Southern California College of Optometry, Fullerton, California 92831, USA.
Vision research involving stem cells is a rapidly evolving field. Animal experiments have shown that in response to environmental cues, stem cells can repopulate damaged retinas, regrow neuronal axons, repair higher cortical pathways, and restore pupil reflexes, light responses and basic pattern recognition. Viable corneas have been grown from stem cells and transplanted into humans. Similarly, human trials to repair damaged retinas in retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration patients have produced preliminary successes. This review attempts to place the collective contributions toward stem cell/vision research into a broader clinical model of how stem cells might ultimately be used to restore the entire visual pathway.
PMID:18045253[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]