Contributing Editor's Note: The following excerpt
is review of one important work related to eye disease caused by
degeneration of photoreceptors. The death of retinal cells can be
due to defects in the underlying retinal pigment epithelial (RPE)
cells. The aim of the research is to find if such cells can be
implanted. So far the experiments are carried on Royal College of
Surgeons (RCS) rats, results are very promising.
Excerpts: The photoreceptors of rats die during the
first three weeks after birth. (...) implanted cells from an
immortalized human RPE cell line into the three-week-old rats,
then monitored their visual ability and the responses of neurons
in their visual cortex, to assess the effects of the gradual
degeneration of photoreceptors and implantation of the RPE cells
on central processing mechanisms.
Several weeks after implantation, the treated rats were as good
as control rats at tracking moving stripes and distinguishing
between stripe patterns (...).
When the eyes of the grafted animals were examined, they had
around half as many photoreceptors as normal rats.
See, R. Jones, Nature
Reviews Neuroscience, Vol. 3 No. 2, 87, February
- Contributed by Atin