The Role of egr1 in Early Zebrafish Retinogenesis

Zhang, Liyun; Cho, Jin; Ptak, Devon; Leung, Yuk Fai
February 2013
PLoS ONE;Feb2013, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p1
Academic Journal
Proper retinal cell differentiation is essential for establishing a functional retina. The purpose of this study is to investigate the role of early growth response 1 (egr1), a transcription factor (TF) that has been reported to control eye development and function, on retinal differentiation in zebrafish. Specifically, cellular changes in the Egr1-knockdown retinas were characterized by immunohistochemistry at 72 and 120 hours post-fertilization (hpf). The results indicate that Egr1 knockdown specifically suppressed the differentiation of subtypes of amacrine cells (ACs) and horizontal cells (HCs), including Parvalbumin- and GABA-positive ACs as well as Islet1-positive HCs. In addition, the knockdown induced a general delay of development of the other retinal cell types. These differentiation problems, particularly the ones with the ACs and HCs, also compromised the integrity of the inner and outer plexiform layers. In the Egr1-knockdown retinas, the expression of ptf1a, a TF that controls the specification of ACs and HCs, was prolonged and found in ectopic locations in the retina up to 72 hpf. Then, it became restricted to the proliferative marginal zone as in the control retinas at 120 hpf. This abnormal and prolonged expression of ptf1a during retinogenesis might affect the differentiation of ACs and HCs in the Egr1-knockdown retinas.


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