Eye disorders are a common pathology with high prevalence. Furthermore, certain therapies have toxic side effects on ocular tissue. However, there are limitations to studying these interactions due to the lack of physiologically-relevant human in vitro models. Thus, there is an urge to develop models that can recapitulate the physiological features of human ocular tissue. Here, human primary melanocytes, and microvascular endothelial cells combined with human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal pigmented epithelial cells were used to build a human organ-on-a-chip model perfused with peripheral blood mononuclear cells of the choroid layer of the eye to perform toxicity and mechanistic studies of immune therapies against cancer. The results showed that, upon challenge, there was transendothelial infiltration of immune cells into the stromal compartment and a cytokine secretion profile resembling the in vivo environment, meaning that there was immunomodulation. Overall, the researchers develop and validate an organ-on-a-chip model of the choroid ocular layer that recapitulates key immunological features and has the potential to be used in safety assessment experiments for immune-oncology therapies.
Human immunocompetent choroid-on-chip: a novel tool for studying ocular effects of biological drugs
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