Forkheadbox N4 (FoxN4) triggers context-dependent differentiation in the developing chick retina and neural tube
2013 (English)In: Differentiation, ISSN 0301-4681, E-ISSN 1432-0436, Vol. 85, no 1-2, 11-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
FoxN4, a forkhead box transcription factor, is expressed in the chicken eye field and in retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) throughout development. FoxN4 labelling overlapped with that of Pax6 and Sox2, two crucial transcription factors for RPCs. Later, during neurogenesis in the retina, some cells were intensely and transiently labelled for FoxN4. These cells co-labelled for Lim1, a transcription factor expressed in early-born horizontal cells. The result suggests that high levels of FoxN4 combined with expression of Lim1 define a population of RPCs committed to the horizontal cell fate prior to their last apical mitosis. As these prospective horizontal cells develop, their FoxN4 expression is down-regulated. Previous results suggested that FoxN4 is important for the generation of horizontal and amacrine cells but that it is not sufficient for the generation of horizontal cells (Li et al., 2004). We found that over-expression of FoxN4 in embryonic day 3 chicken retina could activate horizontal cell markers Prox1 and Lim1, and that it generated numerous and ectopically located horizontal cells of both main subtypes. However, genes expressed in photoreceptors, amacrine and ganglion cells were also activated, indicating that FoxN4 triggered the expression of several differentiation factors. This effect was not exclusive for the retina but was also seen when FoxN4 was over-expressed in the mesencephalic neural tube. Combining the results from over-expression and wild-type expression data we suggest a model where a low level of FoxN4 is maintained in RPCs and that increased levels during a restricted period trigger neurogenesis and commitment of RPCs to the horizontal cell fate.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 85, no 1-2, 11-19 p.
Chicken, Lim1, Prox1, Retinal development, Retinal progenitor cells, Sox2
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-195033DOI: 10.1016/j.diff.2012.12.002ISI: 000318393700002OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-195033DiVA: diva2:606883