Lgr5+ amacrine cells possess regenerative potential in the retina of adult mice

Mengfei Chen, Shenghe Tian, Nathan G. Glasgow, Gregory Gibson, Xiaoling Yang, Christen E. Shiber, James Funderburgh, Simon Watkins, Jon W. Johnson, Joel S. Schuman, Hongjun Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Current knowledge indicates that the adult mammalian retina lacks regenerative capacity. Here, we show that the adultstemcell marker, leucine-rich repeat-containing G-protein-coupled receptor 5 (Lgr5), is expressed in the retina of adult mice. Lgr5+ cells are generated at late stages of retinal development and exhibit properties of differentiated amacrine interneurons (amacrine cells). Nevertheless, Lgr5+ amacrine cells contribute to regeneration of new retinal cells in the adult stage. The generation of new retinal cells, including retinal neurons and Müuller glia from Lgr5+ amacrine cells, begins in early adulthood and continues as the animal ages. Together, these findings suggest that the mammalian retina is not devoid of regeneration as previously thought. It is rather dynamic, and Lgr5+ amacrine cells function as an endogenous regenerative source. The identification of such cells in the mammalian retina may provide new insights into neuronal regeneration and point to therapeutic opportunities for age-related retinal degenerative diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)635-643
Number of pages9
JournalAging cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2015


  • Aging
  • Amacrine cells
  • Lgr5
  • Neurogenesis
  • Retina
  • Retinal regeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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