University College London and institutions such as the researchers report in a new "Human Molecular Genetics", said they successfully exploited the mice were retinal stem cell transplantation, the transplanted stem cells can be integrated into the new environment of the retina and generating cones , the relevant technology is expected to be used for the treatment of retinal degeneration caused by blindness.
The researchers first extracted from retinal stem cells of healthy mice, then transplanted into the mice suffering from Leber congenital black cataract. Leber congenital black cataract is a hereditary retinal degenerative diseases, mainly in children, lesions and death of patients in the eyes of photoreceptor cells, eventually leading to blindness.
According to reports, the stem cells used in this study contains a gene called Crx, it can guide the generated healthy photoreceptor cells. The researchers discovered that stem cells transplanted into the sick mice in vivo, we found that it successfully integrated into the new environment of the retina, and start generating cones. Cones is a photoreceptor cell, plays an important role in the photoreceptor of the eye and color vision function.
Dr. Jane Soden, who led the research, said newly generated cone cells in very good condition, the first demonstration of the new cells can be implanted in the already mature retina. The researchers next step will be to assess these new cells can improve visual acuity of the mice the extent to which, if the result is significant, will study the possibility of this technology for human.