Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Paradigm shift in the research field of photoreceptor transplantation

06.10.2016

Paradigm shift in the research field of photoreceptor transplantation: mechanism improving the function of the retina works different than previously assumed

The research group of Prof. Dr. Marius Ader, group leader at the DFG-Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Cluster of Excellence at TU Dresden, introduces a new understanding of the mechanism of cell transplantations that aim to improve retinal function. Affected retinal degenerative diseases are for example age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) with a current total of approximately 1.6 million patients affected in Germany.


See press release.

© CRTD

Dresden. The study presented here describes a paradigm shift in the research field of photoreceptor transplantation. Photoreceptors comprise the rods and cones in the retina. Whereas rods are responsible for vision in dim light conditions (“night vision”), cones are responsible for daylight vision and color recognition. In case of retinal degenerative diseases, usually the photoreceptors are affected – leading to clinical conditions like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) or Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP).

First AMD symptoms comprise a blurred and distorted perception in the center of the visual field due to dysfunction and loss of cones. This leads to difficulties in the recognition of people and to a loss of the reading ability. AMD is the most common cause for blindness in Germany. On the other hand, RP leads to a gradual reduction of the visual field due to rod photoreceptor dysfunction and death.

The affected patients develop a “tunnel vision” that leads step by step to a complete blindness as cones are finally also lost. The high number of affected patients, with about 5000 new cases of registered blindness every year, emphasizes the relevance of research in this field.

The study introduced here examines the mechanism underlying the rescue of retinal function observed previously in mouse models of retinal degeneration. With respect to the transplantation of photoreceptors, it was assumed that there is a structural integration of donor photoreceptors into the retinal tissue resulting in functional replacement of endogenous photoreceptors (“cell replacement therapy”). The results presented here show that this is not the case.

The donor cells actually remain at the injection site and instead transfer cell material to endogenous photoreceptors of the recipient. This is a new, unexpected mechanism of cell material transfer between donor and recipient photoreceptors and its potential for the development as a therapy needs to be examined in further detail now (“cell support therapy”).

Further studies carried out by Professor Ader and his research team aim to identify the cellular and molecular preconditions for this process. “Our results open up a potential new therapeutic approach for the treatment of retinal degenerations. Donor cells might support remaining but dysfunctional photoreceptors instead of replacing them.”, Professor Ader explains.

Since 2007, Marius Ader is working as a research group leader at the CRTD. From 2003-2007 he worked as a Senior-Postdoctoral Fellow at the Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin (Ireland). Between 2000 and 2003 he was active as a postdoctoral fellow at the Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE) and the Zentrum für Molekulare Neurobiologie Hamburg (ZMNH).

Publication
Santos-Ferreira T*, Llonch S*, Borsch O*, Postel K, Haas J, Ader M. Retinal transplantation of photoreceptors results in donor–host cytoplasmic exchange. Nat. Commun. 7, 13028. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13028 (2016).

Press Contact

Franziska Clauß, M.A.
Press Officer
Phone: +49 351 458 82065
E-Mail: franziska.clauss@crt-dresden.de

Founded in 2006, the DFG Research Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD), Cluster of Excellence at the TU Dresden has now passed the second phase of the Excellence Initiative which aims to promote top-level research and improve the quality of German universities and research institutions. The goal of the CRTD is to explore the human body's regenerative potential and to develop completely new, regenerative therapies for hitherto incurable diseases. The key areas of research include haematology and immunology, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases, and bone regeneration. At present, eight professors and ten group leaders are working at the CRTD – integrated into an interdisciplinary network of 87 members at seven different institutions within Dresden. In addition, 21 partners from industry are supporting the network. The synergies in the network allow for a fast translation of results from basic research to clinical applications.

www.crt-dresden.de

Franziska Clauß | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Copper hydroxide nanoparticles provide protection against toxic oxygen radicals in cigarette smoke
29.05.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

nachricht Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds
26.05.2017 | Cornell University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Camera on NASA's Lunar Orbiter survived 2014 meteoroid hit

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>