We investigated the regulation of primary neurite growth and expression of specific growth-associated genes by lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF) in rat retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). A pAd-LEDGFp52 adenovirus vector and a siRNA-LEDGFp52 eucaryotic expression vector were transfected into cultured RGCs. Transfection with pAd-LEDGFp52 significantly increased the number of neurites and their lengths compared with untransfected control RGCs. The expression of growth associated protein 43 (GAP43), microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2), and low-molecular-weight neurofilament (NF-L) genes and proteins were also significantly up-regulated. In contrast, the introduction of siRNA-LEDGFp52 significantly decreased the number and length of neurites, and significantly down-regulated the expression GAP43, NF-L and MAP2 genes and proteins compared with controls. Our findings suggest that LEDGFp52 might act as a dendritic arborization gene as well as an axonal elongation gene in RGCs and that it might be beneficial to the functional recovery of regenerating RGCs.