A group led by Michal Schwartz at the Weizmann Institute detected immune cells called macrophages in the retinas of mice that sustained eye injuries a few days prior. Thanks to their expression of an anti-inflammatory protein, these macrophages dampened injury-induced inflammation and protected the retinal ganglion cells from death. Macrophage arrival also awakened neural progenitor cells that lie dormant in healthy eyes.
Whether these findings can be exploited in new therapies for degenerative eye disorders in humans remains to be explored.
About The Journal of Experimental Medicine
The Journal of Experimental Medicine (JEM) is published by The Rockefeller University Press. All editorial decisions on manuscripts submitted are made by active scientists in conjunction with our in-house scientific editors. JEM content is posted to PubMed Central, where it is available to the public for free six months after publication. Authors retain copyright of their published works and third parties may reuse the content for non-commercial purposes under a creative commons license. For more information, please visit www.jem.org.
Wrammert et al. 2010. J. Exp. Med. doi:10.1084/jem.20101352