Single-Cell Profiles of Retinal Ganglion Cells Differing in Resilience to Injury Reveal Neuroprotective Genes

Published Date: 
November 26, 2019

Nicholas M.Tran, Karthik Shekhar, Irene E.Whitney, Anne Jacobi, Inbal Benhar, Guosong Hong, Wenjun Yan, Xian Adiconis, McKinzie E. Arnold, Jung Min Lee, Joshua Z. Levin, Dingchang Lin, Chen Wang, Charles M. Lieber, Aviv Regev, Zhigang He, Joshua R. Sanes 

Neuronal injury is characterized by the selective death of specific types of neurons, but the reasons are poorly understood. In particular, Joshua Sanes, Zhigang He, and colleagues earlier found that different retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types differ in their robustness to axonal damage. Now, by sequencing the genes expressed in tens of thousands of individual RGCs, Sanes and colleagues (Tran et al., Neuron 2019) used the correlation of differential gene expression with injury response to systematically identify neuroprotective genes. By manipulating some of these molecular targets, they point to potential therapeutic targets.