The human retina does not regenerate nerve cells that are lost due to trauma or diseases such as macular degeneration and diabetes. This lack of cellular regeneration contributes directly to the persistent visual deficits and blindness associated with such disorders. The retinas of some animals however, including fish, contain stem cells that permit substantial cellular repair. Professor Cameron's lab is actively investigating the stem cells and molecular mechanisms that enable the adult fish retina to regenerate nerve cells. The ultimate goal is to harness these biological mechanisms to repair damaged human retina and other parts of the central nervous system.
Stenkamp DL, Satterfield R, Muhunthan K, Sherpa T, Vihtelic TS, Cameron D. Age-Related Cone Abnormalities in Zebrafish with Genetic Lesions in Sonic Hedgehog. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2008 May 23. [Epub ahead of print]
Tyler MJ, Cameron DA. Cellular pattern formation during retinal regeneration: a role for homotypic control of cell fate acquisition.
Vision Res. 2007 Feb;47(4):501-11. Epub 2006 Oct 10.
Yuro P, Cameron DA, (2005). Responses of muller glia to retinal injury in adult zebrafish. Vision Research 45:991-1002.