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Current Progress of Reelin in Development, Inflammation and Tissue Remodeling: From Nervous to Visual Systems

[ Vol. 16 , Issue. 7 ]


A. Micera, B. O. Balzamino, F. Biamonte, G. Esposito, R. Marino, F. Fanelli and F. Keller   Pages 620 - 630 ( 11 )


Reelin is a matrix glycoprotein that plays a pivotal role for the positioning of neurons throughout brain development. In the early developing cortex Reelin regulates radial migration of cortical neurons while later in development, Reelin promotes maturation of dendrites and dendritic spines. Low Reelin levels characterize healthy adult brain while increased Reelin levels have been associated with cellular events underlying response to injury.

Reelin has been detected in structural and immune cells outside brain (liver, gut/colon tracts, kidney, testis, ovary, lung, retina and cornea). In the Visual system, Reelin was first described in the retina and thereafter in the cornea. Increased Reelin levels were observed during retinogenesis, low levels were found in adulthood and a significant increase was detected upon injury. Insult-driven Reelin changes occur after upregulation of adhesion molecules, cytokines, neurotrophins, growth factors, neuropeptides and other mediators as well as their receptors. These soluble factors contribute to the development of nervous and visual system and promote survival/recovery of neurons/accessory cells populating the injured visual system. Likewise, Reelin might modulate these factors by driving different multiple effects on homeostasis/plasticity, inflammation, healing and remodeling at different physiopathological levels. Very low-density lipoprotein receptor, apolipoprotein E receptor 2, integrins and the adaptor molecule Disabled 1 trigger Reelin pathway.

Recent advances highlight some Reelin activities during inflammation and tissue remodeling and point out to a crucial Reelin activity in the visual system. A better understanding of Reelin function in retinal development might open to new attractive perspective for counteracting retina degeneration.


Reelin, inflammation, tissue remodeling, neurodegeneration, retina, visual system.


Research Laboratories of Ophthalmology, IRCCS-G.B. Bietti Foundation, via Alvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy., Laboratory of Developmental Neuroscience and Neural Plasticity, University Campus Bio-Medico, via Alvaro del Portillo 21, 00128 Rome, Italy.

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