ZFIN ID: ZDB-PERS-060630-2
Kahana, Alon
Email: akahana@med.umich.edu
URL: http://www.kellogg.umich.edu/bios/kahana.html
Affiliation: Kahana Lab
Address: Kellogg Eye Center Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Comprehensive Cancer Center University of Michigan 1000 Wall Street Ann Arbor, MI 48105 USA
Country: United States
Phone: 734-763-8097
Fax: 734-615-0542

The orbit is the anatomic structure that contains the eye and all of its associated tissues, including muscles, nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues. It is encased in a complex bony structure that protects the eye and separates it from the brain.

Orbital tissues have a unique embryologic origin in the neural crest, which is a transient population of cells that migrate from the invaginating neural tube to destinations throughout the body. Neural crest cells are responsible for tissues as varied as heart valves, blood vessels, bones, endocrine glands, and the autonomic nervous system. However, there is no other place in the body to which neural crest cells contribute and/or influence more cell types within such a small space than the orbit. The neural crest contributes directly or indirectly to most of the orbital bones, the orbital connective tissues (including muscle pulleys), sclera, corneal stroma and endothelium, trabecular meshwork, sensory nerves, blood vessels, iris, and extraocular muscles.

Diseases such as thyroid-related eye disease may be the result of derangements in neural-crest stem cells that are normally present in the orbit. Craniofacial syndromes such as Apert and Crouzon, as well as anterior segment dysgenesis syndromes of the eye, are also known to involve derangements in neural crest development. Dr. Kahana's research explores the biology of neural crest-derived tissues in the orbit by using zebrafish as a model system. Zebrafish are transparent during embryogenesis, are genetically tractable, and as vertebrates, they are remarkably good models for human biology and genetics. Dr. Kahana's research focuses on the signals that control neural crest migration into the eye and orbit, as well as the intricate processes that control neural crest cell fate. The ability of adult orbital tissues to trans-differentiate, as well as the unique biological behavior of a variety of orbital tumors and inflammatory processes, may be related to the neural crest origins of much of the orbit. This research will lead to the development of novel diagnostic tools as well as potential treatments for neural crest-related eye diseases such as congenital glaucoma and anterior segment dysgenesis syndromes, as well as for severe orbital diseases such as cancer and thyroid-related eye disease. In addition, understanding the behavior of neural crest-derived stem cells may allow us to utilize these adult stem cells therapeutically in the future.

Ang, N.B., Saera-Vila, A., Walsh, C., Hitchcock, P.F., Kahana, A., Thummel, R., Nagashima, M. (2020) Midkine-a functions as a universal regulator of proliferation during epimorphic regeneration in adult zebrafish. PLoS One. 15:e0232308
Zhao, Y., Louie, K.W., Tingle, C.F., Sha, C., Heisel, C.J., Unsworth, S.P., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2020) Twist3 is required for dedifferentiation during extraocular muscle regeneration in adult zebrafish. PLoS One. 15:e0231963
Tingle, C.F., Magnuson, B., Zhao, Y., Heisel, C.J., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2019) Paradoxical Changes Underscore Epigenetic Reprogramming During Adult Zebrafish Extraocular Muscle Regeneration. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 60:4991-4999
Saera-Vila, A., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2018) Autophagy in Zebrafish Extraocular Muscle Regeneration. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.).
Saera-Vila, A., Louie, K.W., Sha, C., Kelly, R.M., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2018) Extraocular muscle regeneration in zebrafish requires late signals from Insulin-like growth factors. PLoS One. 13:e0192214
Louie, K.W., Saera-Vila, A., Kish, P.E., Colacino, J.A., Kahana, A. (2017) Temporally distinct transcriptional regulation of myocyte dedifferentiation and Myofiber growth during muscle regeneration. BMC Genomics. 18:854
Saera-Vila, A., Kish, P.E., Louie, K.W., Grzegorski, S.J., Klionsky, D.J., Kahana, A. (2016) Autophagy Regulates Cytoplasmic Remodeling During Cell Reprogramming in a Zebrafish Model of Muscle Regeneration. Autophagy. 12(10):1864-1875
Saera-Vila, A., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2016) Fgf regulates dedifferentiation during skeletal muscle regeneration in adult zebrafish. Cellular Signalling. 28(9):1196-204
Saera-Vila, A., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2015) Automated Scalable Heat Shock Modification for Standard Aquatic Housing Systems. Zebrafish. 12(4):312-4
Saera-Vila, A., Kasprick, D.S., Junttila, T.L., Grzegorski, S.J., Louie, K.W., Chiari, E.F., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2015) Myocyte Dedifferentiation Drives Extraocular Muscle Regeneration in Adult Zebrafish. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 56:4977-4993
Grzegorski, S.J., Chiari, E.F., Robbins, A., Kish, P.E., Kahana, A. (2014) Natural Variability of Kozak Sequences Correlates with Function in a Zebrafish Model. PLoS One. 9:e108475
Bohnsack, B.L., and Kahana, A. (2013) Thyroid hormone and retinoic acid interact to regulate zebrafish craniofacial neural crest development. Developmental Biology. 373(2):300-309
Bohnsack, B.L., Kasprick, D.S., Kish, P.E., Goldman, D., and Kahana, A. (2012) A zebrafish model of Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome reveals that pitx2 regulation by retinoic acid is essential for ocular and craniofacial development. Investigative ophthalmology & visual science. 53(1):7-22
Bohnsack, B.L., Gallina, D., Thompson, H., Kasprick, D.S., Lucarelli, M.J., Dootz, G., Nelson, C., McGonnell, I.M., and Kahana, A. (2011) Development of Extraocular Muscles Require Early Signals From Periocular Neural Crest and the Developing Eye. Archives of ophthalmology (Chicago, Ill. : 1960). 129(8):1030-1041
Kish, P.E., Bohnsack, B.L., Gallina, D.D., Kasprick, D.S., and Kahana, A. (2011) The eye as an organizer of craniofacial development. Genesis (New York, N.Y. : 2000). 49(4):222-230
Bohnsack, B.L., Gallina, D., and Kahana, A. (2011) Phenothiourea Sensitizes Zebrafish Cranial Neural Crest and Extraocular Muscle Development to Changes in Retinoic Acid and IGF Signaling. PLoS One. 6(8):e22991
Kasprick, D.S., Kish, P.E., Junttila, T.L., Ward, L.A., Bohnsack, B.L., and Kahana, A. (2011) Microanatomy of adult zebrafish extraocular muscles. PLoS One. 6(11):e27095
Langenberg, T., Kahana, A., Wszalek, J.A., and Halloran, M.C. (2008) The eye organizes neural crest cell migration. Developmental Dynamics : an official publication of the American Association of Anatomists. 237(6):1645-1652