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B.n. Lu, Yanhua Lin, Yuchun Tsai, Sergey Girman, Grazyna Adamus, Melissa K. Jones, Brandon Shelley, Clive N. Svendsen, Shaomei Wang; A Subsequent Human Neural Progenitor Transplant into the Degenerate Retina Does Not Compromise Initial Graft Survival or Therapeutic Efficacy. Trans. Vis. Sci. Tech. 2015;4(1):7. doi: 10.1167/tvst.4.1.7.
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Stem and progenitor cell transplantation provides a promising clinical application for treating degenerative retinal diseases, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Our previous studies have shown that a single subretinal injection of human cortical-derived neural progenitor cells (hNPCctx) into cyclosporine-treated Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats preserved both photoreceptors and visual function. However, it is still unknown whether nonautologous progenitor cell readministration for sustained vision is efficacious and safe in terms of the initial graft initiating an immune response to a subsequent graft.
A cell suspension containing 3×104 hNPCctx into one eye of cyclosporine-treated RCS rats at postnatal day 21 (P21), followed by a second transplantation at P95 into the previously untreated fellow eye.
hNPCctx delayed photoreceptor degeneration and preserved visual function, as measured by electroretinography (ERG), optokinetic response (OKR), and luminance threshold recordings (LTRs). Visual function and photoreceptors of the initially treated eye were still preserved 6 weeks after hNPCctx were injected into the second eye. Antibodies against T-cell markers showed that CD3, CD4, and CD8 T cells were not detected at P90 and P140 in most cases. No detectable level of anti-nestin antibody was found in serum by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
This xenograft study with cyclosporine-treated animals demonstrates that readministration of hNPCctx into the fellow eye did not induce anti-graft immune responses or lower therapeutic efficacy of hNPCctx in preserving vision. Thus, readministration of progenitor cells to sustain long-term efficacy may be an option for long-term therapies of retinal degeneration.
Translational Relevance: :
Redosing neural progenitors do not affect the efficacy of the initial grafts in protecting vision or induce unwanted immune responses.
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