A collaborative research group of RIKEN’s Kobe Center, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kumamoto University and Dainippon Sumitomo Pharma used a severely immunodeficient, terminal retinal degeneration model (NOG-rd1) mouse model to verify the function of human retinal tissue after transplantation. When human retinal tissue derived from human ES cells was transplanted into NOG-rd1 mice, after 6 months mature photoreceptors were engrafted, formed an outer segment structure, and the photoreceptor cells responded to light. The group was thus able to confirm the presence of opsin and rhodopsin necessary for this response. Furthermore, retinas of sacrificed target mice were investigated, using a multi-electrode array system, and the response to light, i. e., functional maturation, was confirmed.

AMED news release, March 2, 2018