It is apparent from a number of studies that the RPE has a remarkable ability to regenerate neural retina. While retinal regeneration from the RPE has not been reported in adult vertebrates, with the exception of the newt, there is evidence that many vertebrate species have the ability to regenerate a new neural retina during the early development. Studies of retinal regeneration in the chicken embryo have provided some insight into the requirements for this process. Recent investigations using copolymer implants as an intraocular delivery system for growth factors have demonstrated that the state of differentiation of RPE cells in the stage 22-24 chicken embryo can be altered in vivo by specific growth factors, aFGF and bFGF. These results raise the distinct possibility that variations in the local production of FGFs and their receptors in the eye during development may, in part, regulate the pathway of differentiation of RPE and neural retina precursors. Further research on the role of FGFs and their receptors in retinal development and regeneration will not only contribute to our understanding of how the differentiated state is achieved and maintained but may provide a foundation for future attempts to develop methods of treatment for various degenerative and proliferative diseases of the eye.