Increasing demand for clinical retinal degeneration therapies featuring human ESC/iPSC-derived retinal tissue and cells warrants proof-of-concept studies. Here, we established two mouse models of end-stage retinal degeneration with immunodeficiency, NOG-rd1-2J and NOG-rd10, and characterized disease progress and immunodeficient status. We also transplanted human ESC-derived retinal sheets into NOG-rd1-2J and confirmed their long-term survival and maturation of the structured graft photoreceptor layer, without rejection or tumorigenesis. We recorded light responses from the host ganglion cells using a multi-electrode array system; this result was consistent with whole-mount immunostaining suggestive of host-graft synapse formation at the responding sites. This study demonstrates an application of our mouse models and provides a proof of concept for the clinical use of human ESC-derived retinal sheets.
Keywords: human ESC; multiple electrode array; photoreceptor transplantation; retinal degeneration; retinal regeneration.
Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.