Japanese hospital conducts world's 1st iPS transplant of visual cells
Japan Today -- Oct 17
A Japanese hospital said Thursday it has performed the world's first clinical trial of a transplant of visual cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, to treat a patient with pigmentary retinal degeneration.

Kobe City Eye Hospital in the western Japan prefecture of Hyogo conducted the clinical trial on a patient with the disease, which can cause vision problems, including trouble seeing at night, due to a progressive loss of photoreceptor cells in the retina.

There are some 30,000 sufferers of the genetic disorder in Japan, and there is no known treatment.

Depending on how far the disease has progressed, a patient's vision may not improve significantly. Still, the research team aims to verify its safety on humans after it completed testing of the iPS cells on animals.

As gene mutations are believed to be the cause of pigmentary retinal degeneration, the team utilized iPS cells grown from the blood cells of a healthy donor rather than those of the patient.

The cells were cultured into three-dimensional retinal tissue using various substances, which was then made into a sheet containing photoreceptor cells and transplanted into the patient's retina.

神戸市の病院がiPS細胞から作った網膜の細胞を目の難病患者に移植する手術を世界で初めて行ったと発表しました。  神戸市立神戸アイセンター病院によりますと、移植手術をしたのは視野が狭くなったり視力が低下したりする「目の難病」と診断され、このままでは失明する可能性が高い患者です。手術は健康な人のiPS細胞から作った約1ミリ四方のシートを網膜に移植するもので、iPS細胞を使って目の中枢神経の再生を目指す手術は世界で初めてです。
News sources: Japan Today, ANNnewsCH
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