Bringing daylight back into view: Scientists transplant human photoreceptors to successfully recover daylight perception in mice

A team of researchers from Germany's Center for Regenerative Therapies Dresden (CRTD) reported positive results in their pre-clinical studies where lab-grown human photoreceptor cells (cones) were transplanted into mice with damaged cones. The transplanted photoreceptor cells required up to 6 months to properly integrate with existing retinal cells but were able to successfully mimic the physiological characteristics of normal photoreceptors, allowing the mice to detect daylight with their restored vision.

What this means for Usher syndrome: This study demonstrated the successful utilization of stem cell therapy as a potential treatment for photoreceptor transplantation. Continued studies using other animal models will help researchers evaluate safety and efficacy before possible human clinical trials.

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