been successful in transplanting retinal ganglion cells into mice. These
transplanted cells developed a morphology similar to the cells in the retina
with dendrites tending towards the inner plexiform layer and axons growing
towards the optic nerve.
‘Retinal ganglion cell transplant will be a boon for glaucoma patients, as affected cells can be replaced with fully functional cells.’
The cells showed
electrical response and stimulation to light, though not as rapid as the
original retinal ganglion cells.
is the leading cause of irreversible
eyesight loss in the world. The high incidence of this disease condition and
its potential to drastically affect the quality of life of the patient has led
to January, being declared the glaucoma awareness month
. It is caused
due to varied reasons that include mutations in the genes and it results in the
loss of retinal ganglion
cells, which are necessary to carry
information from the photoreceptor cells to the nerve center of the brain.
Therefore, scientists believe that if these damaged
cells are replaced with new retinal ganglion cells (RGC), then there could be a possible cure for the disease.
Faced in Retinal Ganglion Cell (RGC) Replacement
to Promote RGC Migration
- The neurons have to face distal and
local wiring after intravitreal injection.
guidance molecules that exist undergo developmental changes making it difficult
for transplanted cells to train their axons towards the nerve head.
the Retinal Cells
- Local dendrites sent into the inner
- Axons are
elongated to reach the optic nerve head.
the axons in the affected optic nerve, up to the optic chiasma and till the
cells were isolated from newborn rats and then treated to remove endothelial
cells and macrophages. The cultures of retinal ganglion cells were directed
towards the optic nerve head by a process called electro-spinning.
used to elongate the RGC to mimic the real retinal ganglion cells and to
improve their chances of survival. These scaffolds were also used as a cell
This is the
first time retinal ganglion cells have been successfully injected into the eye
as previous studies that attempted to inject these cells have been
unsuccessful. This could be due to the fact that these scientists used cells
that were fully differentiated rather than undifferentiated cells used in
Jeffrey Goldberg, Praseeda Venugopalan and colleagues injected 152 healthy
adult mice with the cultures of RGC with a success rate of 1 in 5. This, according
to Goldberg, is a high success rate for such a delicate procedure.
study injected the retinal ganglion cells into healthy mice. It would be
interesting to study the progress of the retinal ganglion cells in mice that
suffer from glaucoma
ocular transplantation science aid in harboring hope for more effective
therapies. Retinal transplants
are believed to
bring hope for people suffering from retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular
. In this study, retinal ganglion cells have been
transplanted improving the chance for a better treatment measure for glaucoma.
1. Venugopalan P
integrate into adult retinas and respond to light." Nat Commun. 2016 Feb 4;
2. Karl E. Kador,
Hertz, Allison N.
Zindell, Daniel A.
Valenzuela, Mohammed S.
Uddin, Erin B. Lavik, Kenneth J.
Muller, Fotios M.
Andreopoulos, and Jeffrey L.
Engineering the Retinal Ganglion Cell Nerve Fiber Layer". doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.02.027