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Shh/Boc signaling is required for sustained generation of ipsilateral projecting ganglion cells in the mouse retina.

Authors
  • Sánchez-Arrones, Luisa
  • Nieto-Lopez, Francisco
  • Sánchez-Camacho, Cristina
  • Carreres, M Isabel
  • Herrera, Eloisa
  • Okada, Ami
  • Bovolenta, Paola
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher
Society for Neuroscience
Publication Date
May 15, 2013
Volume
33
Issue
20
Pages
8596–8607
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2083-12.2013
PMID: 23678105
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) signaling is an important determinant of vertebrate retinal ganglion cell (RGC) development. In mice, there are two major RGC populations: (1) the Islet2-expressing contralateral projecting (c)RGCs, which both produce and respond to Shh; and (2) the Zic2-expressing ipsilateral projecting RGCs (iRGCs), which lack Shh expression. In contrast to cRGCs, iRGCs, which are generated in the ventrotemporal crescent (VTC) of the retina, specifically express Boc, a cell adhesion molecule that acts as a high-affinity receptor for Shh. In Boc(-/-) mutant mice, the ipsilateral projection is significantly decreased. Here, we demonstrate that this phenotype results, at least in part, from the misspecification of a proportion of iRGCs. In Boc(-/-) VTC, the number of Zic2-positive RGCs is reduced, whereas more Islet2/Shh-positive RGCs are observed, a phenotype also detected in Zic2 and Foxd1 null embryos. Consistent with this observation, organization of retinal projections at the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus is altered in Boc(-/-) mice. Analyses of the molecular and cellular consequences of introducing Shh into the developing VTC and Zic2 and Boc into the central retina indicate that Boc expression alone is insufficient to fully activate the ipsilateral program and that Zic2 regulates Shh expression. Taking these data together, we propose that expression of Boc in cells from the VTC is required to sustain Zic2 expression, likely by regulating the levels of Shh signaling from the nearby cRGCs. Zic2, in turn, directly or indirectly, counteracts Shh and Islet2 expression in the VTC and activates the ipsilateral program.

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