Role Identified for Key Protein in Regeneration of Damaged Newt Retinas
At the back of the retina in adult vertebrate eyes is a highly differentiated layer of cells known as the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). These cells do not normally multiply or migrate in adults, but in humans they do so in response to retinal trauma. They then pass through a transitional state of multipotency, with the potential to become more than one cell type, eventually transforming into cells that heal the wound, but with a resulting loss of vision. This causes a retinal disorder such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). In the adult newt, a similar process is seen but with a key difference: it results in the regeneration of a fully functional retina and RPE, even if the retina has been surgically removed from the eye.