The present study examined the occurrence of apoptosis, identified by an in situ technique for detecting DNA fragmentation, in the regenerating retina of adult newts following ablation of the retina. Apoptosis occurs in the initial phase of regeneration when retinal precursor cells are actively proliferating. In the late stage of regeneration, when two synaptic layers are forming, apoptosis occurs mainly in the ganglion cell layer and inner nuclear layer. We found that apoptosis occurred with proliferation, differentiation, formation of retinal layers and retinotectal projections during retinal regeneration. Our findings suggest that apoptosis is closely related to these phenomena.