Over 160 million people worldwide are visually impaired according to the World Health Organisation. New treatments could soon be available following pioneering transplant research in mice. Cells extracted from young healthy mice were injected into night-blind mice restoring their ability to see in the dark. Immature rod-photoreceptor cells, essential for sight in poorly lit conditions, were transferred into the retina of affected mice. The behaviour of treated and non-treated mice in a dimly lit maze was compared to normal mice. This video demonstrates the results: treated and normal mice were able to find the platform allowing them to exit the water after a short time. Non-treated night-blind mice could only find the platform after a lengthy search. The findings hold promise for eye treatment and scientists will now explore the potential for humans, although they have a few more complications to overcome.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.