Nelson, C.M., and Hyde, D.R. (2012) Müller glia as a source of neuronal progenitor cells to regenerate the damaged zebrafish retina. Advances in experimental medicine and biology. 723:425-430.
In humans, a wide variety of either genetic diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, or
environmentally induced damage, such as diabetic retinopathy, rob large numbers of individuals their sight every year. Recently,
research in primarily the damaged zebrafish and postnatal chick retinas have highlighted the potential of the Müller glia
to serve as an adult stem cell source to regenerate the lost neurons. This work has expanded to study the adult stem cell
potential of the rodent and human Müller glia in both the intact retina and cell culture. Unfortunately, mammalian Müller
glia appear to have very limited potential to proliferate and differentiate into specific retinal neuronal cell types. This
may be due to the mammalian Müller glia either lacking positive regulatory factors to carry out a regenerative response or
possessing negative regulatory factors that block regeneration. To better understand what is required for the Müller glia
to regenerate damaged retinal neurons, extensive work in the zebrafish retina, which exhibits a robust and highly specific
regenerative response, holds much promise at providing the necessary information. In this review, we will explore the current
state of knowledge of damage-induced retinal regeneration in zebrafish.