Molecular signature of primary retinal pigment epithelium and stem-cell-derived RPE cells. Hum Mol Genet

Department of Human Genetics, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.39). 11/2010; 19(21):4229-38. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddq341
Source: PubMed


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is characterized by the loss or dysfunction of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and is the most common cause of vision loss among the elderly. Stem-cell-based strategies, using human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or human-induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), may provide an abundant donor source for generating RPE cells in cell replacement therapies. Despite a significant amount of research on deriving functional RPE cells from various stem cell sources, it is still unclear whether stem-cell-derived RPE cells fully mimic primary RPE cells. In this report, we demonstrate that functional RPE cells can be derived from multiple lines of hESCs and hiPSCs with varying efficiencies. Stem-cell-derived RPE cells exhibit cobblestone-like morphology, transcripts, proteins and phagocytic function similar to human fetal RPE (fRPE) cells. In addition, we performed global gene expression profiling of stem-cell-derived RPE cells, native and cultured fRPE cells, undifferentiated hESCs and fibroblasts to determine the differentiation state of stem-cell-derived RPE cells. Our data indicate that hESC-derived RPE cells closely resemble human fRPE cells, whereas hiPSC-derived RPE cells are in a unique differentiation state. Furthermore, we identified a set of 87 signature genes that are unique to human fRPE and a majority of these signature genes are shared by stem-cell-derived RPE cells. These results establish a panel of molecular markers for evaluating the fidelity of human pluripotent stem cell to RPE conversion. This study contributes to our understanding of the utility of hESC/hiPSC-derived RPE in AMD therapy.

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Available from: Xian-Jie Yang
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    • "A study comparing adult human ESC-derived RPE with foetal human RPE demonstrated a strong correlation in their gene expression profiles. However, iPSC-derived RPE have a distinct gene expression profile, indicating potential differences between ESC-derived retinal cells and iPSC-derived retinal cells(Liao et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Stem cell therapies are being explored extensively as treatments for degenerative eye disease, either for replacing lost neurons, restoring neural circuits or, based on more recent evidence, as paracrine-mediated therapies in which stem cell-derived trophic factors protect compromised endogenous retinal neurons from death and induce the growth of new connections. Retinal progenitor phenotypes induced from embryonic stem cells/induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs/iPSCs) and endogenous retinal stem cells may replace lost photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells and restore vision in the diseased eye, whereas treatment of injured retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) has so far been reliant on mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). Here, we review the properties of non-retinal-derived adult stem cells, in particular neural stem cells (NSCs), MSC derived from bone marrow (BMSC), adipose tissues (ADSC) and dental pulp (DPSC), together with ESC/iPSC and discuss and compare their potential advantages as therapies designed to provide trophic support, repair and replacement of retinal neurons, RPE and glia in degenerative retinal diseases. We conclude that ESCs/iPSCs have the potential to replace lost retinal cells, whereas MSC may be a useful source of paracrine factors that protect RGC and stimulate regeneration of their axons in the optic nerve in degenerate eye disease. NSC may have potential as both a source of replacement cells and also as mediators of paracrine treatment. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015 · Stem Cell Research
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    • "To investigate the gene expression profiling, we performed RNAsequencing . Both the primary RPE cells and the RPE-EMs showed significant expression of signature genes (Fig. 4C) as previously reported [45]. This result clearly demonstrated that RPE cells on the RWSF/PCL/Gt complex maintained the gene-expression signatures of primary RPE. "
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    ABSTRACT: Various artificial membranes have been used as scaffolds for retinal pigment epithelium cells (RPE) for monolayer reconstruction, however, long-term cell viability and functionality are still largely unknown. This study aimed to construct an ultrathin porous nanofibrous film to mimic Bruch's membrane, and in particular to investigate human RPE cell responses to the resultant substrates. An ultrathin porous nanofibrous membrane was fabricated by using regenerated wild Antheraea pernyi silk fibroin (RWSF), polycaprolactone (PCL) and gelatin (Gt) and displayed a thickness of 3-5 μm, with a high porosity and an average fiber diameter of 166 ± 85 nm. Human RPE cells seeded on the RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes showed a higher cell growth rate (p < 0.05), and a typical expression pattern of RPE signature genes, with reduced expression of inflammatory mediators. With long-term cultivation on the substrates, RPE cells exhibited characteristic polygonal morphology and development of apical microvilli. Immunocytochemisty demonstrated RPE-specific expression profiles in cells after 12-weeks of co-culture on RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes. Interestingly, the cells on the RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes functionally secreted polarized PEDF and phagocytosed labeled porcine POS. Furthermore, RWSF/PCL/Gt membranes transplanted subsclerally exhibited excellent biocompatibility without any evidence of inflammation or rejection. In conclusion, we established a novel RWSF-based substrate for growth of RPE cells with excellent cytocompatibility in vitro and biocompatibility in vivo for potential use as a prosthetic Bruch's membrane for RPE transplantation.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Biomaterials
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    • "These cells are generally allowed to proliferate in culture and are thus passaged primary cells (non-transformed cell strains). These RPE cells have been demonstrated to phagocytose POS over a period of several hours and are thus significantly slower than unpassaged primary rat or mouse RPE (Liao et al., 2010; Westenskow et al., 2012). They generally require careful control of culture conditions to achieve re-polarization in culture, which occurs only over a relatively long period (often several weeks) in culture. "
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    ABSTRACT: RPE cells are the most actively phagocytic cells in the human body. In the eye, RPE cells face rod and cone photoreceptor outer segments at all times but contribute to shedding and clearance phagocytosis of distal outer segment tips only once a day. Analysis of RPE phagocytosis in situ has succeeded in identifying key players of the RPE phagocytic mechanism. Phagocytic processes comprise three distinct phases, recognition/binding, internalization, and digestion, each of which is regulated separately by phagocytes. Studies of phagocytosis by RPE cells in culture allow specifically analyzing and manipulating these distinct phases to identify their molecular mechanisms. Here, we compare similarities and differences of primary, immortalized, and stem cell-derived RPE cells in culture to RPE cells in situ with respect to phagocytic function. We discuss in particular potential pitfalls of RPE cell culture phagocytosis assays. Finally, we point out considerations for phagocytosis assay development for future studies.
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