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Brain Res Dev Brain Res. 1993 Dec 17;76(2):183-7.

Regulation of cell division and rod differentiation in the teleost retina.

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Psychology Department, Stanford University, CA 94305.


We tested the effects of several growth factors on the proliferation and differentiation of cells in the teleost retina which typically become rod photoreceptors to understand their regulation. Using organotypic slice cultures of differentiated teleost fish retinal tissue, we found that insulin and insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) stimulate proliferation of rod precursor cells whereas basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) does not. In the presence of bFGF, however, a greater proportion of the cells that had divided expressed a rod photoreceptor-specific phenotype than did control slices. This suggests insulin and the related IGF-I can influence the regulation of neuronal cell division whereas bFGF promotes the differentiation of neuronal stem cells into rod photoreceptors in retinal slice culture. These results support the idea that cell division and differentiation are differentially regulated and diffusible factors play a role in this process.

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