The visual impairment associated with inherited retinal degeneration and age-related degeneration of photoreceptors is causing substantial challenges in finding effective therapies. However, induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived therapeutic cells such as photoreceptor and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells provide the ultimate options in the rescue of lost photoreceptors to improve the visual function in end-stage degeneration. Retinal cells derived from iPSC are therapeutic cells that could be promising in the field of cell replacement therapy and regenerative medicine. This review presents an overview of the photoreceptor degeneration, methods of iPSC generation, iPSC in retinal disease modeling, summarizes the photoreceptor differentiation protocols, and challenges remained with photoreceptor cell replacement for the treatment of retinal diseases. Thus, the burden and increased incidence of visual impairment emphasizes the need of novel therapy, where iPSC-derived photoreceptor and RPE cells proved to be promising for curing the retinal dysfunction and act as renovation in approach to improve visual function.
Keywords: Induced pluripotent stem cells; Photoreceptors; Retinal degeneration; Retinal disease modeling; Transplantation.
Copyright: © 2019 Tzu Chi Medical Journal.