In 1851, Heinrich Mueller discovered what he called "radial fibers" and what we now call Mueller cells, as the principal glial cells of the vertebrate retina. Later on, other glial cell types were found in the retina, including astrocytes, microglia, and even oligodendrocytes. It turned out that retinal glial cells are essential constituents of the tissue. For instance, Mueller cells appear to constitute the "core" of columnar units of clonally and functionally related groups of neurons. Their primary function is to support neuronal functioning by guiding the light towards the photoreceptor cells, removing excess neurotransmitter molecules from extracellular space, and performing efficient clearance of excess extracellular potassium ions. The latter two functions are also crucial for neuronal survival and are coupled to water clearance which is also essential. Mueller cells are capable of "sensing" neuronal activity and modifying it by the release of signal substances (gliotransmitters). In cases of retinal injuries the Mueller cells become reactive, and all above-mentioned functions are impaired. However, such de-differentiated Mueller cells may proliferate, and may even serve as stem cells for the regeneration of a damaged retina. As well as the Mueller cells, retinal astrocytes and microglial cells are important players in retinal development and function. This book gives a comprehensive survey of the present knowledge on retinal glia.DUE TO ITS SIZE, WE ARE UNABLE TO PROVIDE THE REFERENCES FOR THIS BOOK WITHIN THE PRINT COPY. YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THE REFERENCES IN PDF FORMAT HERE.
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Table of Contents
Retinal Astrocytes and Blood Vessels
About the Author(s)Andreas Reichenbach
, University of Leipzig
Andreas Reichenbach , Dr. med. habil., started his career as a physiologist. Since 1994 he has been Professor for Neurophysiology and Head of the Department of Pathophysiology of Neuroglia at the Paul Flechsig Institute of Brain Research, Universitat Leipzig, Germany. His main fields of research are the development, structure, function, and pathophysiology of the vertebrate retina, and the contribution of neuroglial cells to the functioning and dysfunctions of the retina and brain. In particular, he and his colleagues contributed a great deal to the present knowledge about Mueller (radial glial) cells of the mammalian retina. For instance, his group detected that Mueller cells guide light to the photoreceptor cells in the inverted vertebrate retina. He has published a total of 400 scientific peer-reviewed papers, reviews, book chapters, and books.Andreas Bringmann
, Department of Ophthalmology and Eye Hospital, University of Leipzig
After studying biology, Dr. Andreas Bringmann worked in the field of systemic neurophysiology until he was inspired in 1996 by Andreas Reichenbach to research the most interesting cell, the Mueller cell. Since 2002 he has been in the Department of Ophthalmology and Eye Hospital of the University of Leipzig where he is the head of the Basic Research Laboratory.