Could slow or reverse conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma
University of Michigan Health System research into the mechanisms by which zebrafish are able to regenerate damaged retinas after injury suggests new strategies for one day being able to do the same in humans — potentially allowing doctors to slow or reverse conditions like macular degeneration and glaucoma.
Building on previous studies, Daniel Goldman, Ph.D., a professor at U-M’s Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience Institute and in the Department of Biological Chemistry, along with postdoctoral fellows Jin Wan and Rajesh Ramachandran, discovered that heparin-binding epidermal-like growth factor (HB-EGF) plays a critical role during retina regeneration. Their findings were recently published in Developmental Cell.
“We found that this factor is sufficient to activate the whole process,” says Goldman.
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