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‘Primitive’ Stem Cells Shown to Regenerate Blood Vessels in The Eye

Researchers turn back the biological hands of time, making adult cells revert to a primitive state with the potential to replace and repair retinal blood vessels.
March 9, 2020
Mouse retinal blood vessels

Human vascular progenitor cells (green), made from Elias Zambidis’ lab-grown naive stem cells, engraft into blood vessels (red) in a mouse retina. Credit: Elias Zambidis, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medicine scientists say they have successfully turned back the biological hands of time, coaxing adult human cells in the laboratory to revert to a primitive state, and unlocking their potential to replace and repair damage to blood vessels in the retina caused by diabetes. The findings from this experimental study, they say, advance regenerative medicine techniques aimed at reversing the course of diabetic retinopathy and other blinding eye diseases.