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The reprogramming of retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells in the adult newt immediately after retinal injury is an area of active research for the study of retinal disorders and regeneration. We demonstrate here that unlike embryonic/larval retinal regeneration, adult newt RPE cells are not directly reprogrammed into retinal stem/progenitor cells; instead, they are programmed into a unique state of multipotency that is similar to the early optic vesicle (embryo) but preserves certain adult characteristics. These cells then differentiate into two populations from which the prospective-neural retina and -RPE layers are formed with the correct polarity. Furthermore, our findings provide insight into the similarity between these unique multipotent cells in newts and those implicated in retinal disorders, such as proliferative vitreoretinopathy, in humans. These findings provide a foundation for biomedical approaches that aim to induce retinal self-regeneration for the treatment of RPE-mediated retinal disorders.


  • Scientific reports

    Scientific reports (4), 6043, 2014-08

    Nature Publishing Group



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