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Repopulation of decellularized retinas with hiPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelial and ocular progenitor cells shows cell engraftment, organization and differentiation
Maria Maqueda 1, Jose Luis Mosquera 1, José García-Arumí 2, Anna Veiga 3, Anna Duarri 4
...Here, mouse and porcine retinas were decellularized and the protein profile analyzed. Acellular retinal ECM (arECM) scaffolds were then repopulated with human iPSC-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells or ocular progenitor cells (OPC) to assess their integration, proliferation and organization. 3837 and 2612 unique proteins were identified in mouse and porcine arECM, respectively, of which 93 and 116 proteins belong to the matrisome. GO analysis shows that matrisome-related proteins were associated with the extracellular region and cell junction and KEGG pathways related to signalling transduction, nervous and endocrine systems and cell junctions were enriched. Interestingly, mouse and porcine arECMs were successfully repopulated with both RPE and OPC, the latter exhibiting cell lineage-specific clusters. Retinal cells organized into different layers containing well-defined areas with pigmented cells, photoreceptors, Müller glia, astrocytes, and ganglion cells, whereas in other areas, conjunctival/limbal, corneal and lens cells re-arranged in cell-specific self-organized areas. In conclusion, our results demonstrated that decellularization of both mouse and porcine retinas retains common native ECM components that upon cell repopulation could guide similar ocular cell adhesion, migration and organization.