Retinal organoids derived from rhesus macaque iPSCs undergo accelerated differentiation compared to human stem cells

Antonio Jacobo Lopez, Sangbae Kim, Xinye Qian, Jeffrey Rogers, J. Timothy Stout, Sara M. Thomasy, Anna La Torre, Rui Chen, Ala Moshiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To compare the timing and efficiency of the development of Macaca mulatta, a nonhuman primate (NHP), induced pluripotent stem cell (rhiPSC) derived retinal organoids to those derived from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs). Results: Generation of retinal organoids was achieved from both human and several NHP pluripotent stem cell lines. All rhiPSC lines resulted in retinal differentiation with the formation of optic vesicle-like structures similar to what has been observed in hESC retinal organoids. NHP retinal organoids had laminated structure and were composed of mature retinal cell types including cone and rod photoreceptors. Single-cell RNA sequencing was conducted at two time points; this allowed identification of cell types and developmental trajectory characterization of the developing organoids. Important differences between rhesus and human cells were measured regarding the timing and efficiency of retinal organoid differentiation. While the culture of NHP-derived iPSCs is relatively difficult compared to that of human stem cells, the generation of retinal organoids from NHP iPSCs is feasible and may be less time-consuming due to an intrinsically faster timing of retinal differentiation. Conclusions: Retinal organoids produced from rhesus monkey iPSCs using established protocols differentiate through the stages of organoid development faster than those derived from human stem cells. The production of NHP retinal organoids may be advantageous to reduce experimental time for basic biology studies in retinogenesis as well as for preclinical trials in NHPs studying retinal allograft transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCell Proliferation
StateAccepted/In press - 2022


  • human embryonic stem cells
  • induced pluripotent stem cells
  • organoids
  • retina
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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