The protocol outlined below is used to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into retinal cell types through a process that faithfully recapitulates the stepwise progression observed in vivo. From pluripotency, cells are differentiated to a primitive anterior neural fate, followed by progression into two distinct populations of retinal progenitors and forebrain progenitors, each of which can be manually separated and purified. The hPSC-derived retinal progenitors are found to self-organize into three-dimensional optic vesicle-like structures, with each aggregate possessing the ability to differentiate into all major retinal cell types. The ability to faithfully recapitulate the stepwise in vivo development in a three-dimensional cell culture system allows for the study of mechanisms underlying human retinogenesis. Furthermore, this methodology allows for the study of retinal dysfunction and disease modeling using patient-derived cells, as well as high-throughput pharmacological screening and eventually patient-specific therapies.
- Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs)
- Optic vesicle
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Biology
- Cell Biology