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Scientists Find Way of Replacing Damaged Retinal Cells

19 years, 3 months ago

5813  0
Posted on Oct 04, 2002, 5 a.m. By Bill Freeman

A team of Japanese scientists say that they have developed a potential way of replacing damaged retinal cells. Dr Masatoshi Haruta and his colleagues found that they could make cells from the iris become sensitive to light in a similar way to retinal cells by genetically modifying them. The researchers discovered that by inserting a gene called Crx into the cells they could make them produce rhodopsin, a substance found in the retina that adapts the eye to changes in light.

A team of Japanese scientists say that they have developed a potential way of replacing damaged retinal cells. Dr Masatoshi Haruta and his colleagues found that they could make cells from the iris become sensitive to light in a similar way to retinal cells by genetically modifying them. The researchers discovered that by inserting a gene called Crx into the cells they could make them produce rhodopsin, a substance found in the retina that adapts the eye to changes in light. The team say that their findings suggest that iris cells could be transplanted into the retina to treat patients with damaged retinas or degenerative diseases of the retina, such as macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 12th November 2001

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