[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To characterize the potential of newborn retinal stem cells (RSCs) isolated from the radial glia population to integrate the retina, this study was conducted to investigate the fate of in vitro expanded RSCs transplanted into retinas devoid of photoreceptors (adult rd1 and old VPP mice and rhodopsin-mutated transgenic mice) or partially degenerated retina (adult VPP mice) retinas.
Populations of RSCs and progenitor cells were isolated either from DBA2J newborn mice and labeled with the red lipophilic fluorescent dye (PKH26) or from GFP (green fluorescent protein) transgenic mice. After expansion in EGF+FGF2 (epidermal growth factor+fibroblast growth factor), cells were transplanted intravitreally or subretinally into the eyes of adult wild-type, transgenic mice undergoing slow (VPP strain) or rapid (rd1 strain) retinal degeneration.
Only limited migration and differentiation of the cells were observed in normal mice injected subretinally or in VPP and rd1 mice injected intravitreally. After subretinal injection in old VPP mice, transplanted cells massively migrated into the ganglion cell layer and, at 1 and 4 weeks after injection, harbored neuronal and glial markers expressed locally, such as beta-tubulin-III, NeuN, Brn3b, or glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), with a marked preference for the glial phenotype. In adult VPP retinas, the grafted cells behaved similarly. Few grafted cells stayed in the degenerating outer nuclear layer (ONL). These cells were, in rare cases, positive for rhodopsin or recoverin, markers specific for photoreceptors and some bipolar cells.
These results show that the grafted cells preferentially integrate into the GCL and IPL and express ganglion cell or glial markers, thus exhibiting migratory and differentiation preferences when injected subretinally. It also appears that the retina, whether partially degenerated or already degenerated, does not provide signals to induce massive differentiation of RSCs into photoreceptors. This observation suggests that a predifferentiation of RSCs into photoreceptors before transplantation may be necessary to obtain graft integration in the ONL.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The purpose of the present work was to generate, from retinal stem cells (RSCs), a large number of cells committed toward the photoreceptor fate in order to provide an unlimited cell source for neurogenesis and transplantation studies. We expanded RSCs (at least 34 passages) sharing characteristics of radial glial cells and primed the cells in vitro with fibroblast growth factor (FGF)-2 for 5 days, after which cells were treated with the B27 supplement to induce cell differentiation and maturation. Upon differentiation, cells expressed cell type-specific markers corresponding to neurons and glia. We show by immunocytochemistry analysis that a subpopulation of differentiated cells was committed to the photoreceptor lineage given that these cells expressed the photoreceptor proteins recoverin, peripherin, and rhodopsin in a same ratio. Furthermore, cells infected during the differentiation procedure with a lentiviral vector expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) under the control of either the rhodopsin promoter or the interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) promoter, expressed GFP. FGF-2 priming increased neuronal differentiation while decreasing glia generation. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analyses revealed that the differentiated cells expressed photoreceptor-specific genes such as Crx, rhodopsin, peripherin, IRBP, and phosphodiesterase-alpha. Quantification of the differentiated cells showed a robust differentiation into the photoreceptor lineage: Approximately 25%-35% of the total cells harbored photoreceptor markers. The generation of a significant number of nondifferentiated RSCs as well as differentiated photoreceptors will enable researchers to determine via transplantation studies which cells are the most adequate to integrate a degenerating retina.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stem cells are a tool for in vitro elucidation of the putative role of factors on cell fate. Herein we analyze the role of epidermal growth factor (EGF) on progeny derived from retinal stem cells (RSCs). We isolated cells from neuroretinas of neonate mice. All the proliferating cells harbored the radial glia marker RC2, expressed transcription factors usually found in radial glia (Mash1, Pax6), and met the criteria of stem cells: high capacity of expansion, maintenance of an undifferentiated state, and multipotency demonstrated by clonal analysis. We analyzed the differentiation 7 days after transfer of the cells in different culture media. In absence of serum, EGF led to the expression of the neuronal marker beta-tubulin-III and acquisition of neuronal morphology in 15% of the cells. Analysis of cell proliferation by bromodeoxyuridine incorporation revealed that EGF mainly induced the formation of neurons without stimulating cell cycle progression. Moreover, a pulse of 2-hour EGF stimulation was sufficient to induce neuronal differentiation. Some neurons were committed to the retinal ganglion cell (RGC) phenotype, as revealed by the expression of retinal ganglion markers (Ath5, Brn3b, and melanopsin) and in a few cases to other retinal phenotypes (photoreceptors [PRs] and bipolar cells). We confirmed that the late RSCs were not restricted over time and that they conserved their multipotency by generating retinal phenotypes that usually appear at early (RGC) or late (PRs) developmental stages. Our results show that EGF is not only a factor controlling glial development, as previously shown, but also a potent differentiation factor for retinal neurons, at least in vitro.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In western countries, retinitis pigmentosa (RP) affects 1/3,500 individuals and age related macula degeneration (AMD) affects
1% to 3% of the population aged over 60. In vitro generation of retinal cells is thus a promising tool to screen protective drugs and to provide an unlimited cell source for
transplantation. However, one main limitation is the amount of cells available. Stem cells, that can generate unlimited quantity
of cells, could overcome this hurdle. Indeed, stem cells are defined by three characteristics: the ability to produce a large
population of cells (expansion) and the potency, to produce the differentiated cells composing the organ from which the stem
cells are originated. They are also able to self-renew indefinitely: for instance haematopoietic stem cells, located in the
bone marrow, can expand, divide and generate differentiated cells into the diverse lineages throughout the life, the stem
cells conserving its status (Till et al, 1961). Intestinal stem cells also are able to regenerate the intestine all along life (Potten et al, 1975). The other stem cells properties are the ability to produce a large population of cells (expansion) and as well as
the differentiated cells composing the organ from which they originated.
Advances in experimental medicine and biology 02/2006; 572:377-80. · 1.83 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study identifies and characterizes retinal stem cells (RSCs) in early postnatal to seventh-decade human eyes. Different subregions of human eyes were dissociated and cultured by using a clonal sphere-forming assay. The stem cells were derived only from the pars plicata and pars plana of the retinal ciliary margin, at a frequency of approximately 1:500. To test for long-term self-renewal, both the sphere assay and monolayer passaging were used. By using the single sphere passaging assay, primary spheres were dissociated and replated, and individual spheres demonstrated 100% self-renewal, with single spheres giving rise to one or more new spheres in each subsequent passage. The clonal retinal spheres were plated under differentiation conditions to assay the differentiation potential of their progeny. The spheres were produced all of the different retinal cell types, demonstrating multipotentiality. Therefore, the human eye contains a small population of cells (approximately equal to 10,000 cells per eye) that have retinal stem-cell characteristics (proliferation, self-renewal, and multipotentiality). To test the in vivo potential of the stem cells and their progeny, we transplanted dissociated human retinal sphere cells, containing both stem cells and progenitors, into the eyes of postnatal day 1 NOD/SCID mice and embryonic chick eyes. The progeny of the RSCs were able to survive, migrate, integrate, and differentiate into the neural retina, especially as photoreceptors. Their facile isolation, integration, and differentiation suggest that human RSCs eventually may be valuable in treating human retinal diseases.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2004; 101(44):15772-7. · 9.74 Impact Factor