Over the past few years a great deal of interest has been generated in using stem cells/progenitors to treat degenerative diseases that afflict different tissues, including retina. This interest is due to the defining properties of stem cells/progenitors, the ability of these cells to self-renew and generate all the basic cell types of the particular tissue to which they belong. In addition, the recent reports of plasticity of the adult tissue-specific stem cells/progenitors and directed differentiation of the embryonic cells (ES) has fueled the hope for cell and gene therapy using stem cells from heterologous sources. Will this approach work for treating retinal degeneration? Here, we review the current state of knowledge about obtaining retinal cells from heterologous sources, including ES cells.
- Stem cells
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