Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Discover Retinal Stem Cells In Adult Mammals

Date:
March 17, 2000
Source:
University Of Toronto
Summary:
When it comes to stem cells, it appears the eyes have it. Researchers at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) have identified retinal stem cells in the adult mammalian eye, opening the door for retinal regeneration as a possible cure for damaged or diseased eyes.

When it comes to stem cells, it appears the eyes have it. Researchers at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC) have identified retinal stem cells in the adult mammalian eye, opening the door for retinal regeneration as a possible cure for damaged or diseased eyes.

Related Articles


"Before our study, it wasn't known whether retinal regeneration was possible in adult mammals, especially humans," says Vincent Tropepe, a PhD student in U of T's developmental biology program and lead author of the study that appears in the March 17 edition of the journal Science. "We've shown that by removing these cells from the eye, we can encourage the production of new neurons even after the retinas have fully matured and cell division has stopped."

Stem cells give rise to a lineage of other cells by simultaneously dividing and self-renewing, beginning in the embryo and continuing throughout post-natal life and into adulthood. When this cell division occurs, one of the two new cells is identical to the original while the other is slightly different. These new cells continue to divide and can become specialized and replace others that die or are lost.

In their study, researchers discovered retinal stem cells in the tissue of adult mice, cows and humans. Previously, only amphibians and fish were thought to have retinal stem cells capable of regenerating and making new neurons. "The stem cells we discovered appear to be under inhibitory control while still in the eye, but proliferate once they are removed," says Roderick McInnes, holder of the Anne and Max Tannenbaum Chair in Molecular Medicine at HSC and U of T.

The research team now hopes to be able to stimulate the stem cells in their natural region inside the eye in order to generate new neurons to help return the eyes to their proper function. "Our next goal is to find those factors that inhibit them from proliferating in their natural region inside the eye and release that inhibition so as to give the cells the ability to regenerate and ultimately produce the different types of cells needed to make a new retina," says Derek van der Kooy, professor of anatomy and cell biology in U of T's Faculty of Medicine.

While finding that elusive inhibitory factor would be ideal, researchers say other methods can be explored. "If we can't find a way to relieve the inhibitory factors in the real eye then an alternative would be to remove and culture the cells, make the right tissue type that's missing and then put them back," adds Tropepe, who conducted the research as part of his thesis on characterizing neural stem cells during development of the brain. "We now need to determine if these cells are completely committed to producing their own tissue or if they can be convinced to make other tissue types."

Tropepe says this finding contributes to the rapidly growing body of evidence that the adult brain has more potential to regenerate and grow new neurons than people previously thought. "It's a matter of trying to figure out how we can generate new neurons from these stem cells in vivo."

This research was partly funded by the Medical Research Council of Canada, University Medical Discoveries Inc. and two members of the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program - the Canadian Genetic Diseases Network and the NeuroScience Network.

CONTACT:

Steven de Sousa
U of T Public Affairs
(416) 978-5949
[email protected]
http://www.newsandevents.utoronto.ca


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Toronto. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Toronto. "Researchers Discover Retinal Stem Cells In Adult Mammals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 March 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000314164335.htm>.
University Of Toronto. (2000, March 17). Researchers Discover Retinal Stem Cells In Adult Mammals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000314164335.htm
University Of Toronto. "Researchers Discover Retinal Stem Cells In Adult Mammals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/03/000314164335.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Experimental Ebola Vaccine Shows Promise In Human Trial

Newsy (Nov. 27, 2014) — A recent test of a prototype Ebola vaccine generated an immune response to the disease in subjects. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Pet Dogs to Be Used in Anti-Ageing Trial

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 26, 2014) — Researchers in the United States are preparing to discover whether a drug commonly used in human organ transplants can extend the lifespan and health quality of pet dogs. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Today's Prostheses Are More Capable Than Ever

Newsy (Nov. 26, 2014) — Advances in prosthetics are making replacement body parts stronger and more lifelike than they’ve ever been. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins