Advances in regeneration of retinal ganglion cells and optic nerves

Fa Yuan, Mingwei Wang, Kangxin Jin, Mengqing Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Glaucoma, the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, is an incurable neurodegen-erative disorder due to the dysfunction of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). RGCs function as the only output neurons conveying the detected light information from the retina to the brain, which is a bottleneck of vision formation. RGCs in mammals cannot regenerate if injured, and RGC subtypes differ dramatically in their ability to survive and regenerate after injury. Recently, novel RGC sub-types and markers have been uncovered in succession. Meanwhile, apart from great advances in RGC axon regeneration, some degree of experimental RGC regeneration has been achieved by the in vitro differentiation of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells or in vivo somatic cell reprogramming, which provides insights into the future therapy of myriad neurodegenerative disorders. Further approaches to the combination of different factors will be necessary to develop effi-cacious future therapeutic strategies to promote ultimate axon and RGC regeneration and functional vision recovery following injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4616
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


  • Axon regeneration
  • ESC
  • IPSC
  • Optic nerve
  • Reprogramming
  • Retinal ganglion cell


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