Assessment of Safety and Functional Efficacy of Stem Cell-Based Therapeutic Approaches Using Retinal Degenerative Animal Models
Iodoacetic acid (IAA) has been applied to different species to acutely induce photoreceptor degeneration. The purpose of the present study was to use this toxin to thoroughly eliminate photoreceptors and induce complete blindness in the cat. IAA was delivered by single ear vein injection (20 mg kg−1). Six months after the IAA treatment, functional evaluations including pupillary light reflex (PLR), electroretinogram (ERG), visual behavior tests were performed. Morphological examinations were carried out after the functional evaluation. The present result shows that, six months after the IAA application, animals lost visual functions and became completely blind. High dose IAA application via ear vein delivery created an acute and reliable complete photoreceptor degeneration model in the cat. This model can be applied to genetic and cellular therapies for visual function restoration.