Stem cells for neuroprotection in glaucoma

N. D. Bull, T. V. Johnson, K. R. Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

27 Scopus citations


Stem cell transplantation is currently being explored as a therapy for many neurodegenerative diseases including glaucoma. Cellular therapies have the potential to provide chronic neuroprotection after a single treatment, and early results have been encouraging in models of spinal cord injury and Parkinson's disease. Stem cells may prove ideal for use in such treatments as they can accumulate at sites of injury in the central nervous system (CNS) and may also offer the possibility of targeted treatment delivery. Numerous stem cell sources exist, with embryonic and fetal stem cells liable to be superseded by adult-derived cells as techniques to modify the potency and differentiation of somatic cells improve. Possible neuroprotective mechanisms offered by stem cell transplantation include the supply of neurotrophic factors and the modulation of matrix metalloproteinases and other components of the CNS environment to facilitate endogenous repair. Though formidable challenges remain, stem cell transplantation remains a promising therapeutic approach in glaucoma. In addition, such studies may also provide important insights relevant to other neurodegenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGlaucoma
Subtitle of host publicationAn Open Window to Neurodegeneration and Neuroprotection
EditorsCarlo Nucci, Luciano Cerulli, Neville Osborne, Giacinto Bagetta
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
ISSN (Print)0079-6123


  • glaucoma
  • neurodegeneration
  • neuroprotection
  • retinal ganglion cell
  • stem cell
  • transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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