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J Comp Neurol. 2004 Sep 6;477(1):108-17.

The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor neuroD is expressed in the rod lineage of the teleost retina.

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Departments of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences and Cell and Developmental Biology, The University of Michigan, W.K. Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48105, USA.


Persistent rod genesis in the retinas of teleost fish was first described over 2 decades ago, but little is known regarding the underlying genetic and molecular mechanisms that govern this phenomenon. Because of its function in the developing mammalian retina and persistently mitotic adult tissues, we sought to characterize the cellular expression of the basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) transcription factor neuroD in the persistently neurogenic retina of adult teleosts. We show here that, in the adult retina of the goldfish, neuroD is expressed by putative amacrine cells, nascent cones, and the mitotically active cells of the rod lineage. neuroD is the first gene shown to be expressed by rod precursors, the immediate antecedents of rod photoreceptors. In contrast to the vertebrate classes described previously, neuroD is not expressed in multipotent progenitors in the teleost retina. Combining neuroD in situ hybridizations with cell-cycle-specific markers suggests that, in rod precursors, neuroD expression is cell cycle specific.

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