Researchers here demonstrate a direct form of cellular reprogramming, converting skin cells directly into another cell type without going through intermediary stages of induced pluripotency and differentiation.
In this case the goal is to produce patient-matched photoreceptor cells to treat retinal degeneration. Proof of concept is demonstrated in blind mice that exhibit restored light sensitivity following treatment.
The degree to which vision can be restored via this approach is an open question – that is much harder to assess in mice. In principle this type of reprogramming should be much more efficient, but it remains to be seen as to which approaches to building sources of patient-matched cells will emerge first into widespread clinical practice.
Source: Fight Aging!