The internal limiting membrane: Roles in retinal development and implications for emerging ocular therapies

Kevin Y. Zhang, Thomas V. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Basement membranes help to establish, maintain, and separate their associated tissues. They also provide growth and signaling substrates for nearby resident cells. The internal limiting membrane (ILM) is the basement membrane at the ocular vitreoretinal interface. While the ILM is essential for normal retinal development, it is dispensable in adulthood. Moreover, the ILM may constitute a significant barrier to emerging ocular therapeutics, such as viral gene therapy or stem cell transplantation. Here we take a neurodevelopmental perspective in examining how retinal neurons, glia, and vasculature interact with individual extracellular matrix constituents at the ILM. In addition, we review evidence that the ILM may impede novel ocular therapies and discuss approaches for achieving retinal parenchymal targeting of gene vectors and cell transplants delivered into the vitreous cavity by manipulating interactions with the ILM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108545
JournalExperimental eye research
Volume206
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021

Keywords

  • Barrier
  • Basement membrane
  • Cell replacement
  • Cell signaling
  • Inner limiting membrane
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Retinal ganglion cell
  • Transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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