. Treves, Adi Zameret, Nira Blum, Arnon Nagler, Ygal Rotenstreich; Sub-Retinal Injection of Human Adult Stem Cells Preserves ERG Response in RCS Rats. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2233.
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To investigate the effect of subretinal injection of allogeneic human derived bone marrow mesenchymal stem cell population (hBM-MSCs) on the retinal functional electroretinographic activity and retinal structure of the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats.
hBM-MSCs from healthy donors exvivo expended (CD73+; CD90+, CD105+, CD45-), up to for four passages were transplanted into the sub-retinal space of one eye of 20 RCS rats 4 weeks of age. Ten RSC rats were subretinal injected with saline as control. The ERG responses of both eyes of all the animals was tested before the injections and after the injection during twenty four weeks. Animals were dark-adapted for a minimum of six hours prior to the ERG measurements. ERGs were recorded from both eyes simultaneously using golden wire loops on the corneas. The eyes were enucleated and processed for histology.
Four weeks after injection, (Figure 1) the b-wave amplitude responses of the scotopic and photopic ERG showed 77% deterioration from baseline compared to 94% deterioration (P=0.005) in the control groups (not injected eyes and saline injected eyes). These significant diferences (p<0.05) were found up week ten. However post week 10 only 5 animals were left. A cryo-sections obtained at 2-weeks post hBM-MSCs injection, showed a uniform spread of thin red layer (DiI stained cells) over the entire sub-retinal space (Figure 2).
Using a new administration technique that allows homogenous sub-retinal distribution of stem cells we showed for the first time that a hBM-MSCs is capable of preserving significant retinal function.
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