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D L Stenkamp, O Hisatomi, L K Barthel, F Tokunaga, P A Raymond; Temporal expression of rod and cone opsins in embryonic goldfish retina predicts the spatial organization of the cone mosaic.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1996;37(2):363-376.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: Cone photoreceptors in teleost fish retina are organized into a precise, crystalline mosaic in which the four spectral subtypes have a consistent position relative to each other. The objective of the current study was to describe the spatial and temporal progression of photoreceptor differentiation in the embryonic goldfish retina to understand how the retinal cone mosaic might be produced. METHODS: To identify developing photoreceptors when they first begin to express a specific opsin, the authors used in situ hybridization with cRNA probes generated from cDNA for rod opsin and red, green, blue, and ultraviolet cone opsins from goldfish (Carassius auratus). RESULTS: In the retina, rod opsin was expressed first, and it was restricted to a small patch of regularly spaced, precocious rods located near the ventronasal edge of the retina, close to the choroid fissure. The patch enlarged by recruitment of additional rods in a circular path, moving from ventral to nasal to dorsal to temporal retina. Expression of cone opsins began approximately 10 hours after rod opsin was first expressed, and differentiation of cone photoreceptors followed the spatial pattern laid down by the early rods. The temporal order of onset of cone opsin expression was red, then green, then blue, then ultraviolet. When rod and red cone opsin probes were combined, the number of labeled cells was additive, suggesting that these two opsins are expressed in separate populations of photoreceptors. CONCLUSIONS: The onset of opsin expression in goldfish retina follows a highly ordered spatio-temporal pattern. Early differentiation and regular spacing of the precocious rods was unexpected and suggested that they may play a role in cone mosaic patterning. The order of subsequent cone opsin expression was related to the relative positions of cone subtype in the mosaic, suggesting the possibility that inductive interactions among developing photoreceptors may be responsible for patterning the cone mosaic array.
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