Latest News:  
Beijing   Overcast/Shower    24 / 14 ℃  City Forecast

People's Daily Online>>Science

Transplanted cells restore vision in mice with night blindness: study

(Xinhua)

07:46, April 19, 2012

LONDON, April 18 (Xinhua) -- British scientists have shown for the first time that transplanting special cells into the eyes of visually impaired mice can restore their vision, said a paper published online on Wednesday by the journal Nature.

There are two types of photoreceptor cells in the eye: rods and cones. The cells transplanted in this study were progenitor rod-photoreceptor cells. Rod cells are especially important for seeing in the dark as they are extremely sensitive to low levels of light.

The scientist based at University College London injected cells from young healthy mice directly into the retinas of adult mice that lacked functional rod-photoreceptors, which means they are blind in the darkness.

After four to six weeks, the transplanted cells appeared to be functioning almost as well as normal rod-photoreceptor cells and had formed the connections needed to transmit visual information to the brain.

In testing experiments, mice with newly transplanted rod cells were able to use a visual cue to quickly find a hidden platform in a dark maze, whereas untreated mice found the platform only by chance after extensive exploration of the maze.

"We've shown for the first time that transplanted photoreceptor cells can integrate successfully with the existing retinal circuitry and truly improve vision," said Professor Robin Ali, who led the research at University College London.

"We're hopeful that we will soon be able to replicate this success with photoreceptors derived from embryonic stem cells and eventually to develop human trials," he added.

Loss of photoreceptors is the cause of blindness in many human eye diseases including age-related macular denegation, retinitis pigmentosa and diabetes-related blindness.

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:马茜)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name

  

Selections for you


  1. Blooming tulips in Pujiang County, Sichuan

  2. A visit to the 'Ropeway Village' in Guizhou Province

  3. Ten odd customs in Shaanxi

  4. Celebration held to mark centennial of Kim Il Sung's birth

Most Popular

Opinions

  1. Bo investigation warns officials of power abuse
  2. Restart Six-Party Talks
  3. Most Americans see benefits of close U.S.-China ties
  4. Reform will not impair public institutions: ministries
  5. Blasts spell bleak future for Afghan stability
  6. Security cooperation is SCO's shining point
  7. Syria ceasefire is not negotiable
  8. Freedom of speech does not protect rumors
  9. China's state-owned firms not 'non-market' entity
  10. China should be patient during peaceful rise

What's happening in China

'Chinese Seal' imprints on London Book Fair

  1. Chinese 'coal capital' gets ancient face-lift
  2. Salt on baby's burns makes injuries critical
  3. Air quality in Guangzhou deteriorates
  4. Internet a 'big killer' of copyright security
  5. Panic grows over capsule scandal

PD Online Data

  1. Spring Festival
  2. Chinese ethnic odyssey
  3. Yangge in Shaanxi
  4. Gaoqiao in Northern China
  5. The drum dance in Ansai