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K. Roesch, J. Trimarchi, C. Cepko; Müller Glial Single Cell Gene Expression Changes During Retina Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2008;49(13):4891.
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Neuronal cell death in the CNS often involves changes in non-neuronal cells. This holds for rod photoreceptor death in the murine retina. Resident Müller glial cells, the major type of glia in the mammalian retina, have been shown to respond to neuronal cell death by increasing GFAP expression. Additional changes in gene expression have not been studied. Moreover, the functional significance of any gene expression changes has not been explored. To study the response of Müller glial cells to photoreceptor cell loss, single cell gene expression profiling was performed.
Mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) were used. Single cell gene profiling of Müller glia was achieved using Affymetrix arrays and the results were validated by in situ hybridization on retinal sections.
Profiling of Müller glia from wild type and RP mice led to the identification of genes expressed at high levels in Müller glial cells. Distinct clusters of differentially expressed genes were observed in the Muller glia from RP mice.
Comparison of these profiles revealed many exciting perspectives on the function of Müller glia and provide a foundation for further studies in normal and diseased states.
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