• Retinal transplantation;
  • BMT;
  • BMSCs


It has recently been shown that bone marrow cells can differentiate into various lineage cells including neural cells in vitro and in vivo. We therefore examined whether bone marrow stem cells can differentiate into retinal neural cells in adult rats. PKH-67-labeled stem cell-enriched bone marrow cells (BMCs) were injected into the vitreous space of eyes in which the retinas had been mechanically injured using a hooked needle. Two weeks after the injection of these cells, immunohistochemical examinations were carried out. The stem cell-enriched BMCs had been incorporated and had differentiated into retinal neural cells in the injured retina. The stem cell-enriched BMCs had accumulated mainly in the outer nuclear layer around the injured sites. The incorporated cells expressed glial fibrillary acidic protein, calbindin, rhodopsin, and vimentin. These results raise the possibility that stem cell-enriched BMCs have the ability to differentiate into retinal neural cells, and that the injection of stem cell-enriched BMCs into the retina would help repair damaged retinal cells.