microRNA profiling has identified cell-specific expression patterns that could represent molecular signatures triggering the acquisition of a specific phenotype; in other words, of cellular identity and its associated function. Several groups have hypothesized that retinal cell phenotyping could be achieved through the determination of the global pattern of miRNA expression across specific cell types in the adult retina. This is especially relevant for Müller glia in the context of retinal damage, as these cells undergo dramatic changes of gene expression in response to injury, that render them susceptible to acquire a progenitor-like phenotype and be a source of new neurons.
We describe a method that combines an experimental protocol for excitotoxic-induced retinal damage through N-methyl-D-aspartate subretinal injection with magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) of Müller cells and RNA isolation for microRNA profiling. Comparison of microRNA patterns of expression should allow Müller cell phenotyping under different experimental conditions.
Reyes-Aguirre LI, Lamas M (2016) Oct4 methylation-mediated silencing as an epigenetic barrier preventing müller glia dedifferentiation in a murine model of retinal injury. Front Neurosci 10:523CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar