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Scientists successfully awaken sleeping stem cells
Date:3/18/2008

e Mller cells and injected each into the space below the retina in healthy mice. In both cases, the cells became progenitor cells and then changed into retinal cells. And with aminoadipate, the newly minted retinal cells migrated to where they might be needed in the retina and turned into desirable cell types. Specifically, they showed that by injecting the chemical below the retina, the cells give rise to new photoreceptors the type of cells that are lost in retinitis pigmentosa or macular degeneration, as a result, leading to blindness.

The teams next step will be to test this process in animals that have been bred to have diseases that mimic macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. The goal would be to learn if damaged retinas regenerate and vision improves. The team will likely use just aminoadipate because it only binds with Mller cells without the side effects of glutamate, which can actually harm retina cells in large doses.

We believe that a drug created from the chemical aminoadipate or a similar compound has great potential for healing damaged retinas, says Chen.


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Contact: Patti Jacobs
pjacobs12@comcast.net
617-868-0077
Schepens Eye Research Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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