|Programm||"Degeneration und Regeneration– Grundlagen, Diagnostik und Therapie"|
Update in Pigment Epithelial Cell Transplantation in the Treatment of AMD
During the last two decades transplantation of retinal pigment epithelial cells (RPE) to the subretinal space has been advocated as a possible therapeutic modality for the treatment of exudative age-related macular degeneration (AMD) following surgical removal of the neovascular membranes. A number of investigators have attempted transplantation of RPE cells to the subretinal space of animals as well as AMD patients. However, rejection of homologous RPE coupled with the difficulty of obtaining sufficient numer of autologous RPE cells and the traumatic surgical intervention required have led to the hypothesis that autologous IPE cells, which are easily harvested, could be a suitable substitute for RPE cells. Today, there two main avenues of research in pigment cell transplantation, namely transplantation of autologous RPE cells and transplantation of IPE cells. To improve the prognosis for recovery of vision, we hypothesize that it will be necessary to transplant pre-formed cell monolayers, which can more readily integrate into Bruchs membrane and thus acquire RPE cell functionality. Preliminary experiments in cell culture, animal models and human pilot studies have shown promising results.