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    Müller glia (MG) are the predominant glia in the neural retina and can function as a regenerative source for retinal neurons. In lower vertebrates such as fish, MG-driven regeneration occurs naturally; in mammals, however, stimulation with certain factors or genetic/epigenetic manipulation is required. Since MG comprise only 5% of the retinal cell population, there is a need for model systems that allow the study of this cell population exclusively. One of these model systems is primary MG cultures that are reproducible and can be used for a variety of applications, including molecule/factor screening and identification, testing of compounds or factors, cell monitoring, and/or functional tests. This model is used to study the potential of murine MG to convert into retinal neurons after supplementation or inhibition of microRNAs (miRNAs) via transfection of artificial miRNAs or their inhibitors. The use of MG-specific reporter mice in combination with immunofluorescent labeling and single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) confirmed that 80%-90% of the cells found in these cultures are MG. Using this model, it was discovered that miRNAs can reprogram MG into retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), which subsequently differentiate into neuronal-like cells. The advantages of this technique are that miRNA candidates can be tested for their efficiency and outcome before their usage in in vivo applications.

    Citation

    Seoyoung Kang, Stefanie G Wohl. Primary Cell Cultures to Study the Regeneration Potential of Murine Müller Glia after MicroRNA Treatment. Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE. 2022 Mar 28(181)

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    PMID: 35404354

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