Advancing Cell Differentiation in Glaucoma

  • Research in Brief
Published on:

What: This finding shows new potential for cell replacement treatments for glaucoma.

Headshot of Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD.
Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD

Where: “Opposing Effects of Growth and Differentiation Factors in Cell-Fate Specification,”Current Biology, 2019

BrightFocus Connection: Jeffrey Goldberg, MD, PhD, Stanford University, received a grant for this work from the BrightFocus Foundation’s National Glaucoma Research program. 

Why It Is Important: Neurons of the eye, once damaged, do not replace themselves, which has led to scientific efforts to replace these neurons in glaucoma (RGCs) using stem cells for replacement therapy. This is particularly challenging as very few stem cells change into RGCs. Gaining a better understanding of what regulates the growth and differentiation of RGCs can improve the outcome of cell replacement therapy by directing the stem cells to become RGCs. This study reports a new mechanism that increases the likelihood of successfully transplanting RGCs, advancing cell-based replacement therapies.

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