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Dev Dyn. 2008 Dec;237(12):3681-9. doi: 10.1002/dvdy.21770.

Ocular coloboma and dorsoventral neuroretinal patterning defects in Lrp6 mutant eyes.

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Department of Cell Biology, School of Medicine, University of California, Davis, California, USA.


Coloboma, an ocular birth defect seen in humans and other species, is caused by incomplete closure of the optic fissure. Here, we demonstrate that genetic deletion of Lrp6, a bottleneck coreceptor in the canonical Wnt signaling pathway, results in ocular coloboma and neuroretinal patterning defects in mice. The expression of ventral neuroretinal patterning gene Vax2 was conserved but with dorsally shifted expression domains; however, the dorsal neuroretinal patterning gene Tbx5 was lost in the Lrp6-mutant eyes at embryonic day 10.5. Both Bmp4 and phosphorylated Smad 1/5/8 were also significantly attenuated in the dorsal neuroretina. In addition, the retinoic acid synthesizing enzymes Raldh1 and Raldh3 were significantly changed in the mutant eyes. Our findings suggest that defective retinal patterning causes coloboma in the Lrp6-deficient mice, and that canonical Wnt signaling plays a primary role in dorsal neuroretinal patterning and related morphogenetic movements by regulation of both Bmp and retinoic acid signaling pathways.

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