Retinal progenitors are initially found in the anterior neural plate region known as the eye field, whereas neighboring areas undertake telencephalic or hypothalamic development. Eye field cells become specified by switching on a network of eye field transcription factors, but the extracellular cues activating this network remain unclear. In this study, we used chemically defined media to induce in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) toward eye field fates. Inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling was sufficient to drive ESCs to telencephalic, but not retinal, fates. Instead, retinal progenitors could be generated from competent differentiating mouse ESCs by activation of Activin/Nodal signaling within a narrow temporal window corresponding to the emergence of primitive anterior neural progenitors. Activin also promoted eye field gene expression in differentiating human ESCs. Our results reveal insights into the mechanisms of eye field specification and open new avenues toward the generation of retinal progenitors for translational medicine.

Activin/Nodal Signaling Supports Retinal Progenitor Specification in a Narrow Time Window during Pluripotent Stem Cell Neuralization

BERTACCHI, MICHELE;PANDOLFINI, LUCA;CREMISI, Federico
2015

Abstract

Retinal progenitors are initially found in the anterior neural plate region known as the eye field, whereas neighboring areas undertake telencephalic or hypothalamic development. Eye field cells become specified by switching on a network of eye field transcription factors, but the extracellular cues activating this network remain unclear. In this study, we used chemically defined media to induce in vitro differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) toward eye field fates. Inhibition of Wnt/β-catenin signaling was sufficient to drive ESCs to telencephalic, but not retinal, fates. Instead, retinal progenitors could be generated from competent differentiating mouse ESCs by activation of Activin/Nodal signaling within a narrow temporal window corresponding to the emergence of primitive anterior neural progenitors. Activin also promoted eye field gene expression in differentiating human ESCs. Our results reveal insights into the mechanisms of eye field specification and open new avenues toward the generation of retinal progenitors for translational medicine.
Activins; Animals; Cell Differentiation; Cell Line; Embryonic Stem Cells; Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental; Humans; Mice; Neural Stem Cells; Nodal Protein; Pluripotent Stem Cells; Retina; Wnt Signaling Pathway; Signal Transduction
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11384/59761
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 13
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 13
social impact