Induced pluripotent stem cells generate both retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptors: Therapeutic implications in degenerative changes in glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration

Sowmya Parameswaran, Sudha Balasubramanian, Norbert Babai, Fang Qiu, James D. Eudy, Wallace B. Thoreson, Iqbal Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

91 Scopus citations


The direct reprogramming of somatic cells to a pluripotent state holds significant implications for treating intractable degenerative diseases by ex vivo cell therapy. In addition, the reprogrammed cells can serve as a model for diseases and the discovery of drugs and genes. Here, we demonstrate that mouse fibroblast induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) represent a renewable and robust source of retinal progenitors, capable of generating a wide range of retinal cell types that includes retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), cone, and rod photoreceptors. They respond to simulated microenvironment of early and late retinal histogenesis by differentiating into stage-specific retinal cell types through the recruitment of normal mechanisms. The depth of the retinal potential of iPSCs suggests that they may be used to formulate stem cell approaches to understand and treat a wide range of retinal degenerative diseases from glaucoma to age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)695-703
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010



  • Cone photoreceptors
  • Induced pluripotent stem cells
  • Retina
  • Retinal ganglion cell
  • Rod photoreceptors
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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