Omri Weiss

Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yerushalayim, Jerusalem, Israel

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Publications (3)8.59 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Functions for the early embryonic vasculature in regulating development of central nervous system tissues, such as the retina, have been suggested by in vitro studies and by in vivo manipulations that caused additional ocular vessels to develop. Here we use an avascular zebrafish embryo, cloche-/- (clo-/-), to begin to identify necessary developmental functions of the ocular vasculature in regulating development and patterning of the neural retina, in vivo. These studies are possible in zebrafish embryos, which do not yet rely upon the vasculature for tissue oxygenation. clo-/- embryos lacked early ocular vasculature and were microphthalmic, with reduced retinal cell proliferation and cell survival. Retinas of clo mutants were disorganized, with irregular synaptic layers, mispatterned expression domains of retinal transcription factors, morphologically abnormal Müller glia, reduced differentiation of specific retinal cell types, and sporadically distributed cone photoreceptors. Blockade of p53-mediated cell death did not completely rescue this phenotype and revealed ectopic cones in the inner nuclear layer. clo-/- embryos did not upregulate a molecular marker for hypoxia. The disorganized retinal phenotype of clo-/- embryos is consistent with a neural and glial developmental patterning role for the early ocular vasculature that is independent of its eventual function in gas exchange. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Developmental Dynamics
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    ABSTRACT: The developing eye receives blood supply from two vascular systems, the intraocular hyaloid system and the superficial choroidal vessels. In zebrafish, a highly stereotypic and simple set of vessels develops on the surface of the eye prior to development of choroidal vessels. The origins and formation of this so-called superficial system have not been described. We have analyzed the development of superficial vessels by time-lapse imaging and identified their origins by photoconversion experiments in kdrl:Kaede transgenic embryos. We show that the entire superficial system is derived from a venous origin, and surprisingly, we find that the hyaloid system has, in addition to its previously described arterial origin, a venous origin for specific vessels. Despite arising solely from a vein, one of the vessels in the superficial system, the nasal radial vessel (NRV), appears to acquire an arterial identity while growing over the nasal aspect of the eye and this happens in a blood flow-independent manner. Our results provide a thorough analysis of the early development and origins of zebrafish ocular vessels and establish the superficial vasculature as a model for studying vascular patterning in the context of the developing eye.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2015 · BMC Developmental Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Ocular coloboma is a potentially blinding congenital eye malformation caused by failure of optic fissure closure during early embryogenesis. The optic fissure is a ventral groove that forms during optic cup morphogenesis, and through which hyaloid artery and vein enter and leave the developing eye, respectively. After hyaloid artery and vein formation, the optic fissure closes around them. The mechanisms underlying optic fissure closure are poorly understood, and whether and how this process is influenced by hyaloid vessel development is unknown. Here we show that a loss-of-function mutation in lmo2, a gene specifically required for hematopoiesis and vascular development, results in failure of optic fissure closure in zebrafish. Analysis of ocular blood vessels in lmo2 mutants reveals that some vessels are severely dilated, including the hyaloid vein. Remarkably, reducing vessel size leads to rescue of optic fissure phenotype. Our results reveal a new mechanism leading to coloboma, whereby malformed blood vessels interfere with eye morphogenesis.
    Preview · Article · Jul 2012 · Developmental Biology