Recent studies of optic nerve regeneration in goldfish have indicated that the optic tectum plays an important role in modulating the induction of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (nAChR) gene expression in regenerating retinal ganglion cells (Hieber, Agranoff, and Goldman, 1992, J. Neurochem. 58:1009–1015). These observations suggest that induction of these genes is regulated by brain target regions. The appearance of nAChR mRNA in the developing rat retina coincides with a time when ganglion cells are sending axons to their brain targets (Hoover and Goldman, 1992, Exp. Eye Res. 54:561–571). Might a mechanism similar to that seen during goldfish optic nerve regenerationalso mediate induction of nAChR gene expression during development of the mammalian retina? This possibility was tested by either transplanting embryonic rat retina to different brain regions, or explanting it to organ culture and assaying for nAChR gene expression. These studies showed that induction of the nAChR genes in developing rat retina is independent of the environment in which the retina develops. These results indicate that either the retinal microenvironment or a signal intrinsic to the retinal ganglion cell is responsible for this induction. © 1993 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- retinal ganglion cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience