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  1. Ding SLS, Koh AE, Kumar S, Ali Khan MS, Alzahrani B, Mok PL
    PMID: 31060031 DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2019.04.008
    Dysfunctional or death of retinal photoreceptors is an irreversible phenomenon that is closely associated with a broad range of retinal degenerative diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), resulting in successive loss of visual function and blindness. In search for viable treatment for retinal degenerative diseases, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) has demonstrated promising therapeutic capabilities to repair and replace damaged photoreceptor cells in both in vitro and in vivo conditions. Nevertheless, the dearth of MSC differentiation capacity into photoreceptors has limited its use in cell replacement therapy. Erythropoietin (EPO) has vital role in early neural retinal cell differentiation and demonstrated rescue potential on dying photoreceptor cells. Hence, we aimed to evaluate the differentiation capacity of MSCs into photoreceptor cells in the presence of human EPO protein. We derived the MSC from human Wharton's jelly of umbilical cord and transduced the cells with lentivirus particles encoding EPO and green fluorescent protein (GFP) as reporter gene. The transduced cells were selectively cultured and induced to differentiate into photoreceptors by exposing to photoreceptor differentiation cocktail. Our preliminary results showed that transduced cells exposed to induction medium had an enhanced differentiation capacity when compared to non-transduced cells. Our results demonstrated a novel strategy to increase the yield of in vitro photoreceptor differentiation and may be potentially useful in improving the efficiency of stem cell transplantation for ocular disorders.
    Matched MeSH terms: Rhodopsin/metabolism
  2. Qiang S, Alsaeedi HA, Yuhong C, Yang H, Tong L, Kumar S, et al.
    J. Photochem. Photobiol. B, Biol., 2018 Jun;183:127-132.
    PMID: 29704860 DOI: 10.1016/j.jphotobiol.2018.04.003
    BACKGROUND: Retinal degeneration is a condition ensued by various ocular disorders such as artery occlusion, diabetic retinopathy, retrolental fibroplasia and retinitis pigmentosa which cause abnormal loss of photoreceptor cells and lead to eventual vision impairment. No efficient treatment has yet been found, however, the use of stem cell therapy such as bone marrow and embryonic stem cells has opened a new treatment modality for retinal degenerative diseases. The major goal of this study is to analyze the potential of endothelial progenitor cells derived from bone marrow to differentiate into retinal neural cells for regenerative medicine purposes.

    METHODS: In this study, endothelial progenitor cells were induced in-vitro with photoreceptor growth factor (taurine) for 21 days. Subsequently, the morphology and gene expression of CRX and RHO of the photoreceptors-induced EPCs were examined through immunostaining assay.

    FINDINGS: The results indicated that the induced endothelial progenitor cells demonstrated positive gene expression of CRX and RHO. Our findings suggested that EPC cells may have a high advantage in cell replacement therapy for treating eye disease, in addition to other neural diseases, and may be a suitable cell source in regenerative medicine for eye disorders.

    Matched MeSH terms: Rhodopsin/metabolism*
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