Stem Cells as Tools for Studying the Genetics of Inherited Retinal Degenerations

Authors: 
Wiley LA, Burnight ER, Mullins RF, Stone EM, Tucker BA

The ability to provide early clinical intervention for inherited disorders is heavily dependent on knowledge of a patient's disease-causing mutations and the resultant pathophysiologic mechanism(s). Without knowing a patient's disease-causing gene, and how gene mutations alter the health and functionality of affected cells, it would be difficult to develop and deliver patient-specific molecular or small molecule therapies. Many believe that the field of stem cell biology holds the keys to the future development of disease-, patient-, and cell-specific therapies. In the case of the eye, which is susceptible to an extremely common late-onset degenerative disease known as age-related macular degeneration, stem cell-based therapies could increase the quality of life for millions of patients worldwide. Furthermore, autologous, patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells could be a viable source to treat rare Mendelian retinal degenerative diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt disease, and Best disease, to name a few.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25502747

Journal: 
Cold Spring Harbor
Publication Date: 
Thu, 12/11/2014
Pubmed ID: 
25502747