The role of Vsxl in the development of cone bipolar cells in mouse retina

Date

2011-11-03

Authors

Shi, Zhiwei

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Abstract

Visual system homeobox 1 (Vsx1) is a paired-like:CVC homeodomain transcription factor that is expressed in a subset of retinal bipolar cells. Vsx1-null mice have previously been shown to have defects in bipolar cell terminal differentiation characterized by the reduced expression of four OFF bipolar cell-specific markers and electrophysiological defects in the OFF visual signaling pathway. The availability of recently identified bipolar cell markers enables a further characterization of the Vsx1-null mutant. I determined that Vsx1 is expressed in Type 7 ON bipolar cells and observed the upregulation of three cell markers: Cabp5, Chx10, and alpha-gustducin:GFP in this cell type in Vsx1-null mice. These data reveal a trend in which Vsx1 functions as a transcriptional repressor in Type 7 ON bipolar cells and as an activator in Type 2 OFF bipolar cells. Lastly, my data indicate that Vsx1 is required for the expression of two Type 3a bipolar cell markers, however, the mechanism by which it does so appears to be complex, as I was unable to detect Vsx1 protein or reporter gene expression in this cell type.

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Keywords

retinal development, ON/OFF bipolar cells, homeodomain, transcription factor, visual signalling, cell marker, transcriptional

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