Displaying all 20 publications

  1. Wong HS, Then KY, Ramli R
    Med J Malaysia, 2011 Oct;66(4):369-70.
    PMID: 22299563 MyJurnal
    We report the first case of Osteo-odonto-keratoprosthesis (OOKP) who successfully underwent surgery in Malaysia following a grade 4 (severe) chemical injury in both eyes in 2006. The patient's left eye was eviscerated and his right eye underwent penetrating keratoplasty. However, the corneal graft failed and became opaque. His right eye could only perceive light. The OOKP was offered to him hoping to recover some functional vision. He underwent a 2-stage surgery to implant the OOKP into his right eye. However, 2 months post-operation, he developed vitreous haemorrhage. A successful pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) was performed via the limited view through the lens. He attained a final visual acuity of 6/60 (N36). He was able to mobilize more independently, feed, dress himself and read large print.
  2. Md Noh UK, Then KY
    Malays J Med Sci, 2013 Jan;20(1):84-7.
    PMID: 23785259
    A 42-year-old man from Ghana presented with bilateral painful corneal perforations following ingestion of a sulphur-based antibiotic. Emergency bilateral penetrating keratoplasty was performed, with restoration of globe integrity. However, surgical complications arose such as non-healing epithelial defect, secondary infection, graft dehiscence, and mounting intraocular pressure. This case illustrates the challenges faced in managing corneal grafts in patients with already compromised ocular surfaces.
  3. Choong PF, Mok PL, Cheong SK, Then KY
    Cytotherapy, 2007;9(3):252-8.
    PMID: 17464757
    The unique potential of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) has generated much research interest recently, particularly in exploring the regenerative nature of these cells. Previously, MSC were thought to be found only in the BM. However, further studies have shown that MSC can also be isolated from umbilical cord blood, adipose tissue and amniotic fluid. In this study, we explored the possibility of MSC residing in the cornea.
  4. Thiagarajah K, Wong CY, Vijayan VV, Ooi GC, Ng MT, Cheong SK, et al.
    Transfusion, 2015 May;55(5):1028-32.
    PMID: 25472857 DOI: 10.1111/trf.12950
    Processed umbilical cord blood (UCB) must be stored at cryogenic temperature at all times to maintain the quality and viability of the cells. However, a challenge is presented in the form of moving a large number of cryopreserved UCB samples to a new location. In this report, we share our experience on relocating more than 100,000 units of cryopreserved UCB samples stored in 12 liquid nitrogen freezers (LNFs) to our new laboratory.
  5. Bastion ML, Then KY, Faridah HA, Mushawiahti M, Othmaliza O, Wong HS
    Med J Malaysia, 2011 Mar;66(1):10-4.
    PMID: 23765135 MyJurnal
    This retrospective study investigated the role of antivascular endothelial growth factor agents (VEGF), ranibizumab, bevacizumab and pegaptanib sodium in patients with iris neovascularisation (INV), in which 9 eyes received intraocular injections for various ischaemic ocular conditions. Ocular sequelae included recurrence of rubeosis (n=2) and hyphaema (n=2). Systemic complication included one case of cerebrovascular accident. INV regressed in all cases from day one. INV recurrence occurred in 2 cases. The mean intraocular pressure of the study eyes decreased from 25.3 mmHg to 18.3 mmHg at one month. Five eyes are medication free. Visual acuity improved in 5 eyes. Four eyes achieved a Snellen visual acuity of 6/24 or better. We conclude that the use of intraocular anti-VEGF agents are safe and effective for inducing the regression of INV. Patients with multiple systemic risk factors should be counseled on stroke risk.
  6. Choong PF, Mok PL, Cheong SK, Leong CF, Then KY
    Cytotherapy, 2007;9(2):170-83.
    PMID: 17453969
    The multipotency of stromal cells has been studied extensively. It has been reported that mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are capable of differentiating into cells of multilineage. Different methods and reagents have been used to induce the differentiation of MSC. We investigated the efficacy of different growth factors in inducing MSC differentiation into neurons.
  7. Chin SP, Mohd-Shahrizal MY, Liyana MZ, Then KY, Cheong SK
    Stem Cells Int, 2020;2020:8877003.
    PMID: 33061992 DOI: 10.1155/2020/8877003
    Background: Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) express growth factors and other cytokines that stimulate repair and control the immune response. MSCs are also immunoprivileged with low risk of rejection. Umbilical cord-derived MSCs (UCMSCs) are particularly attractive as an off-the-shelf allogeneic treatment in emergency medical conditions. We aim to determine the safety and efficacy of intravenous allogeneic infusion of UCMSCs (CLV-100) by Cytopeutics® (Selangor, Malaysia) in healthy volunteers, and to determine the effective dose at which an immunomodulatory effect is observed. Methodology. Umbilical cord samples were collected after delivery of full-term, healthy babies with written consent from both parents. All 3 generations (newborn, parents, and grandparents) were screened for genetic mutations, infections, cancers, and other inherited diseases. Samples were transferred to a certified Good Manufacturing Practice laboratory for processing. Subjects were infused with either low dose (LD, 65 million cells) or high dose (HD, 130 million cells) of CLV-100 and followed up for 6 months. We measured cytokines using ELISA including anti-inflammatory cytokines interleukin 1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA), interleukin 10 (IL-10), pro-/anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6), and the proinflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α).

    Results: 11 healthy subjects (LD, n = 5; HD, n = 6; mean age of 55 ± 13 years) were recruited. All subjects tolerated the CLV-100 infusion well with no adverse reaction throughout the study especially in vital parameters and routine blood tests. At 6 months, the HD group had significantly higher levels of anti-inflammatory markers IL1-RA (705 ± 160 vs. 306 ± 36 pg/mL; p = 0.02) and IL-10 (321 ± 27 vs. 251 ± 28 pg/mL; p = 0.02); and lower levels of proinflammatory marker TNF-α (74 ± 23 vs. 115 ± 15 pg/mL; p = 0.04) compared to LD group.

    Conclusion: Allogeneic UCMSCs CLV-100 infusion is safe and well-tolerated in low and high doses. Anti-inflammatory effect is observed with a high-dose infusion.

  8. Shirley Ding SL, Leow SN, Munisvaradass R, Koh EH, Bastion ML, Then KY, et al.
    Eye (Lond), 2016 Oct;30(10):1293-1309.
    PMID: 27285322 DOI: 10.1038/eye.2016.94
    Erythropoietin (EPO) is a glycoprotein hormone conventionally thought to be responsible only in producing red blood cells in our body. However, with the discovery of the presence of EPO and EPO receptors in the retinal layers, the EPO seems to have physiological roles in the eye. In this review, we revisit the role of EPO in the eye. We look into the biological role of EPO in the development of the eye and the physiologic roles that it has. Apart from that, we seek to understand the mechanisms and pathways of EPO that contributes to the therapeutic and pathological conditions of the various ocular disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, retinopathy of prematurity, glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, optic neuritis, and retinal detachment. With these understandings, we discuss the clinical applications of EPO for treatment of ocular disorders, modes of administration, EPO formulations, current clinical trials, and its future directions.
  9. Rohaina CM, Then KY, Ng AM, Wan Abdul Halim WH, Zahidin AZ, Saim A, et al.
    Transl Res, 2014 Mar;163(3):200-10.
    PMID: 24286920 DOI: 10.1016/j.trsl.2013.11.004
    The cornea can be damaged by a variety of clinical disorders or chemical, mechanical, and thermal injuries. The objectives of this study were to induce bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) to corneal lineage, to form a tissue engineered corneal substitute (TEC) using BMSCs, and to treat corneal surface defects in a limbal stem cell deficiency model. BMSCs were induced to corneal lineage using limbal medium for 10 days. Induced BMSCs demonstrated upregulation of corneal stem cell markers; β1-integrin, C/EBPδ, ABCG2, and p63, increased protein expression of CK3 and p63 significantly compared with the uninduced ones. For TEC formation, passage 1 BMSCs were trypsinized and seeded on amniotic membrane in a transwell co-culture system and were grown in limbal medium. Limbal stem cell deficiency models were induced by alkaline injury, and the TEC was implanted for 8 weeks. Serial slit lamp evaluation revealed remarkable improvement in corneal regeneration in terms of corneal clarity and reduced vascularization. Histologic and optical coherence tomography analyses demonstrated comparable corneal thickness and achieved stratified epithelium with a compact stromal layer resembling that of normal cornea. CK3 and p63 were expressed in the newly regenerated cornea. In conclusion, BMSCs can be induced into corneal epithelial lineage, and these cells are viable for the formation of TEC, to be used for the reconstruction of the corneal surface in the limbal stem cell deficient model.
  10. Govindasamy V, Rajendran A, Lee ZX, Ooi GC, Then KY, Then KL, et al.
    Cell Biol Int, 2021 Oct;45(10):1999-2016.
    PMID: 34245637 DOI: 10.1002/cbin.11652
    Ageing and age-related diseases share some basic origin that largely converges on inflammation. Precisely, it boils down to a common pathway characterised by the appearance of a fair amount of proinflammatory cytokines known as inflammageing. Among the proposed treatment for antiageing, MSCs gained attention in recent years. Since mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) can differentiate itself into a myriad of terminal cells, previously it was believed that these cells migrate to the site of injury and perform their therapeutic effect. However, with the more recent discovery of huge amounts of paracrine factors secreted by MSCs, it is now widely accepted that these cells do not engraft upon transplantation but rather unveil their benefits through excretion of bioactive molecules namely those involved in inflammatory and immunomodulatory activities. Conversely, the true function of these paracrine changes has not been thoroughly investigated all these years. Hence, this review will describe in detail on ways MSCs may capitalize its paracrine properties in modulating antiageing process. Through a comprehensive literature search various elements in the antiageing process, we aim to provide a novel treatment perspective of MSCs in antiageing related clinical conditions.
  11. Leow SN, Luu CD, Hairul Nizam MH, Mok PL, Ruhaslizan R, Wong HS, et al.
    PLoS One, 2015;10(6):e0128973.
    PMID: 26107378 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0128973
    To investigate the safety and efficacy of subretinal injection of human Wharton's Jelly-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hWJ-MSCs) on retinal structure and function in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats.
  12. Ridzuan N, Zakaria N, Widera D, Sheard J, Morimoto M, Kiyokawa H, et al.
    Stem Cell Res Ther, 2021 01 12;12(1):54.
    PMID: 33436065 DOI: 10.1186/s13287-020-02088-6
    BACKGROUND: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an incurable and debilitating chronic disease characterized by progressive airflow limitation associated with abnormal levels of tissue inflammation. Therefore, stem cell-based approaches to tackle the condition are currently a focus of regenerative therapies for COPD. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by all cell types are crucially involved in paracrine, extracellular communication. Recent advances in the field suggest that stem cell-derived EVs possess a therapeutic potential which is comparable to the cells of their origin.

    METHODS: In this study, we assessed the potential anti-inflammatory effects of human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cell (hUC-MSC)-derived EVs in a rat model of COPD. EVs were isolated from hUC-MSCs and characterized by the transmission electron microscope, western blotting, and nanoparticle tracking analysis. As a model of COPD, male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to cigarette smoke for up to 12 weeks, followed by transplantation of hUC-MSCs or application of hUC-MSC-derived EVs. Lung tissue was subjected to histological analysis using haematoxylin and eosin staining, Alcian blue-periodic acid-Schiff (AB-PAS) staining, and immunofluorescence staining. Gene expression in the lung tissue was assessed using microarray analysis. Statistical analyses were performed using GraphPad Prism 7 version 7.0 (GraphPad Software, USA). Student's t test was used to compare between 2 groups. Comparison among more than 2 groups was done using one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA). Data presented as median ± standard deviation (SD).

    RESULTS: Both transplantation of hUC-MSCs and application of EVs resulted in a reduction of peribronchial and perivascular inflammation, alveolar septal thickening associated with mononuclear inflammation, and a decreased number of goblet cells. Moreover, hUC-MSCs and EVs ameliorated the loss of alveolar septa in the emphysematous lung of COPD rats and reduced the levels of NF-κB subunit p65 in the tissue. Subsequent microarray analysis revealed that both hUC-MSCs and EVs significantly regulate multiple pathways known to be associated with COPD.

    CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, we show that hUC-MSC-derived EVs effectively ameliorate by COPD-induced inflammation. Thus, EVs could serve as a new cell-free-based therapy for the treatment of COPD.

  13. Looi SY, Bastion MC, Leow SN, Luu CD, Hairul NMH, Ruhaslizan R, et al.
    Indian J Ophthalmol, 2022 Jan;70(1):201-209.
    PMID: 34937239 DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_473_21
    Purpose: There are no effective treatments currently available for optic nerve transection injuries. Stem cell therapy represents a feasible future treatment option. This study investigated the therapeutic potential of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cell (hUC-MSC) transplantation in rats with optic nerve injury.

    Methods: Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were divided into three groups: a no-treatment control group (n = 6), balanced salt solution (BSS) treatment group (n = 6), and hUC-MSCs treatment group (n = 6). Visual functions were assessed by flash visual evoked potential (fVEP) at baseline, Week 3, and Week 6 after optic nerve crush injury. Right eyes were enucleated after 6 weeks for histology.

    Results: The fVEP showed shortened latency delay and increased amplitude in the hUC-MSCs treated group compared with control and BSS groups. Higher cellular density was detected in the hUC-MSC treated group compared with the BSS and control groups. Co-localized expression of STEM 121 and anti-S100B antibody was observed in areas of higher nuclear density, both in the central and peripheral regions.

    Conclusion: Peribulbar transplantation of hUC-MSCs demonstrated cellular integration that can potentially preserve the optic nerve function with a significant shorter latency delay in fVEP and higher nuclear density on histology, and immunohistochemical studies observed cell migration particularly to the peripheral regions of the optic nerve.

  14. Lokman Hakim NYDB, Noble S, Thomas NV, Geegana Gamage BS, Maxwell GK, Govindasamy V, et al.
    Eur J Ophthalmol, 2022 Jan 17.
    PMID: 35037488 DOI: 10.1177/11206721211073430
    Over the last decades, the strategy of using stem cells has gained a lot of attention in treating many diseases. Recently, DR was identified as one of the common complications experienced by diabetic patients around the world. The current treatment strategy needs to be addressed since the active progression of DR may lead to permanent blindness. Interestingly, varieties of stem cells have emerged to optimize the therapeutic effects. It is also known that stem cells possess multilineage properties and are capable of differentiating, expanding in vitro and undergoing genetic modification. Moreover, modified stem cells have shown to be an ideal resource to prevent the degenerative disease and exhibit promising effects in conferring the migratory, anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory and provide better homing for cells into the damaged tissue or organ as well promoting healing properties. Therefore, the understanding of the functional properties of the stem cells may provide the comprehensive guidance to understand the manipulation of stem cells making them useful for long-term therapeutic applications. Hence in this review the potential use and current challenges of genetically modified stem cells to treat DR will be discussed along with its future perspectives.
  15. Mok PL, Leow SN, Koh AE, Mohd Nizam HH, Ding SL, Luu C, et al.
    Int J Mol Sci, 2017 Feb 08;18(2).
    PMID: 28208719 DOI: 10.3390/ijms18020345
    Mesenchymal stem cells are widely used in many pre-clinical and clinical settings. Despite advances in molecular technology; the migration and homing activities of these cells in in vivo systems are not well understood. Labelling mesenchymal stem cells with gold nanoparticles has no cytotoxic effect and may offer suitable indications for stem cell tracking. Here, we report a simple protocol to label mesenchymal stem cells using 80 nm gold nanoparticles. Once the cells and particles were incubated together for 24 h, the labelled products were injected into the rat subretinal layer. Micro-computed tomography was then conducted on the 15th and 30th day post-injection to track the movement of these cells, as visualized by an area of hyperdensity from the coronal section images of the rat head. In addition, we confirmed the cellular uptake of the gold nanoparticles by the mesenchymal stem cells using transmission electron microscopy. As opposed to other methods, the current protocol provides a simple, less labour-intensive and more efficient labelling mechanism for real-time cell tracking. Finally, we discuss the potential manipulations of gold nanoparticles in stem cells for cell replacement and cancer therapy in ocular disorders or diseases.
  16. Alsaeedi HA, Lam C, Koh AE, Teh SW, Mok PL, Higuchi A, et al.
    J. Photochem. Photobiol. B, Biol., 2020 Jan;203:111727.
    PMID: 31862637 DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2019.111727
    Blindness and vision impairment are caused by irremediable retinal degeneration in affected individuals worldwide. Cell therapy for a retinal replacement can potentially rescue their vision, specifically for those who lost the light sensing photoreceptors in the eye. As such, well-characterized retinal cells are required for the replacement purposes. Stem cell-based therapy in photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium transplantation is well received, however, the drawbacks of retinal transplantation is the limited clinical protocols development, insufficient number of transplanted cells for recovery, the selection of potential stem cell sources that can be differentiated into the target cells, and the ability of cells to migrate to the host tissue. Dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) belong to a subset of mesenchymal stem cells, and are recently being studied due to its high capability of differentiating into cells of the neuronal lineage. In this review, we look into the potential uses of DPSC in treating retinal degeneration, and also the current data supporting its application.
  17. Koh AE, Alsaeedi HA, Rashid MBA, Lam C, Harun MHN, Saleh MFBM, et al.
    J. Photochem. Photobiol. B, Biol., 2019 Jul;196:111514.
    PMID: 31154277 DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2019.111514
    Retinal disorders account for a large proportion of ocular disorders that can lead to visual impairment or blindness, and yet our limited knowledge in the pathogenesis and choice of appropriate animal models for new treatment modalities may contribute to ineffective therapies. Although genetic in vivo models are favored, the variable expressivity and penetrance of these heterogeneous disorders can cause difficulties in assessing potential treatments against retinal degeneration. Hence, an attractive alternative is to develop a chemically-induced model that is both cost-friendly and standardizable. Sodium iodate is an oxidative chemical that is used to simulate late stage retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. In this study, retinal degeneration was induced through systemic administration of sodium iodate (NaIO3) at varying doses up to 80 mg/kg in Sprague-Dawley rats. An analysis on the visual response of the rats by electroretinography (ERG) showed a decrease in photoreceptor function with NaIO3 administration at a dose of 40 mg/kg or greater. The results correlated with the TUNEL assay, which revealed signs of DNA damage throughout the retina. Histomorphological analysis also revealed extensive structural lesions throughout the outer retina and parts of the inner retina. Our results provided a detailed view of NaIO3-induced retinal degeneration, and showed that the administration of 40 mg/kg NaIO3 was sufficient to generate disturbances in retinal function. The pathological findings in this model reveal a degenerating retina, and can be further utilized to develop effective therapies for RPE, photoreceptor, and bipolar cell regeneration.
  18. Koh AE, Alsaeedi HA, Rashid MBA, Lam C, Harun MHN, Ng MH, et al.
    Front Cell Dev Biol, 2021;9:652017.
    PMID: 33987180 DOI: 10.3389/fcell.2021.652017
    Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are highly regarded as a potential treatment for retinal degenerative disorders like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. However, donor cell heterogeneity and inconsistent protocols for transplantation have led to varied outcomes in clinical trials. We previously showed that genetically-modifying MSCs to express erythropoietin (MSCEPO) improved its regenerative capabilities in vitro. Hence, in this study, we sought to prove its potential in vivo by transplanting MSCsEPO in a rat retinal degeneration model and analyzing its retinal transcriptome using RNA-Seq. Firstly, MSCsEPO were cultured and expanded before being intravitreally transplanted into the sodium iodate-induced model. After the procedure, electroretinography (ERG) was performed bi-weekly for 30 days. Histological analyses were performed after the ERG assessment. The retina was then harvested for RNA extraction. After mRNA-enrichment and library preparation, paired-end RNA-Seq was performed. Salmon and DESeq2 were used to process the output files. The generated dataset was then analyzed using over-representation (ORA), functional enrichment (GSEA), and pathway topology analysis tools (SPIA) to identify enrichment of key pathways in the experimental groups. The results showed that the MSCEPO-treated group had detectable ERG waves (P <0.05), which were indicative of successful phototransduction. The stem cells were also successfully detected by immunohistochemistry 30 days after intravitreal transplantation. An initial over-representation analysis revealed a snapshot of immune-related pathways in all the groups but was mainly overexpressed in the MSC group. A subsequent GSEA and SPIA analysis later revealed enrichment in a large number of biological processes including phototransduction, regeneration, and cell death (P adj <0.05). Based on these pathways, a set of pro-survival gene expressions were extracted and tabulated. This study provided an in-depth transcriptomic analysis on the MSCEPO-treated retinal degeneration model as well as a profile of pro-survival genes that can be used as candidates for further genetic enhancement studies on stem cells.
  19. Alsaeedi HA, Koh AE, Lam C, Rashid MBA, Harun MHN, Saleh MFBM, et al.
    J. Photochem. Photobiol. B, Biol., 2019 Sep;198:111561.
    PMID: 31352000 DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2019.111561
    Blindness and vision loss contribute to irreversible retinal degeneration, and cellular therapy for retinal cell replacement has the potential to treat individuals who have lost light sensitive photoreceptors in the retina. Retinal cells are well characterized in function, and are a subject of interest in cellular replacement therapy of photoreceptors and the retinal pigment epithelium. However, retinal cell transplantation is limited by various factors, including the choice of potential stem cell source that can show variability in plasticity as well as host tissue integration. Dental pulp is one such source that contains an abundance of stem cells. In this study we used dental pulp-derived mesenchymal stem cells (DPSCs) to mitigate sodium iodate (NaIO3) insult in a rat model of retinal degeneration. Sprague-Dawley rats were first given an intravitreal injection of 3 × 105 DPSCs as well as a single systemic administration of NaIO3 (40 mg/kg). Electroretinography (ERG) was performed for the next two months and was followed-up by histological analysis. The ERG recordings showed protection of DPSC-treated retinas within 4 weeks, which was statistically significant (* P ≤ .05) compared to the control. Retinal thickness of the control was also found to be thinner (*** P ≤ .001). The DPSCs were found integrated in the photoreceptor layer through immunohistochemical staining. Our findings showed that DPSCs have the potential to moderate retinal degeneration. In conclusion, DPSCs are a potential source of stem cells in the field of eye stem cell therapy due to its protective effects against retinal degeneration.
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