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J Comp Neurol. 2012 Apr 1;520(5):952-69. doi: 10.1002/cne.22741.

Onecut 1 and Onecut 2 are potential regulators of mouse retinal development.

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Department of Ophthalmology/Ross Eye Institute, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York 14203, USA.


Our current study focuses on the expression of two members of the onecut transcription factor family, Onecut1 (Oc1) and Onecut2 (Oc2), in the developing mouse retina. By immunofluorescence staining, we found that Oc1 and Oc2 had very similar expression patterns throughout retinal development. Both factors started to be expressed in the retina at around embryonic day (E) 11.5. At early stages (E11.5 and E12.5), they were expressed in both the neuroblast layer (NBL) and ganglion cell layer (GCL). As development progressed (from E14.5 to postnatal day [P] 0), expression diminished in the retinal progenitor cells and became more restricted to the GCL. By P5, Oc1 and Oc2 were expressed at very low levels in the GCL. By co-labeling with transcription factors known to be involved in retinal ganglion cell (RGC) development, we found that Oc1 and Oc2 had extensive overlap with Math5 in the NBL, and that they completely overlapped with Pou4f2 and Isl1 in the GCL, but only partially in the NBL. Co-labeling of Oc1 with cell cycle markers confirmed that Oc1 was expressed in both proliferating retinal progenitors and postmitotic retinal cells. In addition, we demonstrated that expression of Oc1 and Oc2 did not require Math5, Isl1, or Pou4f2. Thus, Oc1 and Oc2 may regulate the formation of RGCs in a pathway independent of Math5, Pou4f2, and Isl1. Furthermore, we showed that Oc1 and Oc2 were expressed in both developing and mature horizontal cells (HCs). Therefore the two factors may also function in the genesis and maintenance of HCs.

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