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Ocular diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy are a result of progressive deterioration of eye tissue leading to loss of vision. The retinal pigment epithelium consists of the pigmented cell layer just outside the neurosensory retina that nourishes the visual photoreceptor cells. Its functions include phagocytosis of photo-damaged photoreceptor outer segments, secretion of essential factors and signaling molecules to maintain retinal homeostasis, and absorption of scattered light and protection against photo-oxidation.
To provide researchers with a human cell model system for understanding basic ocular biology and to develop treatments for ocular diseases, FCDI is now offering iCell® Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells. iCell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells are a highly pure population of research-grade retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, available in commercial quantities, with the following features:
iCell Retinal Pigment Cells exhibit phagocytotic activity as shown by pHrodo™ Red-labeled bovine rod outer segments (nuclei, blue).
iCell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells exhibit polygonal shape, become pigmented over time, and remain viable for an extended culture period (≥28 days).
ZO-1 immunostaining of tight junctions illuminates the formation of an organized monolayer of polygonal RPE cells (left panel). iCell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells express the ion channel, bestrophin-1 (BEST1), a membrane protein found primarily in mature RPE cells (right panel).
(A, B) Immunostaining shows the expression of the mature RPE markers, BEST1 and CRALBP. (C) The cells phagocytose pHrodo™ Red-labeled bovine rod outer segments (nuclei, blue). (D) Flow cytometry measurements demonstrate a highly pure, differentiated population (PMEL17, TYRP1) that expresses mature markers (BEST1, CRALBP) after a few weeks in culture. (E) TEER values exceed 200Ω.
iCell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells are differentiated from human iPS cells and recapitulate mature blood-retinal barrier function. These cells form tight junctions with TEER values exceeding 200Ω, become increasingly pigmented in culture, and phagocytose rod outer segments.
At thaw, >90% of iCell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells express PMEL17 and TYPR1. At 4 weeks in culture, >80% express the mature RPE markers, BEST1 and CRALBP.
Every batch of iCell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells is qualified for purity and function to ensure reproducible results.
iCell Retinal Pigment Epithelial Cells are shipped cryopreserved with a Quick Guide to facilitate incorporating these cells into your research.