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Müller glia, the major glial cell types in the retina, maintain retinal homeostasis and provide structural support to retinal photoreceptors. They also possess regenerative potential that might be used for retinal repair in response to injury or disease. In teleost fish (such as zebrafish), the Müller glia response to injury involves reprogramming events that result in a population of proliferative neural progenitors that can regenerate the injured retina. Recent studies have revealed several important mechanisms for the regenerative capacity of Müller glia in fish, which may shed more light on the mechanisms of Müller glia reprogramming and regeneration in mammals. Mammalian Müller glia can adopt stem cell characteristics, and in response to special conditions, be persuaded to proliferate and regenerate, although their native regeneration potential is limited. In this review, we consider the work to date revealing the regenerative potential of the mammalian Müller glia and discuss whether they are a potential source for cell regeneration therapy in humans.

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Müller glia, differentiation, proliferation, regeneration potential, reprogramming, retinal regeneration, stem cells