27/01/2017 - 12:00 - Sala Marie Curie

Developmental and regenerative neurogenesis in the vertebrate retina

Scientific sessions, PRBB CRG Conferences

Peter F. Hitchcock

Kellogg Eye Center, University of Michigan. Ann Arbor, USA

Hitchcock's lab is presently undertaking three lines of research. The first investigates the function of the transcription factor, NeuroD. Our studies will test the mechanisms by which NeuroD functions during both photoreceptor genesis and regeneration. The second line of research tests our hypothesis that that microglia regulate aspects of neuronal regeneration in the retina. The third line of research investigates the function of the soluble growth factor, midkine-a, which is expressed by stem cells and progenitors during both developmental and regenerative neurogenesis.

These lines of research use the zebrafish as the animal model. The teleost retina is the only vertebrate central nervous tissue where intrinsic stem cells can regenerate a single neuronal type, which is integrated into existing synaptic circuits, or regenerate all cell types, which can fully restore the original tissue. Identifying the cellular and molecular determinants of neuronal genesis and regeneration will yield important results, which will expand our knowledge of intrinsic neural stem and progenitor cells and help identify core requirements for treating retinal injury and disease.