Int. J. Dev. Biol. 60: 151 - 157 (2016)
doi: 10.1387/ijdb.150402am
© UPV/EHU Press

Noggin 1 overexpression in retinal progenitors affects bipolar cell generation

Andrea Messina*,1, Simone Bridi1,2, Angela Bozza1,3, Yuri Bozzi3,4, Marie-Laure Baudet2 and Simona Casarosa*,1,4

1Developmental Neurobiology Laboratory, CIBIO, University of Trento, Italy, 2The Armenise-Harvard Laboratory of Axonal Biology, CIBIO, University of Trento, Italy, 3Molecular Neuropathology Laboratory, CIBIO, University of Trento and 4CNR Neuroscience Institute, Pisa, Italy

ABSTRACT Waves of Bone Morphogenetic Proteins (BMPs) and their antagonists are present during initial eye development, but their possible roles in retinogenesis are still unknown. We have recently shown that noggin 1, a BMP antagonist, renders pluripotent cells able to differentiate into retinal precursors, and might be involved in the maintenance of retinal structures in the adult vertebrate eye. Here, we report that noggin 1, differently from noggin 2 and noggin 4, is expressed during all phases of Xenopus laevis retinal development. Gain-of-function experiments by electroporation in the optic vesicle show that overexpression of noggin 1 significantly decreases the number of bipolar cells in the inner nuclear layer of the retina, without significantly affecting the generation of the other retinal cell types. Our data suggest that BMP signaling could be involved in the differentiation of retinal progenitors into specific retinal subtypes during late phases of vertebrate retinal development.

Keywords:

noggin 1, retinal differentiation, BMP inhibition

*Corresponding author e-mail: andrea.messina@unitn.it ; simona.casarosa@unitn.it