Proteins may help slow down AMD progression
Sunday, January 5 2014 | 00 h 00 min | News
Japanese researchers have shown that a type of protein found in stem cells can reverse, and even prevent, retinal damage related to repetitive exposure to UV rays…in mice.
The researchers determined that a single injection of adipose-derived stem cells reduced the retinal damage induced by light exposure in mice. Even more important, their research revealed that progranulin, a protein found in these stem cells, could play a key role in protecting against light-induced eye damage.
“Recent studies have demonstrated that bone marrow-derived stem cells protect against central nervous system degeneration with limited results,” say the authors of the article, published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine. “Just like the bone marrow stem cells, adipose-derived stem cells also self-renew and have the ability to change, or differentiate, as they grow. But since they come from fat, they can be obtained more easily under local anesthesia and in large quantities.”
The authors say that progranulin could become a potential target for the treatment of degenerative diseases such as AMD and retinitis pigmentosa.