Study Investigates Immune Rejection of iPSC-Derived Cells

August 27, 2015

Center Co-director Clegg and colleagues contributed to a study that showed different levels of immune rejection of cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in mice with a humanized immune system. Whereas autologous iPSC-smooth muscle cells were very immunogenic, retinal pigmented epithelial (RPE) cells were immune tolerated even when transplanted into locations outside the eye. The work provides hope for the development of human stem cell therapies to treat macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness and visual impairment in older adults. An estimated 30 million to 50 million people worldwide are affected by the degenerative medical condition. iPSC-RPE are being developed for therapies by the Clegg lab in work funded by the Foundation Fighting Blindness.