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Neural Dev. 2018 Sep 15;13(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s13064-018-0120-y.

Live imaging of developing mouse retinal slices.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
2
Program in Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA.
3
Department of Molecular Physiology and Biophysics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. poche@bcm.edu.
4
Program in Developmental Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. poche@bcm.edu.
5
Program in Integrative Molecular and Biomedical Sciences, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, 77030, USA. poche@bcm.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Ex vivo, whole-mount explant culture of the rodent retina has proved to be a valuable approach for studying retinal development. In a limited number of recent studies, this method has been coupled to live fluorescent microscopy with the goal of directly observing dynamic cellular events. However, retinal tissue thickness imposes significant technical limitations. To obtain 3-dimensional images with high quality axial resolution, investigators are restricted to specific areas of the retina and require microscopes, such as 2-photon, with a higher level of depth penetrance. Here, we report a retinal live imaging method that is more amenable to a wider array of imaging systems and does not compromise resolution of retinal cross-sectional area.

RESULTS:

Mouse retinal slice cultures were prepared and standard, inverted confocal microscopy was used to generate movies with high quality resolution of retinal cross-sections. To illustrate the ability of this method to capture discrete, physiologically relevant events during retinal development, we imaged the dynamics of the Fucci cell cycle reporter in both wild type and Cyclin D1 mutant retinal progenitor cells (RPCs) undergoing interkinetic nuclear migration (INM). Like previously reported for the zebrafish, mouse RPCs in G1 phase migrated stochastically and exhibited overall basal drift during development. In contrast, mouse RPCs in G2 phase displayed directed, apical migration toward the ventricular zone prior to mitosis. We also determined that Cyclin D1 knockout RPCs in G2 exhibited a slower apical velocity as compared to wild type. These data are consistent with previous IdU/BrdU window labeling experiments on Cyclin D1 knockout RPCs indicating an elongated cell cycle. Finally, to illustrate the ability to monitor retinal neuron differentiation, we imaged early postnatal horizontal cells (HCs). Time lapse movies uncovered specific HC neurite dynamics consistent with previously published data showing an instructive role for transient vertical neurites in HC mosaic formation.

CONCLUSIONS:

We have detailed a straightforward method to image mouse retinal slice culture preparations that, due to its relative ease, extends live retinal imaging capabilities to a more diverse group of scientists. We have also shown that, by using a slice technique, we can achieve excellent lateral resolution, which is advantageous for capturing intracellular dynamics and overall cell movements during retinal development and differentiation.

KEYWORDS:

Cyclin D1; Horizontal neurons; Interkinetic nuclear migration; Live imaging; Mouse retinal progenitor cells

PMID:
30219109
PMCID:
PMC6139133
DOI:
10.1186/s13064-018-0120-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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