Investigators at Yale University School of Medicine Zero in on Stem Cells (Engineering a blood-retinal barrier with human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium: transcriptome and functional analysis)
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Biotech Week -- Investigators publish new report on Stem Cell Research. According to news reporting originating in New Haven, Connecticut, by NewsRx journalists, research stated, "Retinal degenerations are a major cause of impaired vision in the elderly. Degenerations originate in either photoreceptors or the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE)."
The news reporters obtained a quote from the research from the Yale University School of Medicine, "RPE forms the outer blood-retinal barrier and functions intimately with photoreceptors. Animal models and cultures of RPE are commonly used to screen potential pharmaceuticals or explore RPE replacement therapy, but human RPE differs from that of other species. Human RPE forms a barrier using tight junctions composed of a unique set of claudins, proteins that determine the permeability and selectivity of tight junctions. Human adult RPE fails to replicate these properties in vitro. To develop a culture model for drug development and tissue-engineering human retina, RPE were derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Barrier properties of RPE derived from the H1 and H9 hESC lines were compared with a well-regarded model of RPE function, human fetal RPE isolated from 16-week-gestation fetuses (hfRPE). A serum-free medium (SFM-1) that enhanced the redifferentiation of hfRPE in culture also furthered the maturation of hESC-derived RPE. In SFM-1, the composition, selectivity, and permeability of tight junctions were similar to those of hfRPE. Comparison of the transcriptomes by RNA sequencing and quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction revealed a high correlation between the hESCs and hfRPE, but there were notable differences in the expression of adhesion junction and membrane transport genes. These data indicated that hESC-derived RPE is highly differentiated but may be less mature than RPE isolated from 16-week fetuses."
According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "The study identified a panel of genes to monitor the maturation of RPE."
For more information on this research see: Engineering a blood-retinal barrier with human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium: transcriptome and functional analysis. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 2013;2(7):534-44 (see also Stem Cell Research).
Our news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained by contacting S. Peng, Dept. of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, United States. Additional authors for this research include G. Gan, C. Qiu, M. Zhong, H. An, R.A. Adelman and L.J Rizzolo.
Keywords for this news article include: Tissue Engineering, Genetics, Genomics, New Haven, Connecticut, RNA Research, United States, Retinal Pigments, Stem Cell Research, Biological Pigments, North and Central America.
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