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J Cell Biol. 2015 Sep 28;210(7):1075-83. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201503115.

Müller glia provide essential tensile strength to the developing retina.

Author information

1
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DY, England, UK.
2
Department of Biological Structure, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195.
3
Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 3DY, England, UK kf324@cam.ac.uk wah20@cam.ac.uk.

Abstract

To investigate the cellular basis of tissue integrity in a vertebrate central nervous system (CNS) tissue, we eliminated Müller glial cells (MG) from the zebrafish retina. For well over a century, glial cells have been ascribed a mechanical role in the support of neural tissues, yet this idea has not been specifically tested in vivo. We report here that retinas devoid of MG rip apart, a defect known as retinoschisis. Using atomic force microscopy, we show that retinas without MG have decreased resistance to tensile stress and are softer than controls. Laser ablation of MG processes showed that these cells are under tension in the tissue. Thus, we propose that MG act like springs that hold the neural retina together, finally confirming an active mechanical role of glial cells in the CNS.

PMID:
26416961
PMCID:
PMC4586739
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.201503115
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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