Image of the Day: Retinal Transplant

Blind rats are made to see after sheets of cells implanted into their eyes make themselves at home.

kerry grens
Kerry Grens

Kerry served as The Scientist’s news director until 2021. Before joining The Scientist in 2013, she was a stringer for Reuters Health, the senior health and science reporter at...

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A rat with degenerated photoreceptors received a transplant of fetal retinal cells. The asterisks mark photoreceptors surrounded by donor bipolar cells (yellow). 

Blind rats that have no functional photoreceptors gain sight after a transplant of retinal cells, a study finds. Researchers implanted a fetal retina sheet in one eye of each of the animals, and after several months the rats’ primary visual cortices that corresponded to the treated eye responded normally to visual stimuli.

A.T. Foik et al., “Detailed visual cortical responses generated by retinal sheet transplants in rats with severe retinal degeneration,” J Neurosci, doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1279-18.2018, 2018.

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