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Cell sources, regulatory factors and gene expression in the regeneration of the crystalline lens and retina in vertebrate animals

, : Cell sources, regulatory factors and gene expression in the regeneration of the crystalline lens and retina in vertebrate animals. Izvestiia Akademii Nauk. Seriia Biologicheskaia: 298-318

Over the past century extensive experimental materials have been accumulated concerning cell sources of lens and retina regeneration, successive transformations of the cells, regulatory factors, and gene expression during restitution of these eye structures. The use of nuclear and cytoplasmic markers provided convincing evidence that the removed lens is restituted from the dorsal iris cells in vivo or from embryonic cells of the pigment epithelium and retina in vitro. The removed or destroyed retina is restituted as a result of transdifferentiation of the pigment epithelium cells in amphibians, fish, birds, and mammals during embryogenesis, in larvae of some anuran amphibians, and in adult newts. Cell precursors of rods are a cell source of retina regeneration in adult fish. A subpopulation of randomly distributed cells, which are a cell source of rod formation during the normal development of the eye was found in the external nuclear layer with the use of electron microscopy and nuclear and cytoplasmic markers. These cells are not only a source of regeneration of rods, but also of cones and cells of the internal nuclear layer after destruction of the corresponding retina layers. There is a peripheral growth area in the retina of vertebrates, where multi- and unipolar cells are localized, which provide for the retina growth during ontogenesis. A paradox of retina regeneration consists in that these little differentiated cells are not a source of complete restitution of the removed or destroyed retina. They make only a small contribution to its regeneration corresponding to the growth potential of cells of this eye region, while restitution of the retina proceeds only at the expense of cells of another type of differentiation. A factor controlling the differentiated state of the cell was found in the dorsal iris during studies of lens regeneration. Removal of this factor in the early stages of cell transformations leads to the initiation of lens regeneration. The factor is not specific and was identified in many cells of vertebrates, including the pigment epithelium and limb tissues, which, as is known, may be fully restituted. Studies of gene expression during lens and retina regeneration are now at the initial stage. The greatest advances were achieved on the model of transdifferentiation of the pigment epithelium cells of chick embryos into lentoids. Expression of genes MMP115 and pP344 was established in the pigment epithelium cells, which characterize the pigmented phenotype of the initial cells. Expression of the alpha-, beta-, and delta-crystallin genes was found in the lentoids, which characterize the phenotype of regenerating structures. The gene activity appears to be switched at an intermediate stage during cell dedifferentiation. Expression of the gamma-crystallin genes during lens regeneration in adult newts is initiated after completion of dedifferentiation and cell proliferation in the dorsal iris. The genes specifically expressed in the dorsal and ventral iris and in the retina rudiment have been identified by the method of gene subtraction. Expression of homeobox-containing genes from the family of PAX genes was found during lens regeneration in adult newts and retina regeneration in adult fish. The role of growth factors (FGF) as morphogenetic factors was proved, which are involved in a yet unknown way of altering the differentiation pathway of the initial cells during formation of the neuroepithelium rudiment in chick embryos, adult newts, and fish.


PMID: 8755029

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