An Application for Mammalian Optic Nerve Repair by Fish Regeneration-Associated Genes
Nerve injury leads to retrograde neuronal degeneration and cell death in adult mammalian CNS neurons. The retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) of rat fail to regenerate and become apoptotic after optic nerve injury. In contrast, goldfish RGCs can survive and regrow their axons and recover their visual function after injury. One of the explanations for these different regenerative properties in both animals is that some regeneration-associated molecules can be induced in the fish visual system, but not in rat. Such regeneration-associated molecules derived from fish might exert cell survival and nerve regeneration in mammals. In this viewpoint, we sought candidate molecules from axotomized fish retinas by differential screening. In this paper, we summarize the optic nerve regeneration factors from goldfish retina which promote cell survival and/or neurite outgrowth. Finally, we used these molecules in an attempt to rescue mammalian RGCs and regenerate their optic nerve. Such regeneration-associated molecules derived from fish retina successfully induced optic nerve regeneration in rat. These molecules could potentially offer new avenues for developing treatments for human retinal degenerative disorders such as glaucoma.
KeywordsOptic nerve Regeneration Survival Retinal ganglion cell Repair Apoptosis
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