Neural regeneration in the chick retina

Prog Retin Eye Res. 2005 Mar;24(2):161-82. doi: 10.1016/j.preteyeres.2004.07.003. Epub 2004 Nov 11.


In warm-blooded vertebrates, possibilities for retinal regeneration have recently become reality with the discovery of neural stem cells in the mature eye. A number of different cellular sources of neural stem cells have been identified. These sources include stem cells at the retinal margin, pigmented cells in the ciliary body and iris, non-pigmented cells in the ciliary body and Müller glia within the retina. This review focuses on recent reports of neural stem cells and regeneration in the postnatal chicken retina. In the chicken eye sources of neurogensis and regeneration include: (1) retinal stem cells at the peripheral edge of the retina; (2) Müller glia in central regions of the retina; (3) non-pigmented epithelial cells in the posterior portion of the ciliary body; and (4) possibly pigmented cells in the pars plana of the ciliary body. This review discusses the similarities between the retinal progenitor cells in the postnatal eye and those found in the embryo. In addition, I discuss combinations of growth factors, (insulin, IGF-I, EGF and FGF2) that are capable of stimulating the proliferation and production of neurons from neural progenitors, non-neural epithelial cells, and postmitotic support cells in the avian eye. In summary, the mechanisms that regulate the proliferation and differentiation of cells with neurogenic potential are beginning to be understood and the postnatal chicken eye has proven to be a useful model system to study retinal regeneration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chickens
  • Neurons / cytology*
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*