Cell therapy limits loss of vision in an animal model of retinal degenerative disease

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McGill, Trevor
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, AB : University of Lethbridge, Faculty of Arts and Science, 2004
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat was used as a model of human retinal degenerative disease, and for studying the efficacy of cell transplanation treatments. In order to characterize the spatial vision of the RCS strain, the visual acutiy and contrast sensitivity of adult non-dystrophic RCS rats was measured. The acuity and contrast sensitivity of these rats was normal. The acuity of dystrophic RCS rats was alos characterized to determine how photoreceptor degeneration affects vision. These rats progressively lost visual acuity from one month of age until elevn months of age when they were judged to be blind. The degeneration of vision in these animals was more protacted than would be predicted from previous anatomical and electrophysiological measures. Subretinal transplantation of human-derived Retinal Pigment Epithelial (RPE) cells and human Schwann cells into the dystrophic RCS rat significantly delayed the loss of visual acuity. These studies show that cell transplantation may be a viable method of limiting loss of vision in humans with retinal degenerative blinding diseases.
vii, 77 leaves ; 29 cm.
Dissertations, Academic , Retinal degeneration -- Research , Cell transplantation -- Research , Retina -- Diseases -- Research , Cellular therapy -- Research