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J Comp Neurol. 2019 Feb 15;527(3):508-521. doi: 10.1002/cne.24462. Epub 2018 Sep 19.

Spatiotemporal distribution of glia in and around the developing mouse optic tract.

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Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University's Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, New York, New York.
Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Department of Genetics and Development, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York.
Department of Ophthalmology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, New York.


In the developing mouse optic tract, retinal ganglion cell (RGC) axon position is organized by topography and laterality (i.e., eye-specific or ipsi- and contralateral segregation). Our lab previously showed that ipsilaterally projecting RGCs are segregated to the lateral aspect of the developing optic tract and found that ipsilateral axons self-fasciculate to a greater extent than contralaterally projecting RGC axons in vitro. However, the full complement of axon-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors mediating eye-specific segregation in the tract remain poorly understood. Glia, which are known to express several guidance cues in the visual system and regulate the navigation of ipsilateral and contralateral RGC axons at the optic chiasm, are natural candidates for contributing to eye-specific pre-target axon organization. Here, we investigate the spatiotemporal expression patterns of both putative astrocytes (Aldh1l1+ cells) and microglia (Iba1+ cells) in the embryonic and neonatal optic tract. We quantified the localization of ipsilateral RGC axons to the lateral two-thirds of the optic tract and analyzed glia position and distribution relative to eye-specific axon organization. While our results indicate that glial segregation patterns do not strictly align with eye-specific RGC axon segregation in the tract, we identify distinct spatiotemporal organization of both Aldh1l1+ cells and microglia in and around the developing optic tract. These findings inform future research into molecular mechanisms of glial involvement in RGC axon growth and organization in the developing retinogeniculate pathway.


RRID:A-11122; RRID:AB_2224402; RRID:AB_2491179; RRID:AB_2556542; RRID:AB_531793; RRID:SCR_001775; RRID:SCR_002285; RRID:SCR_015807; astrocyte; axon; axon guidance; development; glia; microglia; retinal ganglion cell; visual system

[Available on 2020-02-15]

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