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S. Z. Scalinci, L. Scorolli, F. Alviano, G. Lanzoni, R. Costa, C. Marchionni, L. Bonsi, G. Bagnara, P. Tazzari, L. Calzà; Human Placenta Stem Cells as Potential Neuroprotective Mediators for the Treatment of Degenerative Retinopathy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(13):3158.
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Placenta derived stem cells display intriguing features like phenotypic plasticity and immunomodulatory properties. More recently they have been proposed as "factories" of cytokines, growth factors and anti-apoptotic factors. In this study we investigated in placenta-derived stem cells the expression of neurotrophic and neuroprotective factors with a potential for the treatment of degenerative retinopathy.
Stem cells were isolated from amniotic membrane, chorion leave and Wharton’s Jelly. The populations were extensively characterized through flow cytometry analysis and assessed for multidifferentiation potential. Gene expression profile was studied with regard to nerve growth factor (NGF), brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF).
Placenta derived stem cells displayed considerable in vitro expansion potential; they showed an immunophenotypical profile consistent with mesenchymal stem cells; in addition they underwent in vitro osteogenic, adipogenic and angiogenic commitment. Real-time PCR analysisevidenced notable expression levels of neurotrophic factors with differences related to the source. Wharton’s jelly and chorion cultures showed respectively the highest expression of BDNF and CNTF.
In the degenerative context of retinopathy, the retinal photoreceptive epithelium could benefit from the neuroprotective effect of neurotrophic factors released by placenta stem cells. In vivo experiments in a mouse model of retinopathy are underway.
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