ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-170505-5
Impacts of the retinal environment and photoreceptor type on functional regeneration
DuVal, M.G., Allison, W.T.
Date: 2017
Source: Neural regeneration research   12: 376-379 (Review)
Registered Authors: Allison, Ted, Duval, Michèle
Keywords: horizontal cells, material transfer, neural development, synaptic plasticity, vision, zebrafish
MeSH Terms: none
PubMed: 28469643 Full text @ Neural Regen Res
Retinal regeneration is a promising central nervous system (CNS) target amongst the various stem cell therapy pursuits, due to its accessibility for manipulation and its disposition towards longitudinal monitoring of treatment safety and efficacy. We offer our perspective on current hurdles towards functional regeneration of cone photoreceptors. Cones are key: For patients suffering vision loss, cone photoreceptors are a required cellular component to restoring daytime vision, colour vision, and high acuity vision. The challenges of regenerating cones contrast with logistic challenges of regenerating rod photoreceptors, which underlines the importance of evaluating context in degeneration and regeneration studies. Foundational research is required to delineate the factors required to generate a diversity of cones in the human macula, and to coax both remaining and newly regenerating cones to rewire towards restoring daytime colour vision. A complex interplay between cell-intrinsic factors and the retinal environment determine both the specification of cone fates and the synaptic plasticity enabling their functional integration. Recent revelations that cellular materials are transferred amongst photoreceptor progenitors further emphasize the critical role of neighbouring cells in directing stem cell fates. From our vantage point, translation of stem cell therapies to restore the cone-rich human macula must be borne upon foundational research in cone-rich retinas. Research frameworks centered on patient outcomes should prioritize animal models and functional outputs that enable and report functional restoration of cone-mediated vision.