Human adult bone marrow-derived somatic cells rescue vision in a rodent model of retinal degeneration

B. Lu, S. Wang, S. Girman, Trevor McGill, V. Ragaglia, R. Lund

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63 Scopus citations


Visual impairment associated with photoreceptor degeneration is a largely untreatable condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Cellular therapies offer an attractive alternative for the treatment of retinal degeneration. Human adult bone marrow-derived somatic cells (hABM-SCs) present particular advantages for interventional therapy to the eye because they are non-immunogenic, effective at low dose, maintain a stable phenotype and secrete factors known to promote photoreceptor cell survival. Here we assess the potential of hABM-SCs (developed by Garnet BioTherapeutics) to sustain vision in a rodent model of human retinal disease-the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat.A cell suspension of 5×104 cells in 2μl carrying medium was injected into the subretinal space of RCS rats at P21, control animals received medium alone and untreated. Animals were maintained with/without oral cyclosporine A through the experimental period. Visual functions including optokinetic response (OKR) and luminance threshold recording were conducted in both cell-treated and control animals. Histological study was performed afterward to examine donor cell survival and photoreceptor rescue. OKR measured at P60 and P90 in cell-injected groups with/without immunosuppression was significantly better than controls (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)449-455
Number of pages7
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010



  • Adult stem cells
  • Animal model
  • Degeneration
  • Trophic factors
  • Visual function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Medicine(all)

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