Enriching new transplantable RGC-like cells from retinal organoids for RGC replacement therapy 

Optic neuropathies, such as glaucoma, are caused by progressive degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), resulting in irreversible vision loss.  Promising RGC replacement therapy to restore vision is impeded by insufficient sources of RGC-like cells. In this study, the researchers enriched RGC-like cells from human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) by using fluorescence activated cell sorting (FACS), a technique for sorting and enriching cells based on the presence of specific surface markers. These RGC-like cells proliferate well and tolerate in vitro 2D or 3D culture. The transplanted RGC-like cells survived and integrated into normal and optic nerve crush mice retina. They were also inclined to cross the optic nerve head and extend to the damaged optic nerve. These data support the feasible application for cell replacement therapy in RGC degenerative diseases, as well as help to develop new commercial cell sorting reagents and establish good manufacturing practices for enriching RGC-like donor cells for further clinical application. The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper. 

Source: Li, Guilan, and Yuanting Luo. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Jan 23;700:149509. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2024.149509.