Bone marrow-derived cells home to and regenerate retinal pigment epithelium after injury

Jeffrey R. Harris, Gary A.J. Brown, Marda Jorgensen, Shalesh Kaushal, E. Ann Ellis, Maria B. Grant, Edward W. Scott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. To determine whether hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSCs/HPCs) can home to and regenerate the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) after induced injury. METHODS. Enriched HSCs/HPCs from green fluorescent protein (gfp) transgenic mice were transplanted into irradiated recipient mice to track bone marrow-derived cells. Physical damage was induced by breaching Bruch's membrane and inducing vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFa) expression to promote neovascularization. RPE damage was also induced by sodium iodate injection (40 mg/kg) into wild-type or albino C57Bl/6 mice. Cell morphology, gfp expression, the presence of the Y chromosome, and the presence of melanosomes were used to determine whether the injured RPE was being repaired by the donor bone marrow. RESULTS. Injury to the RPE recruits HSC/HPC-derived cells to incorporate into the RPE layer and differentiate into an RPE phenotype. A portion of the HSCs/HPCs adopt RPE morphology, express melanosomes, and integrate into the RPE without cell fusion. CONCLUSIONS. HSCs/HPCs can migrate to the RPE layer after physical or chemical injury and regenerate a portion of the damaged cell layer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2108-2113
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Cite this

Harris, J. R., Brown, G. A. J., Jorgensen, M., Kaushal, S., Ellis, E. A., Grant, M. B., & Scott, E. W. (2006). Bone marrow-derived cells home to and regenerate retinal pigment epithelium after injury. Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, 47(5), 2108-2113.