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Mol Vis. 2009;15:187-99. Epub 2009 Jan 23.

Generation of immature retinal neurons from proliferating cells in the pars plana after retinal histogenesis in mice with retinal degeneration.

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  • 1Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Department of Ophthalmology, Nagoya, Japan. kojinish@med.nagoya-u.ac.jp



To study the differentiation of immature retinal neurons/retinal precursors in the ciliary epithelium after retinal histogenesis in mice with inherited or acquired retinal degeneration.


Immunoreactivity to anti-recoverin, rhodopsin, and Pax6 antibodies and binding to peanut agglutinin were analyzed histologically. The distribution and differentiation of immature retinal neurons/retinal precursors in the ciliary epithelium of mice with inherited (C3H/HeJ) and acquired (C57BL mice injected with 60 mg/kg N-methyl-N-nitrosourea) retinal degeneration were assessed. Proliferating retinal progenitors were labeled with bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU), and they were studied histologically using retinal markers.


Many cells of rod and cone photoreceptor lineage were identified within the ciliary epithelium of the pars plana in adult mice with inherited retinal degeneration. Tracking experiments using BrdU indicated that some of recoverin-positive cells in the pars plana (approximately 3%) were generated after retinal histogenesis, and few were produced at or after postnatal day 24 (P24). The induction of acquired retinal degeneration in adult wild-type mice (P30) increased the number of BrdU-positve cells by roughly fourfold and recoverin-positive cells by approximately 17-fold in the pars plana. Moreover, some (approximately 1.5%) of the recoverin-positive cells were newly generated from dividing retinal progenitors in the adult pars plana.


In response to retinal damage, an increased number of immature retinal neurons/retinal precursors was observed in the pars plana of mice with acquired and inherited retinal degeneration. Some of these cells differentiated from proliferating cells even after retinal histogenesis.

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