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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2013, Article ID 465169, 9 pages
Review Article

Choice of Cell Source in Cell-Based Therapies for Retinal Damage due to Age-Related Macular Degeneration: A Review

1The Mary-Yoshio Translational Hexagon (MYTH), Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), P.O. Box 1262, Nungambakkam, Chennai 600034, India
2Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Plot No. 153, Road No. 9, Major Parmeshwaran Road, Opp S.I.W.S. College Gate No. 3, Wadala, Mumbai 400 031, India
3The Light Eye Hospital, No. 39 D, By Pass Road, Dharmapuri Ho, Dharmapuri, Tamil Nadu 636701, India
4Sankara Eye Hospital, Varthur Main Road, Marthahalli, Kundalahalli Gate, Bangalore 560037, India
5Department of Biotechnology, Acharya Nagarjuna University, Guntur, Andhra Pradesh 522510, India
6Faculty of Dentistry, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong
7Department of Clinical Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Yamanashi, 1110 Shimokato, Chuo 409-3898, Japan

Received 7 January 2013; Revised 18 February 2013; Accepted 5 March 2013

Academic Editor: Pierre Lachapelle

Copyright © 2013 Sudhakar John et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a complex disorder that affects primarily the macula involving the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) but also to a certain extent the photoreceptor layer and the retinal neurons. Cell transplantation is a promising option for AMD and clinical trials are underway using different cell types. Methods. We hypothesize that instead of focusing on a particular cell source for concurrent regeneration of all the retinal layers and also to prevent exhaustive research on an array of cell sources for regeneration of each layer, the choice should depend on, precisely, which layer is damaged. Results. Thus, for a damage limited to the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) layer, the choice we suggest would be RPE cells. When the damage extends to rods and cones, the choice would be bone marrow stem cells and when retinal neurons are involved, relatively immature stem cell populations with an inherent capacity to yield neuronal lineage such as hematopoietic stem cells, embryonic stem cells, or induced pluripotent stem cells can be tried. Conclusion. This short review will prove to be a valuable guideline for those working on cell therapy for AMD to plan their future directions of research and therapy for this condition.