Charakterisierung von humanen Stammzellen für die retinale Regeneration

Zusammenfassung:

Ziel der Studie ist die Differenzierung von adulten Stammzellen aus Knochenmark und Gehirn zu RPE-Vorläuferzellen. Dazu werden die Zellen in einem Wachstumsfaktoren-enthaltenden, chemisch definierten Medium oder als Kokulturen mit humanen RPE-Zellen kultiviert. Die so erhaltenen, differenzierten Zelltypen werden charakterisiert und für verschiedene, für Stammzellen und neurale Linien spezifische Marker auf dem Niveau vom mRNA und Protein-Expression mittels Echtzeit Polymerasekettenreaktion (PCR), Immunhistochemie und/oder Fluoreszenz-aktivierte Zellsortierung (FACS) quantifiziert.

Project description:

Stem cell-based regenerative medicine is emerging for the treatment of many diseases. A successful introduction of these therapies, especially for diseases with currently no cure, depends on identification, isolation, and characterization of adequate stem cells. In this regard, determined or committed stem cells, which give rise to cells of a particular tissue, have been harvested from various tissues in the last decade. These so-called adult stem cells (SC) differentiate into “committed progenitor cells”, which retain a limited capacity to replicate.

In our experiments, we investigate the possibility to pre-differentiate adult SC from bone marrow and brain towards retinal cells types, namely retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). To this purpose, we are culturing human bone marrow-derived stem cells (BMSC) and neural stem cells (NSC) with defined media or in coculture with RPE cells. The cells were afterwards characterized by testing for specific progenitor and retinal markers by quantitative PCR, immunohistochemistry and FACS analysis.

This might provide us with a new source of stem cells for regenerative therapy in retinal degenerations, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), diseases that are leading causes of severe visual impairment in industrialized nations.