The present study has taken advantage of publicly available cell type specific mRNA expression databases in order to identify potential genes participating in the development of retinal AII amacrine cells. We profile two such genes, Delta/Notch-like EGF repeat containing (Dner) and nuclear factor I/A (Nfia), that are each heavily expressed in AII amacrine cells in the mature mouse retina, and which conjointly identify this retinal cell population in its entirety when using antibodies to DNER and NFIA. DNER is present on the plasma membrane, while NFIA is confined to the nucleus, consistent with known functions of each of these two proteins. DNER also identifies some other subsets of retinal ganglion and amacrine cell types, along with horizontal cells, while NFIA identifies a subset of bipolar cells as well as Muller glia and astrocytes. During early postnatal development, NFIA labels astrocytes on the day of birth, AII amacrine cells at postnatal (P) day 5, and Muller glia by P10, when horizontal cells also transiently exhibit NFIA immunofluorescence. DNER, by contrast, is present in ganglion and amacrine cells on P1, also labeling the horizontal cells by P10. Developing AII amacrine cells exhibit accumulating DNER labeling at the dendritic stalk, labeling that becomes progressively conspicuous by P10, as it is in maturity. This developmental time course is consistent with a prospective role for each gene in the differentiation of AII amacrine cells.
Pubmed ID: 29071714 RIS Download
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