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Dev Biol 2007 Mar 01;3031:45-56. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2006.11.024.
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Neural retinal regeneration in the anuran amphibian Xenopus laevis post-metamorphosis: transdifferentiation of retinal pigmented epithelium regenerates the neural retina.

Yoshii C , Ueda Y , Okamoto M , Araki M .

In urodele amphibians like the newt, complete retina and lens regeneration occurs throughout their lives. In contrast, anuran amphibians retain this capacity only in the larval stage and quickly lose it during metamorphosis. It is believed that they are unable to regenerate these tissues after metamorphosis. However, contrary to this generally accepted notion, here we report that both the neural retina (NR) and lens regenerate following the surgical removal of these tissues in the anuran amphibian, Xenopus laevis, even in the mature animal. The NR regenerated both from the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells by transdifferentiation and from the stem cells in the ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) by differentiation. In the early stage of NR regeneration (5-10 days post operation), RPE cells appeared to delaminate from the RPE layer and adhere to the remaining retinal vascular membrane. Thereafter, they underwent transdifferentiation to regenerate the NR layer. An in vitro culture study also revealed that RPE cells differentiated into neurons and that this was accelerated by the presence of FGF-2 and IGF-1. The source of the regenerating lens appeared to be remaining lens epithelium, suggesting that this is a kind of repair process rather than regeneration. Thus, we show for the first time that anuran amphibians retain the capacity for retinal regeneration after metamorphosis, similarly to urodeles, but that the mode of regeneration differs between the two orders. Our study provides a new tool for the molecular analysis of regulatory mechanisms involved in retinal and lens regeneration by providing an alternative animal model to the newt, the only other experimental model.

PubMed ID: 17184765
Article link: Dev Biol

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: crygdl.30 crygdl.43 lama1 pax6 pcna rpe rpe65 tuba4b
Antibodies: Lama1 Ab1 Neurofilament Ab1 Rpe65 Ab1 Tuba4b Ab11

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