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Müller glia, or Müller cells, are glial cells found in the vertebrate retina, which normally serve the functions of any normal glial cells. However, following injury to the retina, it has been seen that Müller glia undergo dedifferentiation into multipotent progenitor cells. At this point, the progenitor cell can divide and differentiate into a number of retinal cell types, including photoreceptor cells, that may have been damaged during injury.[1] Additionally, recently published research has shown that Müller cells act as a light collector in the mammalian eye, analogous to a fiber optic plate, funneling light to the rod and cone cells.[2]

Research Potential[edit | edit source]

Müller glia are currently being studied for their role in neural regeneration, a phenomenon that is not known to occur in humans.[3] Published papers have studied Müller glia in both zebrafish[4] and chicken[5] retina, and further research could help towards solutions for the blind or visually impaired.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Bernardos RL, Barthel LK, Meyers JR, Raymond PA. Late-stage neuronal progenitors in the retina are radial Müller glia that function as retinal stem cells. J Neurosci. 2007 Jun 27;27(26):7028-40. PMID 17596452
  2. Müller cells acting as light conductor at The Register, based on Franze et al., Müller cells are living optical fibers in the vertebrate retina, PNAS 104(20):8287–8292, 15 May 2007 | 10.1073/pnas.0611180104
  3. WebVision: Regeneration in the Visual System of Adult Mammals
  4. Fausett, BV and Goldman, D. A role for a1 tubulin-expressing Muller glia in regeneration of the injured zebrafish retina. J. Neurosci. 26: 6303-6313, 2006; Raymond, PA, et al. Molecular characterization of retinal stem cells and their niches in adult zebrafish. BMC Dev Biol. Volume: 6, Issue: 2006, Date: 2006 09 12, Pages: 36
  5. Fischer, AJ. Müller glia are a potential source of neural regeneration in the postnatal chicken retina. Nat Neurosci. Volume: 4, Issue: Mar, Date: 2001 03 06, Pages: 247-52

External links[edit | edit source]

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