Literature context: estin Millipore CAT#AB_15282; RRID:AB_1163387 Chicken polyclonal anti-GFP Abc
Screens for genes that orchestrate neural circuit formation in mammals have been hindered by practical constraints of germline mutagenesis. To overcome these limitations, we combined RNA-seq with somatic CRISPR mutagenesis to study synapse development in the mouse retina. Here synapses occur between cellular layers, forming two multilayered neuropils. The outer neuropil, the outer plexiform layer (OPL), contains synapses made by rod and cone photoreceptor axons on rod and cone bipolar dendrites, respectively. We used RNA-seq to identify selectively expressed genes encoding cell surface and secreted proteins and CRISPR-Cas9 electroporation with cell-specific promoters to assess their roles in OPL development. Among the genes identified in this way are Wnt5a and Wnt5b. They are produced by rod bipolars and activate a non-canonical signaling pathway in rods to regulate early OPL patterning. The approach we use here can be applied to other parts of the brain.
Literature context: polyclonal Millipore AB_15282; RRID:AB_1163387 1:1000
Regulation of rod gene expression has emerged as a potential therapeutic strategy to treat retinal degenerative diseases like retinitis pigmentosa (RP). We previously reported on a small molecule modulator of the rod transcription factor Nr2e3, Photoregulin1 (PR1), that regulates the expression of photoreceptor-specific genes. Although PR1 slows the progression of retinal degeneration in models of RP in vitro, in vivo analyses were not possible with PR1. We now report a structurally unrelated compound, Photoregulin3 (PR3) that also inhibits rod photoreceptor gene expression, potentially though Nr2e3 modulation. To determine the effectiveness of PR3 as a potential therapy for RP, we treated RhoP23H mice with PR3 and assessed retinal structure and function. PR3-treated RhoP23H mice showed significant structural and functional photoreceptor rescue compared with vehicle-treated littermate control mice. These results provide further support that pharmacological modulation of rod gene expression provides a potential strategy for the treatment of RP.
Literature context: #AB15282; RRID:AB_1163387 Rabbit ant
Neural circuit wiring relies on selective synapse formation whereby a presynaptic release apparatus is matched with its cognate postsynaptic machinery. At metabotropic synapses, the molecular mechanisms underlying this process are poorly understood. In the mammalian retina, rod photoreceptors form selective contacts with rod ON-bipolar cells by aligning the presynaptic voltage-gated Ca2+ channel directing glutamate release (CaV1.4) with postsynaptic mGluR6 receptors. We show this coordination requires an extracellular protein, α2δ4, which complexes with CaV1.4 and the rod synaptogenic mediator, ELFN1, for trans-synaptic alignment with mGluR6. Eliminating α2δ4 in mice abolishes rod synaptogenesis and synaptic transmission to rod ON-bipolar cells, and disrupts postsynaptic mGluR6 clustering. We further find that in rods, α2δ4 is crucial for organizing synaptic ribbons and setting CaV1.4 voltage sensitivity. In cones, α2δ4 is essential for CaV1.4 function, but is not required for ribbon organization, synaptogenesis, or synaptic transmission. These findings offer insights into retinal pathologies associated with α2δ4 dysfunction.
Literature context: AB15282, RRID:AB_1163387). The anti
Horizontal cells in the mouse retina are of the axon-bearing B-type and contribute to the gain control of photoreceptors and to the center-surround organization of bipolar cells by providing feedback and feedforward signals to photoreceptors and bipolar cells, respectively. Horizontal cells form two independent networks, coupled by dendro-dendritic and axo-axonal gap junctions composed of connexin57 (Cx57). In Cx57-deficient mice, occasionally the residual tracer coupling of horizontal cell somata was observed. Also, negative feedback from horizontal cells to photoreceptors, potentially mediated by connexin hemichannels, appeared unaffected. These results point to the expression of a second connexin in mouse horizontal cells. We investigated the expression of Cx50, which was recently identified in axonless A-type horizontal cells of the rabbit retina. In the mouse retina, Cx50-immunoreactive puncta were predominantly localized on large axon terminals of horizontal cells. Electron microscopy did not reveal any Cx50-immunolabeling at the membrane of horizontal cell tips invaginating photoreceptor terminals, ruling out the involvement of Cx50 in negative feedback. Moreover, Cx50 colocalized only rarely with Cx57 on horizontal cell processes, indicating that both connexins form homotypic rather than heterotypic or heteromeric gap junctions. To check whether the expression of Cx50 is changed when Cx57 is lacking, we compared the Cx50 expression in wildtype and Cx57-deficient mice. However, Cx50 expression was unaffected in Cx57-deficient mice. In summary, our results indicate that horizontal cell axon terminals form two independent sets of homotypic gap junctions, a feature which might be important for light adaptation in the retina.
Literature context: R) (1:500; Millipore, RRID:AB_15282), guinea pig anti-doublecortin
Horizontal cells are interneurons that synapse with photoreceptors in the outer retina. Their genesis during development is subject to regulation by transcription factors in a hierarchical manner. Previously, we showed that Onecut 1 (Oc1), an atypical homeodomain transcription factor, is expressed in developing horizontal cells (HCs) and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the mouse retina. Herein, by knocking out Oc1 specifically in the developing retina, we show that the majority (∼80%) of HCs fail to form during early retinal development, implying that Oc1 is essential for HC genesis. However, no other retinal cell types, including RGCs, were affected in the Oc1 knock-out. Analysis of the genetic relationship between Oc1 and other transcription factor genes required for HC development revealed that Oc1 functions downstream of FoxN4, in parallel with Ptf1a, but upstream of Lim1 and Prox1. By in utero electroporation, we found that Oc1 and Ptf1a together are not only essential, but also sufficient for determination of HC fate. In addition, the synaptic connections in the outer plexiform layer are defective in Oc1-null mice, and photoreceptors undergo age-dependent degeneration, indicating that HCs are not only an integral part of the retinal circuitry, but also are essential for the survival of photoreceptors. In sum, these results demonstrate that Oc1 is a critical determinant of HC fate, and reveal that HCs are essential for photoreceptor viability, retinal integrity, and normal visual function.
DNA methyltransferases--DNMT1, DNMT3a, and DNMT3b--produce methylation patterns that dynamically regulate chromatin remodeling and gene expression. The vertebrate retina provides an ideal model to elucidate molecular control of neurogenesis as all neuronal cell types and Müller glia are generated in a conserved order from common pools of progenitor cells. As a prelude to exploring epigenetic regulation of mammalian retinal development, we investigated the expression of Dnmt1, Dnmt3a, and Dnmt3b in the mouse retina from embryonic day (E) 10.5 to 10 months of age. High levels of transcripts for all three Dnmt genes were observed in early stages of retinal differentiation, with significantly reduced expression after birth. Although DNMT1 protein is abundant in retinal progenitors at E10.5, it becomes restricted to postmitotic cells by E15.5. Most cells in the postnatal retina show nuclear immunostaining of DNMT1; however, the photoreceptors exhibit distinctive patterns. In rods, weak expression of DNMT1 is detected in perinuclear region and in the nucleus, whereas a strong nuclear labeling is evident in cones. DNMT3a and DNMT3b show a discrete pattern in developing retina with high expression at E11.5, little or no immunostaining by E15.5, and then postnatal expression overlapping with DNMT1 in early born neurons (ganglion, amacrine and horizontal cells, and cones). Robust nuclear localization of DNMTs in cones compared to rods suggests a potential role of DNA methylation in differential remodeling of chromatin in these two specialized neurons. Our studies indicate that DNA methyltransferases contribute to the establishment and maturation of cell fates during retinal development.