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Keywords:

  • neurogenesis;
  • progenitors;
  • retina;
  • regenerations;
  • stem cells

Abstract

It is thought that the adult mammalian retina lacks the regenerative capacity of fish and amphibians retina because it does not harbor a progenitor population. However, recent observations suggest that another derivative of the optic neuroepithelium, the ciliary body, contains a mitotically quiescent population of neural progenitors that proliferate in the presence of growth factors and demonstrate properties of neural stem cells. Examination of the hypothesis that similar mitotically quiescent and growth factor-responsive progenitors may exist in the postnatal retina revealed a population of cells located in the periphery of the retina that displayed proliferative responsiveness to growth factors and possessed potential to support neurogenesis. Given their marginal position and neural properties and potential, these cells may represent a residual population of retinal progenitors, analogous to those found in the ciliary marginal zone of fish and amphibians. Their progressive decrease in proliferative potential and number in postnatal stages suggests a temporal decline in regulatory signaling that supports their maintenance during retinal neurogenesis. Developmental Dynamics 232:349–358, 2005. © 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.