ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-181230-11
Photoreceptor Progenitors Depend Upon Coordination of gdf6a, thrβ, and tbx2b to Generate Precise Populations of Cone Photoreceptor Subtypes
DuVal, M.G., Allison, W.T.
Date: 2018
Source: Investigative ophthalmology & visual science   59: 6089-6101 (Journal)
Registered Authors: Allison, Ted, Duval, Michèle
Keywords: none
MeSH Terms:
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Cell Differentiation/physiology*
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Gene Expression Regulation/physiology
  • Gene Silencing
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • Growth Differentiation Factor 6/physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Models, Animal
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate/physiology
  • Polymorphism, Restriction Fragment Length
  • Retina/embryology*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells/cytology*
  • Stem Cells/physiology*
  • T-Box Domain Proteins/physiology*
  • Thyroid Hormone Receptors beta/physiology*
  • Zebrafish
  • Zebrafish Proteins/physiology*
PubMed: 30592497 Full text @ Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci.
Replacing cone photoreceptors, the units of the retina necessary for daytime vision, depends upon the successful production of a full variety of new cones from, for example, stem cells. Using genetic experiments in a model organism with high cone diversity, zebrafish, we map the intersecting effects of cone development factors gdf6a, tbx2b, and thrβ.
We investigated these genes of interest by using genetic combinations of mutants, gene knockdown, and dominant negative gene expression, and then quantified cone subtype outcomes (which normally develop in tightly regulated ratios).
Gdf6a mutants have reduced blue cones and, discovered here, reduced red cones. In combined gdf6a/tbx2b disruption, the loss of gdf6a in heterozygous tbx2b mutants reduced UV cones. Intriguingly, when we disrupted thrβ in gdf6a mutants by using a thrβ morpholino, their combined early disruption revealed a lamination phenotype. Disrupting thrβ activity via expression of a dominant negative thrβ (dnthrβ) at either early or late retinal development had differential outcomes on red cones (reduced abundance), versus UV and blue cones (increased abundance). By using dnthrβ in gdf6a mutants, we revealed that disrupting thrβ activity did not change gdf6a mutant cone phenotypes.
Gdf6a loss directly affects blue and red cones and indirectly affects UV cones by increasing sensitivity to additional disruption, such as reduced tbx2b, resulting in fewer UV cones. The effects of thrβ change through photoreceptor development, first promoting red cones and restricting UV cones, and later restricting UV and blue cones. The effects of gdf6a on UV, blue, and red cone development overlap with, but likely supersede, those of thrβ.