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Xuanyu Min, Xin Zhang; Postnatal development of the ciliary body and iris in β-catenin knockout. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(7):196.
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Previous studies have shown that β-catenin is critical for the specification of mammalian ciliary margin at the embryonic stage. However, its role in the postnatal stage remains unclear. Using β-catenin knockout mice, we investigated the impact of β-catenin signaling on the postnatal development of the ciliary body (CB) and iris.
Cre-mediated inactivation of β-catenin signaling (βcatnull) in the peripheral retina was used for this study. tdTomato (Td) was incorporated as a reporter. Eyes from both Postnatal Day 0 (P0) and Postnatal 1 Month (P1M) stages were harvested, fixed, cryo-sectioned, and inspected with immunohistochemistry (IHC). Wildtype (WT) samples from the same litters and stages were used as controls.
Morphologically, the CB and iris remained intact at both the P0 and P1M stages, but the peripheral retina exhibited extensive neural retina rosettes positive for the Td reporter expression. Surprisingly, although β-catenin were absent in the peripheral retina, they were detected in the CB and iris, which were mostly devoid of Td expression. As a result, markers including CDO (pan-CM), P-cadherin (pigmented CB), Otx2 (distal CM), and αSMA (iris muscle) were all expressed in the similar locations as the WT counterparts (n=3 for each marker).
At the postnatal stage, βcatnull animals retain the normal structures of the CB and iris, but these structures are exclusively composed of β-catenin positive cells. In contrast, the neural retina contains both β-catenin positive and negative cells. These results show that wild type cells can coexist with βcatnull cells in the neural retina, but they outcompete βcatnull cells in the CB and iris.
This is a 2020 ARVO Annual Meeting abstract.
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