Transplanted adult stem cells have been found to preserve visual function in mice genetically engineered to model a degenerative eye disease.

Researcher Martin Friedlander and colleagues of The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California used a combination of mouse and human bone marrow stem cells to regenerate the cellular structure of retinas damaged by retinitis pigmentosa—a degenerative eye disease that leads to vision loss and blindness.

“The surprising findings by Dr. Friedlander and colleagues establish a dramatically new paradigm for understanding and potentially treating retinal degenerative diseases using a cell-based approach,” says Paul Sieving, director of the US National Eye Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

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