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Adult retinal stem cells in macaque monkey give rise to neuron, glia and retinal pigment epithelium

, : Adult retinal stem cells in macaque monkey give rise to neuron, glia and retinal pigment epithelium. ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract Search & Program Planner : Abstract No 1692

Purpose: A self-renewing, multipotential retinal stem cell in adult mammalian has been identified in rodents. The retinal stem cells in the primates such as monkeys are necessary to be studied in detail before the retinal stem cells can become used for therapy in human. In the present study, adult retinal stem cells in macaque monkey are identified and characterized, in vivo. Methods: To clarify the localization of stem cells in macaque monkeys, the cells from peripheral neural retina, peripheral retinal pigment epithelium, ciliary body and iris were subjected to neurosphere forming assay, an assay widely employed for the isolation neural stem cells, to yield cell clusters called "(neuro) spheres". Self-renewal capability was tested by subculturing the dissociated cells from the spheres, and multipotency of the cells was examined by immunocytochemistry using pan-neuronal and astrocytic marker, as well as retinal cell markers. Results: Only the cells from the epithelial ciliary body and iris could proliferate to form sphere colonies. Dissociated cells from spheres of the epithelial ciliary body could proliferate to generate daughter sphere colonies whereas dissociated cells from spheres of the iris could not proliferate to generate daughter sphere colonies. When spheres from the epithelial ciliary body were cultured under differentiation conditions, the cells morphologically epithelial cells as well as to neurons were observed. The cells expressed pan-neuronal marker, microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), astrocytic marker, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), selective markers of retinal cells; a photoreceptor specific marker protein, opsin and a retinal pigment epithelial marker, cytokeratin. Conclusions: Cilialy body of adult monkey contains retinal stem cells that can give rise to neuron, glia and retinal pigment epithelium in vitro.


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