The study of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) has been pursued vigorously since they were first discovered in 2007 due to their ability to be manipulated into specific cell types.
Retinal Pigment Epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells possess numerous characteristics of native RPE cells when examined by immunocytochemistry.
Scientists believe these cells hold considerable potential for cell replacement, disease modeling and pharmacological testing. However, clinical applications have been hindered by the fact that, to date, the cells have required animal products and proteins to grow and differentiate
A research team led by Jason S. Meyer, Ph.D., assistant professor of biology, successfully differentiated hiPSCs in a lab environment—completely through chemical methods—to form neural retinal cell types (including photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells). Tests have shown the cells function and grow just as efficiently as those cells produced through traditional methods.
“Not only were we able to develop these (hiPSC) cells into retinal cells, but we were able to do so in a system devoid of any animal cells and proteins,” Meyer said. “Since these kinds of stem cells can be generated from a patient’s own cells, there will be nothing the body will recognize as foreign.”
In addition, this research should allow scientists to better reproduce these cells because they know exactly what components were included to spur growth and minimize or eliminate any variations, Meyer said. Furthermore, the cells function in a very similar fashion to human embryonic stem cells, but without controversial or immune rejection issues because they are derived from individual patients.
“This method could have a considerable impact on the treatment of retinal diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and forms of blindness with hereditary factors,” Meyer said. “We hope this will help us understand what goes wrong when diseases arise and that we can use this method as platform for the development of new treatments or drug therapies.”
“We’re talking about bringing stem cells a significant step closer to clinical use,” Meyer added.
Meyer, along with two graduate students, have worked for two years on this research with the help of an Indiana University Collaborative Research Grant and funding from the School of Science at IUPUI and the American Health Assistance Foundation.
The research will be published in the April edition of Stem Cells Translational Medicine. Co-authors include Akshayalakshmi Sridhar and Melissa M. Steward.
Meyer began researching hiPSCs while he was a post-doctoral research associate at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, where James Thomson, Ph.D., was one of two investigators to develop hiPSCs from adult cells in 2007. The other, Shinya Yamanaka, Ph.D, from Japan’s Kyoto University, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2012 for discovering the ability of mature cells to be reprogrammed into stem cells.
David Hosick | EurekAlert!
Synthetic nanoparticles achieve the complexity of protein molecules
24.01.2017 | Carnegie Mellon University
Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
24.01.2017 | Universität Basel
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy