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Protein Found in Fat-Derived Stem Cells Could Halt Age-Related Retinal Damage
Date:11/14/2013

Durham, NC (PRWEB) November 14, 2013

A team of researchers from Gifu Pharmaceutical University and Gifu University in Japan has published results demonstrating that a type of protein found in stem cells taken from adipose (fat) tissue can reverse and prevent age-related, light-induced retinal damage in a mouse model, offering hope for those faced with permanent vision loss.

The research, published in the latest issue of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, has determined that a single injection of adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs) reduced the retinal damage induced by light exposure in mice. Also, the study found that adipose-derived stem cells in conditioned medium inhibited the retinal damage by hydrogen peroxide and visible light both in the medium and in live mice.

Moreover the research revealed that a type of protein called progranulin found in the ASCs might be what plays the pivotal role in protecting against light-induced eye damage.

Excessive light exposure leads to photoreceptor degeneration, and several studies have suggested that a long-term history of exposure to light may have some impact on the incidence of age-related macular degeneration. Photoreceptor loss is the primary cause of blindness in degenerative diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

“However, there are few effective therapeutic strategies for these diseases,” said the study’s authors, Hideaki Hara, Ph.D., R.Ph., and Kazuhiro Tsuruma, Ph.D., R.Ph.

“Recent studies have demonstrated that bone marrow-derived stem cells protect against central nervous system degeneration with limited results. Just like the bone marrow stem cells, ASCs also self-renew and have the ability to change, or differentiate, as they grow. But since they come from fat, they can be obtained more easily under local anesthesia and in large quantities.”

The fat tissue used in the study was taken from
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