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Neural Regen Res. 2016 Feb;11(2):312-8. doi: 10.4103/1673-5374.177743.

Neural differentiation and synaptogenesis in retinal development.

Author information

1
Institute of Neurobiology, School of Life Science, Henan University, Kaifeng, Henan Province, China.

Abstract

To investigate the pattern of neural differentiation and synaptogenesis in the mouse retina, immunolabeling, BrdU assay and transmission electron microscopy were used. We show that the neuroblastic cell layer is the germinal zone for neural differentiation and retinal lamination. Ganglion cells differentiated initially at embryonic day 13 (E13), and at E18 horizontal cells appeared in the neuroblastic cell layer. Neural stem cells in the outer neuroblastic cell layer differentiated into photoreceptor cells as early as postnatal day 0 (P0), and neural stem cells in the inner neuroblastic cell layer differentiated into bipolar cells at P7. Synapses in the retina were mainly located in the outer and inner plexiform layers. At P7, synaptophysin immunostaining appeared in presynaptic terminals in the outer and inner plexiform layers with button-like structures. After P14, presynaptic buttons were concentrated in outer and inner plexiform layers with strong staining. These data indicate that neural differentiation and synaptogenesis in the retina play important roles in the formation of retinal neural circuitry. Our study showed that the period before P14, especially between P0 and P14, represents a critical period during retinal development. Mouse eye opening occurs during that period, suggesting that cell differentiation and synaptic formation lead to the attainment of visual function.

KEYWORDS:

nerve regeneration; neural differentiation; neural regeneration; neural stem cells; retinal development; synaptogenesis

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