BMB Rep. 2015; 48(4): 193-199  
Regeneration of the retina: toward stem cell therapy for degenerative retinal diseases
Sohee Jeon1,2 & Il-Hoan Oh1,*
1Catholic High-Performance Cell Therapy Center & Department of Medical Lifescience, 2Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul St. Mary’s Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Seoul 137-701, Korea
Correspondence to: Tel: +82-2-2258-8268; Fax: +82-2-591-3994; E-mail:
Received: November 5, 2014; Published online: April 30, 2015.
© Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. All rights reserved.

Degenerative retinal diseases affect millions of people worldwide, which can lead to the loss of vision. However, therapeutic approaches that can reverse this process are limited. Recent efforts have allowed the possibility of the stem cell-based regeneration of retinal cells and repair of injured retinal tissues. Although the direct differentiation of pluripotent stem cells into terminally differentiated photoreceptor cells comprises one approach, a series of studies revealed the intrinsic regenerative potential of the retina using endogenous retinal stem cells. Muller glial cells, ciliary pigment epithelial cells, and retinal pigment epithelial cells are candidates for such retinal stem cells that can differentiate into multiple types of retinal cells and be integrated into injured or developing retina. In this review, we explore our current understanding of the cellular identity of these candidate retinal stem cells and their therapeutic potential for cell therapy against degenerative retinal diseases.
Keywords: Ciliary pigment epithelial cells, Muller glial cells, Retina, Retinal pigment epithelial cells, Stem cell

This Article