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The generation of patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) holds significant implications for replacement therapy in treating optic neuropathies such as glaucoma. Stem-cell-based therapy targeted at replacing and replenishing retinal ganglion cells is progressing at a fast pace. However, clinical application necessitates an efficient and robust approach for cell manufacturing. Here, we examine whether the embryo body derived from human peripheral blood-derived iPSC can localize into the host retina and differentiate into retinal ganglion cells after transplantation into a glaucoma injury model. Human peripheral blood T cells were isolated and reprogrammed into an induced pluripotent stem cell (TiPSC) line using Sendai virus transduction carrying transcription factors Sox2, Klf4, c-Myc, and Oct4. TiPSCs were differentiated into RGC using neural basal culture. For in vivo studies, embryo bodies derived from TiPSCs (TiPSC-EB) were injected into the vitreous cavity of N-Methyl-d-aspartic acid (NMDA)-treated mice 2 weeks before sacrifice and retinal dissection. Induced pluripotent stem cells generated from human peripheral blood T cells display stem cell morphology and pluripotency markers. Furthermore, RGC-like cells differentiated from TiPSC exhibit extending axons and RGC marker TUJ1. When transplanted intravitreally into NMDA-treated mice, embryo bodies derived from TiPSC survived, migrated, and incorporated into the retina's GCL layer. In addition, TiPSC-EB transplants were able to differentiate into TUJ1 positive RGC-like cells. Retinal ganglion cells can be differentiated using human peripheral blood cells derived iPSC. Transplantation of embryo body derived from TiPSCs into a glaucoma mouse model could incorporate into host GCL and differentiate into RGC-like cells. © 2021 Wiley Periodicals LLC.


Xuezhi Zhou, Yuhua Rui, Jingjie Peng, Yujue Wang, Ye He, Chao Wang, Manjuan Peng, Xuan Zhang, Xiaobo Xia, Weitao Song. Transplantation of reprogrammed peripheral blood cells differentiates into retinal ganglion cells in the mouse eye with NMDA-induced injury. Journal of cellular physiology. 2021 Jun 08

PMID: 34101182

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