The formation of lens progenitor cells and differentiated lens tissue in cell culture conditions presents a number of experimental challenges, even though lens lineage formation and lens fiber cell differentiation are among the best characterized model systems at both genetic and molecular levels. Lens differentiation from ES cells in vitro appears to be a feasible goal. This chapter describes the significance of using ES and iPS cells for better understanding of embryonic lens development and formation of congenital cataracts. A discussion of how iPS cells can help studies of age-related cataract is also included. The chapter summarizes the current data on lentoid body formation from human and primate ES cells, and the molecular basis of directed differentiation of human ES cells into lens progenitor cells and lentoid bodies. Finally, current gaps in lens research and future directions to address these problems are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)