Identification of retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection conferred by platelet-derived growth factor

Identification of retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection conferred by platelet-derived growth factor through analysis of the mesenchymal stem cell secretome

 

Glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world, involves death of retinal ganglion cells within the retina resulting in progressive visual loss. The only treatment to date proven to slow visual loss in glaucoma is reduction of pressure in the eye, but this treatment fails to arrest deterioration in many patients.

In work published recently in the journal Brain, Keith Martin’s laboratory and collaborators at the National Eye Institute in the USA have shown that mesenchymal stem cells secrete a number of proteins that are neuroprotective in experimental glaucoma and that platelet-derived growth factor secretion in particular may play an important role in mesenchymal stem cell-mediated retinal ganglion cell neuroprotection. Furthermore, platelet-derived growth factor was shown to be very strongly neuroprotective when administered into the eye and thus is worth further exploration as a future clinical treatment for glaucoma.

Full article in Brain

MSC

Mesenchymal stem cells (green) protect against loss of retinal ganglion cells (red) in retinal explants and experimental glaucoma

Image: Tom Johnson

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