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The mammalian retina is comprised of six major neuronal cell types and is subdivided into more morphological and physiological subtypes. The transcriptional machinery underlying these subtype fate choices is largely unknown. The LIM-homeodomain protein, Isl1, plays an essential role in central nervous system (CNS) differentiation but its relationship to(More)
Whereas the mammalian retina possesses a repertoire of factors known to establish general retinal cell types, these factors alone cannot explain the vast diversity of neuronal subtypes. In other CNS regions, the differentiation of diverse neuronal pools is governed by coordinately acting LIM-homeodomain proteins including the Islet-class factor Islet-1(More)
The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) are the most common group of progressive neurodegenerative diseases in children, with an incidence as high as one in 12,500 live births. The main features of this disease are failure of psychomotor development, impaired vision, seizures, and premature death. Many biochemical and physiological studies have been(More)
Forebrain cholinergic neurons modulate complex mammalian behaviors such as reward-related learning and cognitive functions. Although their dysfunction is implicated in various psychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases, the factors governing cholinergic neuron differentiation and diversity are mostly unknown. We tested the role of the LIM-homeobox gene Isl1(More)
Neuronal populations display conspicuous variability in their size among individuals, but the genetic sources of this variation are largely undefined. We demonstrate a large and highly heritable variation in neuron number within the mouse retina, affecting a critical population of interneurons, the horizontal cells. Variation in the size of this population(More)
Batten disease, or juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (JNCL), results from mutations in the CLN3 gene. This disorder presents clinically around the age of 5 years with visual deficits progressing to include seizures, cognitive impairment, motor deterioration, hallucinations, and premature death by the third to fourth decade of life. The motor deficits(More)
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