April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
BARHL2 Functions in Mosaic Spacing and Axon Tiling in Displaced Cholinergic Amacrine Cells in the Developing Mouse Retina
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Qian Ding
    Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
  • Lin Gan
    Flaum Eye Institute, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Qian Ding, None; Lin Gan, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  NIH Grant EY013426
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 2686. doi:
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    • Get Citation

      Qian Ding, Lin Gan; BARHL2 Functions in Mosaic Spacing and Axon Tiling in Displaced Cholinergic Amacrine Cells in the Developing Mouse Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):2686.

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Abstract

Purpose: : Barhl2, a member of the Barh gene family, plays a critical role in retinal neuron subtype differentiation. Loss of Barhl2 leads to a significant reduction of glycinergic and GABAergic amacrine cells (ACs) with a substantial increase in the number of cholinergic ACs. The purpose of this study is to identify the function of BARHL2 in neurites arborization and mosaic spacing of different retinal neurons.

Methods: : We examined the distribution of retinal neurons by wholemount immunohistochemistry with multiple cell type and subtype markers in adult and developing retinas from Barhl2-null mice. We also performed lineage analysis using Barhl2-Cre knock-in and conditional GFP reporter (Z/EG) mouse lines to visualize the cell bodies and axons of Barhl2-lineage cells.

Results: : We found the displaced cholinergic amacrine cells from Barhl2-null mice had defects in their processes arborization and their cell bodies distribution. During their differentiation, instead of gradually organized into a nonrandom mosaic, the cell bodies of displaced cholinergic ACs in the mutant retina were either forming clumps or randomly spaced with aggregated dendrites. However, no difference was observed when comparing the spacing of other Barhl2-lineage neurons from Barhl2-null and control retinas.

Conclusions: : This study indicated that BARHL2 mediates the formation and regulation of cholinergic ACs mosaic spacing specifically. It demonstrated for the first time that a transcription factor is involved in this process.

Keywords: retinal development • transcription factors • amacrine cells 
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