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Promoting vascular repair in the retina: can stem/progenitor cells help?

Authors Trinh TLP, Li Calzi S, Shaw L, Yoder M, Grant M

Received 1 September 2015

Accepted for publication 4 December 2015

Published 26 May 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 113—122


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Margaret Wong-Riley

Thao Le Phuong Trinh,1 Sergio Li Calzi,1 Lynn C Shaw,1 Mervin C Yoder,2–4 Maria B Grant1

1Department of Ophthalmology, 2Department of Pediatrics, 3Herman B. Wells Center for Pediatric Research, 4Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, Indianapolis, IN, USA

Abstract: Since its first epidemic in the 1940s, retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) has been a challenging illness in neonatology. Higher than physiological oxygen levels impede the development of the immature retinal neuropil and vasculature. Current treatment regimens include cryotherapy, laser photocoagulation, and anti-VEGF agents. Unfortunately, none of these approaches can rescue the normal retinal vasculature, and each has significant safety concerns. The limitations of these approaches have led to new efforts to understand the pathological characteristics in each phase of ROP and to find a safer and more effective therapeutic approach. In the era of stem cell biology and with the need for new treatments for ROP, this review discusses the possible future use of unique populations of proangiogenic cells for therapeutic revascularization of the preterm retina.

Keywords: retinopathy of prematurity, ROP therapy, endothelial progenitor cells, CD34+ cells, endothelial colony-forming cells, oxygen-induced retinopathy

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