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Anat Embryol (Berl) 22 Dec 01; 150 (1): 99-111.

The distribution of intercellular gap junctions in the developing retina and pigment epithelium of Xenopus laevis.

Hayes BP .

The distribution of gap junctions in the developing retina and pigment epithelium of Xenopus has been examined from optic vesicle to photoreceptor outer segment stages. In the retina and pigment epithelium walls of the optic vesicle gap junctions are found between ventricular cells in the apical contact zone and close to the outside wall; a neural tube type of distribution. Optic cup formation brings the retina and pigment epithelium into contact and gap junctions form between them. After the stage of retinal specification gap junctions, previously more numerous dorsally, are more often found in the ventral retina and pigment epithelium. They continue to be found in the retinal centre between ventricular cell processes in the apical contact zone and near the vitreal basement lamella above the ganglion cell layer until stage 35. Gap junctions are occasionally made by ganglion cells and their axons, providing possible pathways initiating cell differentiation. After stage 35 gap junctions seem to be confined to the peripheral rim of the eye cup where new cells are formed throughout larval life. The observed distribution suggests that gap junctions may provide intercytoplasmic pathways for retinal specification intrinsic to the retina and pigment epithelium.

PubMed ID: 1015633
Article link:

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