Hernández-Bejarano, M., Gestri, G., Spawls, L., Nieto-López, F., Picker, A., Tada, M., Brand, M., Bovolenta, P., Wilson, S.W., Cavodeassi, F. (2015) Opposing Shh and Fgf signals initiate nasotemporal patterning of the retina. Development (Cambridge, England). 142(22):3933-42.
The earliest known determinants of retinal nasotemporal identity are the transcriptional regulators Foxg1, which is expressed in the prospective nasal optic vesicle, and Foxd1, which is expressed in the prospective temporal optic vesicle. Previous work has shown that, in zebrafish, Fgf signals from the dorsal forebrain and olfactory primordia are required to specify nasal identity in the dorsal, prospective nasal, optic vesicle. Here we show that Hh signaling from the ventral forebrain is required for specification of temporal identity in the ventral optic vesicle and is sufficient to induce temporal character when activated in the prospective nasal retina. Consequently, the evaginating optic vesicles become partitioned into prospective nasal and temporal domains by the opposing actions of Fgfs and Shh emanating from dorsal and ventral domains of the forebrain primordium. In absence of Fgf activity, foxd1 expression is established irrespective of levels of Hh signalling, indicating that the role of Shh in promoting foxd1 expression is only required in the presence of Fgf activity. Once the spatially complementary expression of foxd1 and foxg1 is established, the boundary between expression domains is maintained by mutual repression between Foxd1 and Foxg1.