Importance of Intrinsic Mechanisms in Cell Fate Decisions in the Developing Rat Retina

MRC Laboratory for Molecular Cell Biology and Cell Biology Unit, University College London, London, WC1E 6BT United Kingdom.
Neuron (Impact Factor: 15.98). 01/2004; 40(5):897-904. DOI: 10.1016/S0896-6273(03)00756-6
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cell diversification in the developing nervous system is thought to involve both cell-intrinsic mechanisms and extracellular signals, but their relative importance in particular cell fate decisions remains uncertain. In the mammalian retina, different cell types develop on a predictable schedule from multipotent retinal neuroepithelial cells (RNECs). A current view is that RNECs pass through a series of competence states, progressively changing their responsiveness to instructive extracellular cues, which also change over time. We show here, however, that embryonic day 16-17 (E16-17) rat RNECs develop similarly in serum-free clonal-density cultures and in serum-containing retinal explants--in the number of times they divide, the cell types they generate, and the order in which they generate these cell types. These surprising results suggest that extracellular signals may be less important than currently believed in determining when RNECs stop dividing and what cell types they generate when they withdraw from the cell cycle, at least from E16-17 onward.


Available from: Michel Cayouette, May 28, 2015