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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 19;6:35703. doi: 10.1038/srep35703.

Jak/Stat signaling regulates the proliferation and neurogenic potential of Müller glia-derived progenitor cells in the avian retina.

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Department of Neuroscience, College of Medicine, The Ohio State University, 4190 Graves Hall, 333 West 10th Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.


Müller glia are capable of de-differentiating and proliferating to become Müller glia-derived progenitor cells (MGPCs) with the ability to regenerate retinal neurons. One of the cell-signaling pathways that drives the reprogramming of Müller glia into MGPCs in the zebrafish retina is the Jak/Stat-pathway. However, nothing is known about the influence of Jak/Stat-signaling during the formation of MGPCs in the retinas of warm-blooded vertebrates. Accordingly, we examined whether Jak/Stat-signaling influences the formation of MGPCs and differentiation of progeny in the avian retina. We found that Jak/Stat-signaling is activated in Müller glia in response to NMDA-induced retinal damage or by CNTF or FGF2 in the absence of retinal damage. Inhibition of gp130, Jak2, or Stat3 suppressed the formation of proliferating MGPCs in NMDA-damaged and FGF2-treated retinas. Additionally, CNTF combined with FGF2 enhanced the formation of proliferating MGPCs in the absence of retinal damage. In contrast to the zebrafish model, where activation of gp130/Jak/Stat is sufficient to drive neural regeneration from MGPCs, signaling through gp130 inhibits the neurogenic potential of MGPCs and promotes glial differentiation. We conclude that gp130/Jak/Stat-signaling plays an important role in the network of pathways that drives the formation of proliferating MGPCs; however, this pathway inhibits the neural differentiation of the progeny.

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