To understand the molecular basis of topographic retinotectal projection, an overall view of the asymmetrically expressed molecules in the developing retina is needed. We performed a large-scale screening using restriction landmark cDNA scanning (RLCS) in the embryonic day 8 (E8) chick retina. RLCS is a cDNA display system, in which a large number of cDNA species are displayed as two-dimensional spots with intensities reflecting their expression levels as mRNA. We searched for spots that gave different signal intensities between the nasal and temporal retinas or between the dorsal and ventral retinas, and detected about 200 spots that were preferential on one side in the retina. The asymmetric expression of each gene was verified by Northern blotting and in situ hybridization. By subsequent analyses using molecular cloning, DNA sequencing, and database searching, 33 asymmetric molecules along the nasotemporal (N-T) axis and 20 along the dorsoventral (D-V) axis were Identified. These included transcription factors, secretory factors, transmembrane proteins, and intracellular proteins with various putative functions. Their expression profiles revealed by in situ hybridization are highly diverse and individual. Moreover, many of them begin to be expressed in the retina from the early developmental stages, suggesting that they are implicated in the establishment and maintenance of regional specificity in the developing retina. The molecular repertoire revealed by this work will provide candidates for future studies to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of topographic retinotectal map formation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience