Oct 21, 2015

Transgenic expression of the proneural transcription factor Ascl1 in Müller glia stimulates retinal regeneration in young mice

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Yumi UekiThomas A Reh


Müller glial cells are the source of retinal regeneration in fish and birds; although this process is efficient in fish, it is less so in birds and very limited in mammals. It has been proposed that factors necessary for providing neurogenic competence to Müller glia in fish and birds after retinal injury are not expressed in mammals. One such factor, the proneural transcription factor Ascl1, is necessary for retinal regeneration in fish but is not expressed after retinal damage in mice. We previously reported that forced expression of Ascl1 in vitro reprograms Müller glia to a neurogenic state. We now test whether forced expression of Ascl1 in mouse Müller glia in vivo stimulates their capacity for retinal regeneration. We find that transgenic expression of Ascl1 in adult Müller glia in undamaged retina does not overtly affect their phenotype; however, when the retina is damaged, the Ascl1-expressing glia initiate a response that resembles the early stages of retinal regeneration in zebrafish. The reaction to injury is even more pronounced in Müller glia in young mice, where the Ascl1-expressing Müller glia give rise to amacrine and bipolar cells and photoreceptors. DNaseI-seq analysis of the retina and Müller glia shows progr...Continue Reading

Mentioned in this Paper

In Vivo
Retinal Damage
Entire Retina
Injury of Retina
Retinal Diseases
Plants, Transgenic
Nerve Regeneration

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