Transplantation of ocular stem cells: The role of injury in incorporation and differentiation of grafted cells in the retina

David M. Chacko, Ani V. Das, Xing Zhao, Jackson James, Sumitra Bhattacharya, Iqbal Ahmad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

106 Scopus citations


The incorporation of transplanted cells into the host retina is one of the prerequisites for successful cell replacement therapy to treat retinal degeneration. To test the hypothesis that injury promotes cell incorporation, stem cells/progenitors were isolated from the retina, ciliary epithelium or limbal epithelium and transplanted into the eyes of rats with retinal injury. Different stem cell/progenitor populations incorporated into traumatized or diseased retina but not into the normal retina. The proportion of cells incorporated into the inner retina was consistently higher than in the outer retina. The transplanted cells expressed markers specific to cells of the lamina into which they were incorporated suggesting that cues for specific differentiation are localized within the inner and outer retina. These findings demonstrate that injury-induced cues play a significant role in promoting the incorporation of ocular stem cells/progenitors regardless of their origin or their differentiation along specific retinal sublineage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)937-946
Number of pages10
JournalVision research
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2003



  • Ciliary
  • Cornea
  • Retina
  • Stem cells
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems

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