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Scientists produce eye structures from human blood-derived stem cells
Date:3/14/2012

in more mature retina.

This time, the team, led by Gamm, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, and postdoctoral researcher and lead author Dr. Joseph Phillips, used their method to grow retina-like tissue from iPS cells derived from human blood gathered via standard blood draw techniques.

In their study, about 16 percent of the initial retinal structures developed distinct layers. The outermost layer primarily contained photoreceptors, whereas the middle and inner layers harbored intermediary retinal neurons and ganglion cells, respectively. This particular arrangement of cells is reminiscent of what is found in the back of the eye. Further, work by Dr. Phillips showed that these retinal cells were capable of making synapses, a prerequisite for them to communicate with one another.

The iPS cells used in the study were generated through collaboration with Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) of Madison, Wis., who pioneered the technique to convert blood cells into iPS cells. CDI scientists extracted a type of blood cell called a T-lymphocyte from the donor sample, and reprogrammed the cells into iPS cells. CDI was founded by UW stem cell pioneer Dr. James Thomson.

"We were fortunate that CDI shared an interest in our work. Combining our lab's expertise with that of CDI was critical to the success of this study," added Dr. Gamm.


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Contact: Lisa Brunette
lbrunette@uwhealth.org
608-263-5830
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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