11.01.2011

Immune cells "can heal eye injuries"

Immune cells "can heal eye injuries"

By Adrian Galbreth

Eye injuries could be prevented through immune cells, according to a new study conducted on mouse models in Israel.

The study was published online in the January 10th edition of the Journal of Experimental Medicine by experts from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot and shows that neurons in the eye known as retinal ganglion cells can be are rescued by immune cells which infiltrate the retina following an optical organ.

A team led by Dr Michal Schwartz found that damaged immune cells located in the retinas of mice known as macrophages that sustained eye injuries could be repaired through their expression of an anti-inflammatory protein which prevented retinal ganglion cell death.

Macrophage arrival also awakened neural progenitor cells that lie dormant in healthy eyes. Whether these findings can be exploited in new therapies for degenerative eye disorders in humans remains to be explored," the authors noted.

Meanwhile, further eye research developed by a team led by Dr Eniko Enikov at the University of Arizona College of Engineering has resulted in a new test being developed which can detect glaucoma earlier and more accurately. 

by Alexa Kaczka


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