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Several eye-field transcription factors (EFTFs) are expressed in the anterior region of the vertebrate neural plate and are essential for eye formation. The Xenopus EFTFs ET, Rx1, Pax6, Six3, Lhx2, tll and Optx2 are expressed in a dynamic, overlapping pattern in the presumptive eye field. Expression of an EFTF cocktail with Otx2 is sufficient to induce(More)
Sonic hedgehog is involved in eye field separation along the proximodistal axis. We show that Hh signalling continues to be important in defining aspects of the proximodistal axis as the optic vesicle and optic cup mature. We show that two other Hedgehog proteins, Banded hedgehog and Cephalic hedgehog, related to the mouse Indian hedgehog and Desert(More)
Photoreceptor and bipolar cells are molecularly related cell types in the vertebrate retina. XOtx5b is expressed in both photoreceptors and bipolars, while a closely related member of the same family of transcription factors, XOtx2, is expressed in bipolar cells only. Lipofection of retinal precursors with XOtx5b biases them toward photoreceptor fates(More)
Tremendous progress has been made in recent years to generate retinal cells from pluripotent cell sources. These advances provide hope for those suffering from blindness due to lost retinal cells. Understanding the intrinsic genetic network in model organisms, like fly and frog, has led to a better understanding of the extrinsic signaling pathways necessary(More)
Pluripotent cells such as embryonic stem (ES) and induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are the starting point from which to generate organ specific cell types. For example, converting pluripotent cells to retinal cells could provide an opportunity to treat retinal injuries and degenerations. In this study, we used an in vivo strategy to determine if(More)
Members of the LIM homeodomain (LIM-HD) family of proteins are double zinc-finger containing transcription factors with important functions in pattern formation and cell lineage determination. The LIM-HD family member Lhx2 is required for normal eye, liver, and central nervous system formation. Lhx2(-/-) mice lack eyes, and experiments in Xenopus predict(More)
Several retinal mRNAs encoding photoreceptor-specific proteins have been examined in congenic lines of mice carrying different allelic combinations at the rd and rds loci, to determine how mRNA expression is affected by the presence of both the rd and rds genes together or by the presence of one or two rd and rds alleles in the visual cells. Slot blots with(More)
Measurement of the visual function in the tadpoles of the frog, Xenopus laevis, allows screening for blindness in live animals. The optokinetic response is a vision-based, reflexive behavior that has been observed in all vertebrates tested. Tadpole eyes are small so the tail flip response was used as alternative measure, which requires a trained technician(More)
Retina formation requires the correct spatiotemporal patterning of key regulatory factors. While it is known that repression of several signaling pathways lead to specification of retinal fates, addition of only Noggin, a known BMP antagonist, can convert pluripotent Xenopus laevis animal cap cells to functional retinal cells. The aim of this study is to(More)
Intermediate filament proteins are structural components of the cellular cytoskeleton with cell-type specific expression and function. Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) is a type III intermediate filament protein and is up-regulated in glia of the nervous system in response to injury and during neurodegenerative diseases. In the retina, GFAP levels are(More)