Notch inhibition promotes regeneration and immunosuppression supports cone survival in a zebrafish model of inherited retinal dystrophy

Fogerty, J., Song, P., Boyd, P., Grabinski, S.E., Hoang, T., Reich, A., Cianciolo, L.T., Blackshaw, S., Mumm, J.S., Hyde, D.R., Perkins, B.D.
The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience   42(26): 5144-5158 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Hyde, David R., Mumm, Jeff, Perkins, Brian, Song, Ping
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Female
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Inflammation/metabolism
  • Male
  • Mammals
  • Regeneration/physiology
  • Retina/physiology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells/physiology
  • Retinal Degeneration*/pathology
  • Retinal Dystrophies*/metabolism
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/metabolism
35672150 Full text @ J. Neurosci.
Photoreceptor degeneration leads to irreversible vision loss in humans with retinal dystrophies such as Retinitis Pigmentosa. Whereas photoreceptor loss is permanent in mammals, zebrafish possesses the ability to regenerate retinal neurons and restore visual function. Following acute damage, Müller glia (MG) re-enter the cell cycle and produce multipotent progenitors whose progeny differentiate into mature neurons. Both MG reprogramming and proliferation of retinal progenitor cells require reactive microglia and associated inflammatory signaling. Paradoxically, in zebrafish models of retinal degeneration, photoreceptor death does not induce the MG to reprogram and regenerate lost cells. Here, we used male and female zebrafish cep290 mutants to demonstrate that progressive cone degeneration generates an immune response but does not stimulate MG proliferation. Acute light damage triggered photoreceptor regeneration in cep290 mutants but cones were only restored to pre-lesion densities. Using irf8 mutant zebrafish, we found that the chronic absence of microglia reduced inflammation and rescued cone degeneration in cep290 mutants. Finally, single-cell RNA-sequencing revealed sustained expression of notch3 in MG of cep290 mutants and inhibition of Notch signaling induced MG to re-enter the cell cycle. Our findings provide new insights on the requirements for MG to proliferate and the potential for immunosuppression to prolong photoreceptor survival.Significance StatementInherited retinal degenerations (IRDs) are genetic diseases that lead to the progressive loss of photoreceptors and the permanent loss of vision. Zebrafish can regenerate photoreceptors after acute injury by reprogramming Müller glia into stem-like cells that produce retinal progenitors, but this regenerative process fails to occur in zebrafish models of IRDs. Here, we show that Notch pathway inhibition can promote photoreceptor regeneration in models of progressive degeneration and that immunosuppression can prevent photoreceptor loss. These results offer insight into the pathways that promote Müller glia-dependent regeneration and the role of inflammation in photoreceptor degeneration.
Genes / Markers
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Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes