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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)
Overexpression of XOptx2, a homeodomain-containing transcription factor expressed in the Xenopus embryonic eye field, results in a dramatic increase in eye size. An XOptx2-Engrailed repressor gives a similar phenotype, while an XOptx2-VP16 activator reduces eye size. XOptx2 stimulates bromodeoxyuridine incorporation, and XOptx2-induced eye enlargement is(More)
Vertebrate eyes begin as a small patch of cells at the most anterior end of the early brain called the eye field. If these cells are removed from an amphibian embryo, the eyes do not form. If the eye field is transplanted to another location on the embryo or cultured in a dish, it forms eyes. These simple cut and paste experiments were performed at the(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)
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)
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)
PURPOSE Amphibian retinas regenerate after injury, making them ideal for studying the mechanisms of retinal regeneration, but this leaves their value as models of retinal degeneration in question. The authors asked whether the initial cellular changes after rod loss in the regenerative model Xenopus laevis mimic those observed in nonregenerative models.(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)
The prevalence of blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy have significantly increased in the United States over the last decade. 1 In response to the higher incidence of retinal degenerative diseases, the National Eye Institute (NEI) of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has recently(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)