The transcription factor cSox2 and Neuropeptide Y define a novel subgroup of amacrine cells in the retina

Authors

  • D. Le Rouëdec,

    1. School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
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  • K. Rayner,

    1. The Nottingham Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
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  • M. Rex,

    1. Biological Sciences, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK
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  • P. M. Wigmore,

    1. School of Biomedical Sciences, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
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  • P. J. Scotting

    Corresponding author
    1. The Nottingham Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK
      P. J. Scotting, The Nottingham Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.
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P. J. Scotting, The Nottingham Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre, Institute of Genetics, University of Nottingham, Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK.

Abstract

The retina has been extensively used as a model to study the mechanisms responsible for the production of different neural cell phenotypes. The importance of both extrinsic and intrinsic cues in these processes is now appreciated and numerous transcription factors have been identified which are required for both neuronal determination and cell differentiation. In this study we have analysed the expression of the transcription factor Sox2 during development of the chick retina. Expression was found in the proliferating cells of the retina during development and was down regulated by nearly all cell types as they started to differentiate and migrate to the different layers of the retina. In one cell type, however, Sox2 expression was retained after the cells have ceased division and migrated to their adult location. These cells formed two rows located on either side of the inner plexiform layer and were also positive for Neuropeptide Y, characteristics which indicate that they were a subpopulation of amacrine cells. The expression of Sox2 by only this population of post-mitotic neurones makes it possible to follow these cells as they migrate to their adult location and shows that they initially form a single row of cells which subsequently divides to form the double row seen in the adult tissue. We suggest that retained expression of Sox2 is involved in directing the differentiation of these cells and is an early marker of this cell type.

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