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J Biol Chem. 2014 Apr 25;289(17):11945-51. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.532671. Epub 2014 Feb 12.

Induction of retinal progenitors and neurons from mammalian Müller glia under defined conditions.

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From the Department of Ophthalmology and Institute for Genomic Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093.


Vision impairment caused by loss of retinal neurons affects millions of people worldwide, and currently, there is no effective treatment. Müller glia of mammalian retina may represent an under-recognized and potential source for regeneration of a wide range of retinal cell types, including retinal ganglion cells and photoreceptors. Here, we demonstrated that mouse Müller glia cells have the capacity to be reprogrammed into the retinal neuronal cell fate and are competent to give rise to photoreceptors under a defined culture condition. Inactivation of p53 released proliferation restriction of Müller glia and significantly enhanced the induction of retinal progenitor from Müller glia in culture. Moreover, following the ocular transplantation, the Müller glia-derived progenitors were differentiated toward the fates of photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells. Together, these results demonstrate the feasibility of using Müller glia as a potential source for retinal repair and regeneration.


Muller Glia; Muller Glia, Progenitor; Photoreceptors; Proliferation; Regeneration; Reprogramming; Retina; p53

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