April 1997
Volume 38, Issue 5
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Articles  |   April 1997
Xenopus Brn-3.0, a POU-domain gene expressed in the developing retina and tectum. Not regulated by innervation.
Author Affiliations
  • N Hirsch
    Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0366, USA.
  • W A Harris
    Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0366, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 1997, Vol.38, 960-969. doi:
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      N Hirsch, W A Harris; Xenopus Brn-3.0, a POU-domain gene expressed in the developing retina and tectum. Not regulated by innervation.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(5):960-969.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: To study the effect of denervation on the expression of the POU-domain gene Brn-3.0 in the Xenopus visual system. METHODS: An oligonucleotide probe was used to identify homologs of the murine gene Brn-3.0 in the retina. In situ hybridization was used to determine the spatial distribution of the mRNA within the developing embryo. To study the effects of denervation on Brn-3.0 expression and cell fate, embryonic eyes were transplanted to an ectopic location on the animal (the flank) before the onset of retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axonogenesis. Gene expression in ectopic eyes and denervated tecta was analyzed over time using in situ hybridization. RESULTS: The deduced, partial amino acid sequence for Xenopus Brn-3.0 shows 100% identity with the mouse Brn-3.0 and the human Brn-3a gene products. It is expressed during early embryonic development in distinct populations of the neural crest and later in specific cranial ganglia. It also is expressed in RGCs and in the optic tectum, beginning before the first RGC axons have reached the tectum and continuing without interruption throughout the period when retino-tectal connections are established and refined. If the retino-tectal projection is kept from forming by transplanting one eye to an ectopic location, Brn-3.0 expression is unaffected in both the ectopic eye and the denervated side of the tectum. CONCLUSIONS: Coordinate expression of Brn-3.0 in afferent and efferent pathways suggests mutual regulation. However, the authors' evidence shows that expression in the retina is not regulated by target-derived factors nor is expression in the tectum regulated by retinal innervation.

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