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Curr Opin Neurobiol. 1999 Feb;9(1):37-46.

The roles of intrinsic and extrinsic cues and bHLH genes in the determination of retinal cell fates.

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Department of Genetics Howard Hughes Medical Institute Harvard Medical School 200 Longwood Avenue Boston Massachusetts 02115 USA.


A fundamental issue concerning development of the vertebrate retina is the relative contributions of extrinsic and intrinsic cues to the determination of cell fate. Recent findings suggest that retinal progenitors go through a series of changes in intrinsic properties that control their competence to make different cell types and that extrinsic cues influence the ratios of the cell types that they produce. Recent studies of the role of the basic helix-loop-helix genes in retinal development have indicated that they can regulate competence and/or other aspects of cell fate determination.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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