Mesenchymal stromal cell-mediated neuroprotection and functional preservation of retinal ganglion cells in a rodent model of glaucoma

Ben Mead, Lisa J Hill, Richard J Blanch, Kelly Ward, Ann Logan, Martin Berry, Wendy Leadbeater, Ben A Scheven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

BACKGROUND AIMS: Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness involving loss of retinal ganglion cells (RGC). Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have shown promise as a paracrine-mediated therapy for compromised neurons. It is, however, unknown whether dental pulp stem cells (DPSC) are effective as a cellular therapy in glaucoma and how their hypothesized influence compares with other more widely researched MSC sources. The present study aimed to compare the efficacy of adipose-derived stem cells, bone marrow-derived MSC (BMSC) and DPSC in preventing the loss of RGC and visual function when transplanted into the vitreous of glaucomatous rodent eyes.

METHODS: Thirty-five days after raised intraocular pressure (IOP) and intravitreal stem cell transplantation, Brn3a(+) RGC numbers, retinal nerve fibre layer thickness (RNFL) and RGC function were evaluated by immunohistochemistry, optical coherence tomography and electroretinography, respectively.

RESULTS: Control glaucomatous eyes that were sham-treated with heat-killed DPSC had a significant loss of RGC numbers, RNFL thickness and function compared with intact eyes. BMSC and, to a greater extent, DPSC provided significant protection from RGC loss and RNFL thinning and preserved RGC function.

DISCUSSION: The study supports the use of DPSC as a neuroprotective cellular therapy in retinal degenerative disease such as glaucoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-496
Number of pages10
JournalCytotherapy
Volume18
Issue number4
Early online date17 Feb 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016

Keywords

  • dental pulp stem cells
  • glaucoma
  • stem cell transplantation
  • mesenchymal stromal cells
  • neuroprotection
  • retinal ganglion cells

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