Transplanted Donor- or Stem Cell-Derived Cone Photoreceptors Can Both Integrate ...

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Transplanted Donor- or Stem Cell-Derived Cone Photoreceptors Can Both Integrate and Undergo Material Transfer in an Environment-Dependent Manner

SAGE Open Medical Case Reports, Volume 6: 1–5,

Paul V. Waldron, Fabiana Di Marco, Kamil Kruczek, Joana Ribeiro, Anna B. Graca, Claire Hippert, Nozie D. Aghaizu, Aikaterini A. Kalargyrou, Amanda C. Barber, Guilia Grimaldi, Yanai Duran, Samuel J.I. Blackford, Magdalena Kloc, Debbie Goh, Eduardo Zabala Aldunate, Robert D. Sampson, James W.B. Bainbridge, Alexander J. Smith, Anai Gonzalez-Cordero, Jane C. Sowden, Robin R. Ali, and Rachael A. Pearson


Human vision relies heavily upon cone photoreceptors, and their loss results in permanent visual impairment. Transplantation of healthy photoreceptors can restore visual function in models of inherited blindness, a process previously understood to arise by donor cell integration within the host retina. However, we and others recently demonstrated that donor rod photoreceptors engage in material transfer with host photoreceptors, leading to the host cells acquiring proteins otherwise expressed only by donor cells. We sought to determine whether stem cell- and donor-derived cones undergo integration and/or material transfer. We find that material transfer accounts for a significant proportion of rescued cells following cone transplantation into non-degenerative hosts. Strikingly, however, substantial numbers of cones integrated into the Nrl and Prph2rd2/rd2, but not Nrl;RPE65R91W/R91W, murine models of retinal degeneration. This confirms the occurrence of photoreceptor integration in certain models of retinal degeneration and demonstrates the importance of the host environment in determining transplantation outcome.

Empire Genomic's Mouse Control Y Probe was used in this publication.

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