Sensory Systems

The retina represents a well-studied system of developmental neurobiology. The laboratory has begun to study the expression and functions of the neural extracellular matrix (ECM) in the developing retina and obtained new insights into the roles of these components in retinal development. Thus, the glycoprotein tenascin-C of the ECM modulates the proliferation of the retinal stem cell pool. Investigations of structure and functions of the neural ECM in the developing retina represent an ongoing research question. Potential tenascin-C receptors, e.g. the receptor protein tyrosinephosphatase RPTP-β/ζ, have been studied in more detail. This resulted in a research line that focused on the expression of tyrosinephosphatases in the developing retina in general. Systematic screenings uncovered the cytoplasmic tyrosine phosphatase PTP-Meg2 as a promising target for further analysis. Currently, the development and pathology of the eye are studied in the PTP-meg2 knock-out model. Müller glia is analyzed as a potential stem cell of the retina and its potential for retina regeneration is explored. In a parallel approach, induced human pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are investigated for the potential to differentiate into retinal stem cells. Overall, the studies of development and retinal stem cells aim at establishing new tools for the repair of the retina in defined lesion models.

Past and current funding: DFG (SFB 509, Fa 159/14-1)


Jacqueline Reinhard

Dr. Jacqueline Reinhard

Cornelius Müller-Bühl

Dr. Cornelius Müller-Bühl

Aisha Yousf

MSc. Aisha Yousf

Katharina Stauder

MSc. Katharina Stauder