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NIH discovery brings stem cell therapy for eye disease closer to the clinic

(NIH/National Eye Institute) Scientists at the National Eye Institute report that tiny tube-like protrusions called primary cilia on cells of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) -- a layer of cells in the back of the eye -- are essential for the survival of the retina's light-sensing photoreceptors. The discovery has advanced efforts to make stem cell-derived RPE for transplantation into patients with geographic atrophy, otherwise known as dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness in the US.
Source: EurekAlert! - Biology - Category: Biology Source Type: news

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Abstract A major cause for vision impairment and blindness in industrialized countries is the loss of the light-sensing retinal tissue in the eye. Photoreceptor damage is one of the main characteristics found in retinal degeneration diseases, such as Retinitis Pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration. The lack of effective therapies to stop photoreceptor loss together with the absence of significant intrinsic regeneration in the human retina converts such degenerative diseases into permanent conditions that are currently irreversible. Cell replacement by means of photoreceptor transplantation has been propos...
Source: Developmental Biology - Category: Biology Authors: Tags: Dev Biol Source Type: research
Abstract Retinal degenerative diseases, which include age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy, and glaucoma, mostly affect the elderly population and are the most common cause of decreased quality of vision or even blindness. So far, there is no satisfactory treatment protocol to prevent, stop, or cure these disorders. A great hope and promise for patients suffering from retinal diseases is represented by stem cell-based therapy that could replace diseased or missing retinal cells and support regeneration. In this respect, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that can be obtained from...
Source: Cell Transplantation - Category: Cytology Authors: Tags: Cell Transplant Source Type: research
This report captures the state of the research community in a nutshell: progress in the sense that ever more scientists are willing to make the treatment of aging the explicit goal of their research, but, unfortunately, there is still a long way to go in improving the nature of that research. It is still near entirely made up of projects that cannot possibly produce a robust and large impact on human life span. The only course of action likely to extend life by decades in the near future is implementation of the SENS vision for rejuvenation therapies - to repair the molecular damage that causes aging. Everything else on th...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
In conclusion, DNAm of multiple disease-related genes are strongly linked to mortality outcomes. The recently established epigenetic clock (DNAm age) has received growing attention as an increasing number of studies have uncovered it to be a proxy of biological ageing and thus potentially providing a measure for assessing health and mortality. Intriguingly, we targeted mortality-related DNAm changes and did not find any overlap with previously established CpGs that are used to determine the DNAm age. Our findings are in line with evidence, suggesting that DNAm involved in ageing or health-related outcomes are mostly...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Abstract Retinal degenerative diseases, which include age-related macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma, mostly affect the elderly population, and are the most common cause of decreased quality of vision or even blindness. So far, there is no satisfactory treatment protocol to prevent, stop or cure these disorders. A great hope and promise for patients suffering from retinal diseases is represented by stem cell-based therapy which could replace diseased or missing retinal cells, and support regeneration. In this respect, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) which can be obtained fr...
Source: Cell Transplantation - Category: Cytology Authors: Tags: Cell Transplant Source Type: research
Fujifilm Holdings (TSE:4901) company Cellular Dynamics International said today it is launching Opsis Therapeutics, a new venture aiming to develop treatments for patient suffering from retinal diseases. The newly formed business aims to focus on retinal cell manufacturing and application of regenerative medicines for treating retinal diseases, the company said. CDI made the initial seed investment in Opsis Therapeutics with additional investments slated “as needed” for full-scale development. “Acquired and inherited diseases of the retina, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigme...
Source: Mass Device - Category: Medical Equipment Authors: Tags: Business/Financial News Optical/Ophthalmic Regenerative Medicine Cellular Dynamics International Inc. Fujifilm Holdings Opsis Therapeutics Source Type: news
This study demonstrates that TNTs play a significant part in the intercellular transfer of α-synuclein fibrils and reveals the specific role of lysosomes in this process. This represents a major breakthrough in understanding the mechanisms underlying the progression of synucleinopathies. These compelling findings, together with previous reports from the same team, point to the general role of TNTs in the propagation of prion-like proteins in neurodegenerative diseases and identify TNTs as a new therapeutic target to combat the progression of these incurable diseases. Shorter Period of Rapamycin Treatment in...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Newsletters Source Type: blogs
Authors: Sachdeva MM, Eliott D Abstract Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) represents a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, and Stargardt's macular dystrophy (SMD) is the most common form of juvenile-onset macular degeneration. Dry AMD and SMD share an underlying pathophysiology, namely dysfunction and ultimately loss of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), suggesting that RPE transplantation may offer a potential treatment strategy for both patient populations. Stem cells have emerged as a promising source of replacement RPE. During the past 15 years, extraordinary strides have been made in the identif...
Source: Seminars in Ophthalmology - Category: Opthalmology Tags: Semin Ophthalmol Source Type: research
Conclusions: We have successfully differentiated rESCs to glia enriched RPCs and retinal neuron enriched RPCs in vitro. The retinal neuron enriched rESC-RPC2 protected the structure and function of retina in rats with genetic retinal degeneration and could be a candidate cell source for treating some degenerative retinal diseases in human trials.
Source: Stem Cell Research and Therapy - Category: Stem Cells Authors: Source Type: research
An important factor in the speed of development, cost, and availability of future stem cell therapies is the existence of an efficient, reliable way to create large numbers of the specific cell types needed. This is one of the main limiting factors for many areas of medical development in cell-based regenerative medicine. Here, researchers establish a methodology for generation of photoreceptor cells that could be used to rebuild retinal tissue, which is good news for progress towards regenerative therapies for conditions such as macular degeneration: Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is due to the degeneration of t...
Source: Fight Aging! - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Daily News Source Type: blogs
More News: Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) | Biology | Blindness | Opthalmology | Stem Cell Therapy | Stem Cells | Transplants | Vitamin A