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Dev Biol 1994 Mar 01;1621:169-80. doi: 10.1006/dbio.1994.1076.
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Photoreceptor outer segment development in Xenopus laevis: influence of the pigment epithelium.

Stiemke MM , Landers RA , al-Ubaidi MR , Rayborn ME , Hollyfield JG .

Opsin gene expression, synthesis, and photoreceptor outer segment morphology were evaluated during retinal development in Xenopus laevis. Retinal rudiments were harvested during in vivo development from embryonic stages 31 through 46 or were allowed to develop in vitro after removal from stage 33/34 embryos for 1, 2, or 3 days either with or without an investing pigment epithelium. Opsin mRNA was detected at stage 33/34 and the transcript level increased until stage 40 and remained at this level through stage 46. Opsin was first detected at stage 37/38 and progressively increased through stage 46. Rudimentary photoreceptor outer segment membranes occasionally appeared as early as stage 33/34 and they gradually increased in length, forming well-defined stacks of collapsed membranous saccules (discs) during in vivo development. The maturation of eye rudiments in culture was followed to determine how closely in vivo and in vitro development compare and to examine the ability of photoreceptors to differentiate when maintained in the absence of an overlying pigment epithelium (PE) layer. With the PE present, opsin mRNA as well as opsin content steadily increased over the entire culture period. After 1 day of culture, short cilia with minimal amounts of outer segment membranous material were present. By Day 3, the degree of outer segment differentiation corresponded morphologically to approximately stage 43 of in vivo development. When cultured in the absence of an investing PE, the opsin mRNA level increased minimally during the 3 days in culture. Opsin content increased, yet the relative amount was approximately 50% less than that present in retinas developing in the presence of the PE. Membranous material was elaborated; however, the outer segments appeared to be highly disorganized and formed whorl-like structures rather than the normal stacked disc morphology. These results suggest that the PE may be involved in regulating opsin at the transcriptional and/or translational levels and also participates in the organization of rod outer segment membranes.

PubMed ID: 8125184
Article link: Dev Biol
Grant support: [+]

Species referenced: Xenopus laevis
Genes referenced: rho
Antibodies: Rho Ab3

Article Images: [+] show captions