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Curr Pathobiol Rep. 2017;5(1):67-78. doi: 10.1007/s40139-017-0127-9. Epub 2017 Jan 25.

Retinal Degeneration and Regeneration-Lessons From Fishes and Amphibians.

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Paris-Saclay Institute of Neuroscience, CNRS, Univ. Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay, Orsay, France.
Centre d'Etude et de Recherche Thérapeutique en Ophtalmologie, Retina France, Orsay, France.



Retinal degenerative diseases have immense socio-economic impact. Studying animal models that recapitulate human eye pathologies aids in understanding the pathogenesis of diseases and allows for the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies. Some non-mammalian species are known to have remarkable regenerative abilities and may provide the basis to develop strategies to stimulate self-repair in patients suffering from these retinal diseases.


Non-mammalian organisms, such as zebrafish and Xenopus, have become attractive model systems to study retinal diseases. Additionally, many fish and amphibian models of retinal cell ablation and cell lineage analysis have been developed to study regeneration. These investigations highlighted several cellular sources for retinal repair in different fish and amphibian species. Moreover, major differences in repair mechanisms have been reported in these animal models.


This review aims to emphasize first on the importance of zebrafish and Xenopus models in studying the pathogenesis of retinal diseases and, second, on the different modes of regeneration processes in these model organisms.


Ciliary marginal zone; Müller glial cells; Retinal degeneration; Retinal pigment epithelium; Retinal regeneration; Retinal stem cells

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