Inherited retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa, are the leading cause of blindness in the developed world. Currently, treatments for these conditions are limited. Recently, considerable attention has been given to the possibility of using patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) as a treatment for these conditions. iPSCs reprogrammed from adult somatic cells offer the possibility of generating patient-specific cell lines in vitro
. In this review, we will discuss the current literature pertaining to iPSC modeling of retinal disease, gene therapy of iPSC-derived retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells, and retinal transplantation. We will focus on the use of iPSCs created from patients with inherited eye diseases for testing the efficacy of gene or drug-based therapies, elucidating previously unknown mechanisms and pathways of disease, and as a source of autologous cells for cell replacement.
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