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Anat Rec (Hoboken). 2014 Jan;297(1):137-60. doi: 10.1002/ar.22800. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Retinal stem cells and regeneration of vision system.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region, People's Republic of China; Research Center of Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region, People's Republic of China; State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong Special Adminstrative Region, People's Republic of China.

Abstract

The vertebrate retina is a well-characterized model for studying neurogenesis. Retinal neurons and glia are generated in a conserved order from a pool of mutlipotent progenitor cells. During retinal development, retinal stem/progenitor cells (RPC) change their competency over time under the influence of intrinsic (such as transcriptional factors) and extrinsic factors (such as growth factors). In this review, we summarize the roles of these factors, together with the understanding of the signaling pathways that regulate eye development. The information about the interactions between intrinsic and extrinsic factors for retinal cell fate specification is useful to regenerate specific retinal neurons from RPCs. Recent studies have identified RPCs in the retina, which may have important implications in health and disease. Despite the recent advances in stem cell biology, our understanding of many aspects of RPCs in the eye remains limited. PRCs are present in the developing eye of all vertebrates and remain active in lower vertebrates throughout life. In mammals, however, PRCs are quiescent and exhibit very little activity and thus have low capacity for retinal regeneration. A number of different cellular sources of RPCs have been identified in the vertebrate retina. These include PRCs at the retinal margin, pigmented cells in the ciliary body, iris, and retinal pigment epithelium, and Müller cells within the retina. Because PRCs can be isolated and expanded from immature and mature eyes, it is possible now to study these cells in culture and after transplantation in the degenerated retinal tissue. We also examine current knowledge of intrinsic RPCs, and human embryonic stems and induced pluripotent stem cells as potential sources for cell transplant therapy to regenerate the diseased retina.

Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

KEYWORDS:

regeneration; stem cell; tissue engineering

PMID:
24293400
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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