Umbilical Cells Help Eye’s Neurons Connect

Cells isolated from human umbilical cord tissue have been shown to produce molecules that help retinal neurons from the eyes of rats grow, connect and survive, according to Duke University researchers working with Janssen Research & Development, LLC.  The findings, which appear Nov. 25 in the Journal of Neuroscience, implicate one family of molecules in particular — thrombospondins — that may have therapeutic potential for the treatment of degenerative eye diseases. “By learning more about how these cells work, we are one step closer to understanding the disease states in which these cells should be studied,” said Cagla Eroglu, an assistant professor of cell biology and neurobiology at the Duke University Medical Center, who led the research. Umbilical cord tissue-derived cells (hUTC) differ from umbilical cord blood cells in that…


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