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Müller glia cells as a source for regenerative retinal neuronal cell types

In vitro and mouse studies suggest Müller glia cells can be used to generate transplantable retinal progenitor cells for treating damaged or degenerating retinas. In specific cell culture conditions, p53-/- Müller glia could be induced to proliferate, convert into Müller glia-derived progenitor-like cells (MRPs) expressing retinal progenitor markers and further differentiate into cone and rod photoreceptors. In mice, p53-/- MRPs injected into retinal tissue engrafted and differentiated into photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells, which are important for transmission of visual information from photoreceptors to different brain regions. Next steps include developing retinal differentiation protocols for wild-type mouse Müller glia cells.

SciBX 7(11); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.328
Published online March 20, 2014

Patent and licensing status undisclosed

Zhao, J.J. et al. J. Biol. Chem.; published online Feb. 12, 2014;
Contact: Kang Zhang, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, Calif.
Contact: Jack Jiagang Zhao, same affiliation as above