• Open Access

Relaxation-expansion model for self-driven retinal morphogenesis

A hypothesis from the perspective of biosystems dynamics at the multi-cellular level

Authors

  • Mototsugu Eiraku,

    Corresponding author
    1. Organogenesis and Neurogenesis Group, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, Japan
    2. Unit for Four-Dimensional Tissue Analysis, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, Japan
    • Organogenesis and Neurogenesis Group, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, Japan.
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  • Taiji Adachi,

    1. Department of Biomechanics, Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
    2. Computational Cell Biomechanics Team, VCAD System Research Program, RIKEN, Wako, Japan
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  • Yoshiki Sasai

    Corresponding author
    1. Organogenesis and Neurogenesis Group, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, Japan
    2. Unit for Four-Dimensional Tissue Analysis, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, Japan
    • Organogenesis and Neurogenesis Group, RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology, Kobe, Japan.
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Abstract

The generation of complex organ structures such as the eye requires the intricate orchestration of multiple cellular interactions. In this paper, early retinal development is discussed with respect to the structure formation of the optic cup. Although recent studies have elucidated molecular mechanisms of retinal differentiation, little is known about how the unique shape of the optic cup is determined. A recent report has demonstrated that optic-cup morphogenesis spontaneously occurs in three-dimensional stem-cell culture without external forces, indicating a latent intrinsic order to generate the structure. Based on this self-organizing phenomenon, we introduce the “relaxation-expansion” model to mechanically interpret the tissue dynamics that enable the spontaneous invagination of the neural retina. This model involves three consecutive local rules (relaxation, apical constriction, and expansion), and its computer simulation recapitulates the optic-cup morphogenesis in silico.

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