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T.L. Belecky-Adams, B. Anderson, R. Adler; Bone Morphogenetic Protein 7 (BMP7) Stimulates Outer Segment Elongation of Chick Photoreceptors in vitro . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2003;44(13):2813.
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Purpose: We have previously reported that several BMPs, their receptors, and binding proteins are selectively expressed in the chick embryo retina (JCN, 430:56-272), and that they play regulatory roles in pattern formation in the ventral retina, optic stalk and RPE (Devel., 129:3161-71) and lens differentiation (Devel.,129:3795-3802). The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the BMPs (and BMP-7 in particular) are also involved in the regulation of photoreceptor cell differentiation. Methods: Retinae from embryonic day 6 or 8 (E6 or E8) chick embryos were dissected, dissociated into single cell suspensions, and seeded into polyornithine-coated dishes, either in control medium or in the presence of different concentration of recombinant mouse or human BMP7. Cultures were fixed after 6 days in vitro, processed for immunocytochemistry or in situ hybridization for a variety of cell-specific markers, and analyzed by quantitative microscopy. In some experiments the cultured cells were lysed and analyzed by RT-PCR. Results: Total number of non-photoreceptor neurons and photoreceptor cells were similar in vehicle- and BMP7-treated dishes. On the other hand, outer segment-like processes were significantly more abundant, as well as more elongated, in BMP7-treated cultures than in vehicle-treated cultures. BMP-7 also appeared to stimulate a higher degree of polarization in the distribution of several photoreceptor-specific molecules, resembling the situation in mature photoreceptors in vivo. Conclusions: BMP7 enhances both the formation and elongation of outer segment-like processes, and the development and maintenance of a polarized phenotype in photoreceptor cells in vitro. Dominant-negative and constitutively activated BMP receptors are now being used to determine whether similar effects also take place in ovo. Support: NIH grants EYO4859 and 1765, NEI fellowship EYO6642, March of Dimes, American Cancer Society, Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., Research to Prevent Blindness, Foundation Fighting Blindness and a grant from Mrs. Harry J. Duffy.
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