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Mesenchymal stem cells protect retinal ganglion cells from degeneration via mitochondrial donation
Posted 19 Aug 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/393959
Posted 19 Aug 2018
Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) degeneration is extremely hard to repair or regenerate and is often coupled with mitochondrial dysfunction. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs)-based treatment has been demonstrated beneficial for RGC against degeneration. However, underlying mechanisms of MSC-provided RGC protection are largely unknown other than neuropectective paracrine actions. In this study, we sought to investigate whether mitochondrial donation can preserve RGC functions, in a mitochondrial Ndufs4 deficient mouse model of RGC degeneration. The results revealed intravitreal transplanted by induced pluripotent stem cell derived -MSCs (iPSC-MSC) could donate their mitochondria through crossing inner limited membrane to host RGCs. Furthermore, the donated mitochondria effectively protected against RGC death and largely preserved retinal function in Ndufs4-KO mice. Importantly, the protective effects of mitochondrial donation from MSCs were associated with management of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Our data identified a novel role of MSCs-mitochondrial donation in protection of RGC from degeneration, and highlight a viable therapeutic strategy by manipulating stem cell mitochondrial donation for the treatment of retina degeneration in future.
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