Human Embryonic Stem Cell (hESC)- derived Retinal Pigment Epithelial (RPE) Cells (hESC-derived RPE Cells)
The Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE)
The retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a highly specialized tissue that is located between the choroids and the neural retina. RPE cells support, protect and provide nutrition for the light sensitive photoreceptors.
Human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) can differentiate in any cell type, including RPE cells. hESC-RPE cells have similar expression of RPE-specific genes to controls (RPE cells) and demonstrates the full transition from the hESC state. hESC-derived RPE cells have the capacity to support photoreceptor survival and preserve visual function in patients with retinal degenerative disease after sub-retinal transplantation and may help patients with Dry AMD and Stargardt's avoid blindness.