Bhlhb5 is Required for the Subtype Development of Retinal Amacrine and Bipolar Cells in Mice

Flaum Eye Institute and Department of Ophthalmology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New, York, United States of America.
Developmental Dynamics (Impact Factor: 2.38). 02/2014; 243(2). DOI: 10.1002/dvdy.24067
Source: PubMed


BHLHB5, an OLIG-related basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor, is required for the development of a subset of gamma-amino butyric acid-releasing (GABAergic) amacrine cells and OFF-cone bipolar (CB) cells in mouse retinas. In order to determine BHLHB5's functional mechanism in retinogenesis, we used the Cre-loxP recombination system to genetically trace the lineage of BHLHB5+ cells in normal and Bhlhb5-null retinas. The Bhlhb5-Cre knock-in allele was used to activate the constitutive expression of a GFP reporter in the Bhlhb5-expressing cells, and the cell fates of Bhlhb5-lineage cells were identified by using specific cell markers and were compared between normal and Bhlhb5-null retinas.

In addition to GABAergic amacrine and OFF-CB cells, Bhlhb5 lineage cells give rise to ganglion, glycinergic amacrine, rod bipolar, ON-bipolar, and rod photoreceptor cells during normal retinal development. Targeted deletion of Bhlhb5 resulted in the loss of GABAergic amacrine, glycinergic amacrine, dopaminergic amacrine, and Type 2 OFF-CB cells. Furthermore, in the absence of BHLHB5, a portion of Bhlhb5 lineage cells switch their fate and differentiate into cholinergic amacrine cells.

Our data reveal a broad expression pattern of Bhlhb5 throughout retinogenesis and demonstrate the cell-autonomous as well as non-cell-autonomous role of Bhlhb5 in the specification of amacrine and bipolar subtypes.

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Available from: Lin Gan, Aug 14, 2014
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