Retinitis historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Jyostna Chouturi, M.B.B.S [2]; Ilan Dock, B.S.


From a historical perspective, there is not much information available for retinitis. Although, biotechnology companies have begun to advance development and research on the topic, as ocular technology further develops.

Historical Perspective

  • 2006: Stem cells: UK Researchers working with mice, transplanted mouse stem cells into mice that had been genetically induced to mimic the human conditions of retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration.
    • These photoreceptors developed and made the necessary neural connections to the animal's retinal nerve cells, a key step in the restoration of sight. Previously it was believed that the mature retina has no regenerative ability. This research may in the future lead to using transplants in humans to relieve blindness.[1]
  • 2008: Scientists at the Osaka Bioscience Institute have identified a protein, named Pikachurin, which they believe could lead to a treatment for retinitis pigmentosa.[2][3]
  • 2008: Retinitis pigmentosa was attempted to be linked to gene expression of FAM46A[4]
  • 2010: A possible gene therapy seems to work in mice.[5]
  • 2012: Scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center showed on an animal model that gene therapy and induced pluripotent stem cell therapy may be viable options for treating Retinitis Pigmentosa in the future.[6]
  • 2012: Scientists at the University of Miami Bascom Palmer Eye Institute presented data showing protection of photoreceptors in an animal model when eyes were injected with mesencephalic astrocyte-derived neurotrophic factor (MANF).[7]
  • Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley were able to restore vision to blind mice by exploiting a "photoswitch" that activates retinal ganglion cells in animals with damaged rod and cone cells.[8]


  1. MacLaren, R. E.; Pearson, R. A.; MacNeil, A.; Douglas, R. H.; Salt, T. E.; Akimoto, M.; Swaroop, A.; Sowden, J. C.; Ali, R. R. (2006). "Retinal repair by transplantation of photoreceptor precursors". Nature. 444 (7116): 203–7. Bibcode:2006Natur.444..203M. doi:10.1038/nature05161. PMID 17093405.
  2. Sato, Shigeru; Omori, Yoshihiro; Katoh, Kimiko; Kondo, Mineo; Kanagawa, Motoi; Miyata, Kentaro; Funabiki, Kazuo; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Kajimura, Naoko; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu; Sawai, Hajime; Kobayashi, Kazuhiro; Tani, Akiko; Toda, Tatsushi; Usukura, Jiro; Tano, Yasuo; Fujikado, Takashi; Furukawa, Takahisa (2008). "Pikachurin, a dystroglycan ligand, is essential for photoreceptor ribbon synapse formation". Nature Neuroscience. 11 (8): 923–31. doi:10.1038/nn.2160. PMID 18641643.
  3. Lightning-Fast Vision Protein Named After Pikachu July 24, 2008
  4. Barragán, L; Borrego, S; Abd El-Aziz, MM; El-Ashry, MF; Antiñolo, G. "Genetic analysis of FAM46A in Spanish families with autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa: characterisation of novel VNTRs". NCBI.
  5. Busskamp, V.; Duebel, J.; Balya, D.; Fradot, M.; Viney, T. J.; Siegert, S.; Groner, A. C.; Cabuy, E.; Forster, V.; Seeliger, M.; Biel, M.; Humphries, P.; Paques, M.; Mohand-Said, S.; Trono, D.; Deisseroth, K.; Sahel, J. A.; Picaud, S.; Roska, B. (2010). "Genetic Reactivation of Cone Photoreceptors Restores Visual Responses in Retinitis Pigmentosa". Science. 329 (5990): 413–7. Bibcode:2010Sci...329..413B. doi:10.1126/science.1190897. PMID 20576849.
  6. Experiments show retinitis pigmentosa is treatable December 22, 2012
  7.[full citation needed]
  8. Tochitsky, Ivan; Polosukhina, Aleksandra; Degtyar, Vadim E.; Gallerani, Nicholas; Smith, Caleb M.; Friedman, Aaron; Van Gelder, Russell N.; Trauner, Dirk; Kaufer, Daniela; Kramer, Richard H. (2014). "Restoring Visual Function to Blind Mice with a Photoswitch that Exploits Electrophysiological Remodeling of Retinal Ganglion Cells". Neuron. 81 (4): 800–13. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2014.01.003. PMC 3933823. PMID 24559673.

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