Reactive Fibroblasts in Response to Optic Nerve Crush Injury

Xiangxiang Liu, Yuan Liu, Huiyi Jin, Mohamed M. Khodeiry, Weizheng Kong, Ningli Wang, Jae K. Lee, Richard K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traumatic optic neuropathy leads to bidirectional degeneration of retinal ganglion cells and axons and results in optic nerve scaring, which inhibits the regeneration of damaged axons. Compared with its glial counterpart, the fibrotic response causing nerve scar tissue is poorly permissive to axonal regeneration. Using collagen1α1-GFP reporter mice, we characterize the development of fibrotic scar formation following optic nerve crush injury. We observe that perivascular collagen1α1 cells constitute a major cellular component of the fibrotic scar. We demonstrate that extracellular molecules and monocytes are key factors contributing to the pathogenesis of optic nerve fibrotic scar formation, with a previously unrecognized encapsulation of this scar. We also characterize the distribution of collagen1α1 cells in the retina after optic nerve crush injury based on in vivo and whole-mount retinal imaging. Our results identify collagen1α1 cells as a major component of fibrotic scarring following ONC and are a potential molecular target for promoting axonal regeneration after optic nerve injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1392-1403
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • Collagen1α1 cells
  • Fibroblasts
  • Fibrotic scar
  • Optic nerve crush
  • Traumatic optic neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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