dazed gene is necessary for late cell type development and retinal cell maintenance in the zebrafish retina.
ABSTRACT Several molecules, such as growth factors and neurotrophic factors, are required both for the differentiation of specific retinal cell types and the long-term cell survival of all retinal neurons. As diffusible factors, these molecules act non-cell-autonomously. Here, we describe the loss of function phenotype for dazed (dzd), a gene that acts cell-autonomously for retinal cell survival and affects the differentiation of rod photoreceptors and the Muller glia. By 3 days after fertilization, dazed mutant embryos have small eyes and slight heart edema. Acridine orange staining indicated a significant degree of retinal cell death occurring by 48 hr after fertilization, and histological analysis revealed that dying cells were found in the inner and outer nuclear layers and near the marginal zones. Although molecular and morphological differentiation of the inner retina and cone photoreceptors occurred, rod photoreceptors failed to differentiate beyond a small patch in the ventral retina and rod precursors failed to respond to exogenously added retinoic acid, which normally potentiated rod differentiation. Mosaic analysis indicated that the dazed gene acts cell-autonomously for rod production and cell survival, as dazed clones failed to produce rods outside the ventral patch and dazed cells were not maintained in wild-type hosts. Raising mutants under constant light resulted in severe retinal degeneration, whereas raising embryos under constant darkness did not provide any additional protection from cell death. Behavioral analysis showed that a subpopulation of adult fish that were heterozygous for the dazed mutation had elevated visual thresholds and were night blind, suggesting that dazed may also be required for long-term dim-light vision. Taken together, our studies suggest a role for the dazed gene in rod and Muller cell development and overall retinal cell survival and maintenance.
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ABSTRACT: The vertebrate retina is a "genuine neural center" (Ramón y Cajal), in which glutamate is a major excitatory neurotransmitter. Both N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA receptors are expressed in the retina. Although non-NMDA receptors and/or metabotropic glutamate receptors are generally thought to be responsible for mediating the transfer of visual signals in the outer retina, there is recent evidence suggesting that NMDA receptors are also expressed in photoreceptors, as well as horizontal and bipolar cells. In the inner retina, NMDA receptors, in addition to other glutamate receptor subtypes, are abundantly expressed to mediate visual signal transmission from bipolar cells to amacrine and ganglion cells, and could be involved in modulation of inhibitory feedback from amacrine cells to bipolar cells. NMDA receptors are extrasynaptically expressed in ganglion cells (and probably amacrine cells) and may play physiological roles in a special mode. Activity of NMDA receptors may be modulated by neuromodulators, such as D-serine and others. This article discusses retinal excitotoxicity mediated by NMDA receptors.Molecular Neurobiology 01/2007; 34(3):163-79. · 5.74 Impact Factor
Article: The intraflagellar transport protein ift80 is essential for photoreceptor survival in a zebrafish model of jeune asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: PURPOSE. Jeune's asphyxiating thoracic dystrophy (JATD) is an autosomal recessive disorder with symptoms of retinal degeneration, kidney cysts, and chondrodysplasia and results from mutations in the ift80 gene. This study was conducted to characterize zebrafish lacking ift80 function for photoreceptor degeneration and defects in ciliogenesis to establish zebrafish as a vertebrate model for visual dysfunction in JATD and to determine whether ift80 interacts genetically with Bardet-Biedl syndrome (BBS) genes. METHODS. Zebrafish were injected with morpholinos (MOs) targeted to the ift80 gene. Retinas were analyzed by histology, transmission electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry. Ear and kidney cilia were analyzed by whole-mount immunostaining. Intraflagellar transport (IFT) particle composition was subjected to Western blot analysis. Genetic interactions were tested by coinjection of MOs against ift80 and bbs4 or bbs8 followed by in situ hybridization. RESULTS. Zebrafish lacking ift80 function exhibited defects in photoreceptor outer segment formation and photoreceptor death. Staining with opsin antibodies revealed opsin mislocalization in both rods and cones. Ultrastructural analysis showed abnormal disc stacking and shortened photoreceptor outer segments. The kinocilia of the ear and motile cilia in the kidney were shorter and reduced in number. Western blot analysis revealed a slight increase in the stability of other IFT proteins. Coinjection of MOs against ift80 and BBS genes led to convergent-extension defects. CONCLUSIONS. Zebrafish lacking ift80 exhibited defects characteristic of JATD. Because the developing outer segments degenerated, Ift80 could possibly act as a maintenance factor for the IFT particle.Investigative ophthalmology & visual science 03/2010; 51(7):3792-9. · 3.43 Impact Factor