Gradual morphogenesis of retinal neurons in the peripheral retinal margin of adult monkeys and humans

Authors

  • Gema C. Martínez-Navarrete,

    1. Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
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  • Antonia Angulo,

    1. Departamento de Óptica, Farmacología y Anatomía, Escuela Universitaria de Óptica y Optometría, Universidad de Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
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  • José Martín-Nieto,

    1. Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
    2. Instituto Multidisciplinar para el Estudio del Medio, Universidad de Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
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  • Nicolás Cuenca

    Corresponding author
    1. Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
    2. Instituto Multidisciplinar para el Estudio del Medio, Universidad de Alicante, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
    • Departamento de Fisiología, Genética y Microbiología, Universidad de Alicante, Campus Universitario San Vicente, Apartado 99, E-03080 Alicante, Spain
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Abstract

The adult mammalian retina has for long been considered to lack a neurogenerative capacity. However, retinal stem/progenitor cells, which can originate retinal neurons in vitro, have been recently reported in the ciliary body of adult mammals. Here we explored the possibility of retinal neurogenesis occurring in vivo in adult monkeys and humans. We found the presence of cells expressing molecular markers of neural and retinal progenitors in the nonlaminated retinal margin and ciliary body pars plana of mature primates. By means of immunohistochemistry and electron microscopy we also observed photoreceptors and other retinal cell types in different stages of morphological differentiation along the peripheral retinal margin. These findings allow us to extend to primates the idea of neurogenesis aimed at retinal cell turnover throughout life. J. Comp. Neurol. 511:557–580, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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