Neurochemical Research

, Volume 25, Issue 9–10, pp 1257–1263 | Cite as

Molecular Signals for Development of Neuronal Circuitry in the Retina

  • Rajesh K. Sharma
  • Dianna A. Johnson


In this review article, we summarize recently accumulated knowledge regarding the molecular mechanisms, which control retinal development. Retinal neurons are born in two waves of cytogenesis. In the first wave, neurons of cone circuitry are generated, whereas in the second wave, rod circuitry is added. Neurons generated in these two waves of cytogenesis differ in many respects, including the molecular cues used for migrational guidance. The neurons generated in the second phase of proliferation are arranged in radial columns associated with Müller cells, whereas those of the first phase are often found outside the radial columns. Certain early born cone photoreceptors may form templates for the arrangement of additional mosaics of other cell types. These mosaic arrangements of cell bodies are subsequently refined by lateral displacement of cells and apoptosis. Müller cells may play an important role in directing migration of second phase neurons within groups of radial columns and also in guiding the projections of these neurons so that specific connections are formed. The Müller cell's ability to exert these influences perhaps resides in a variety of cell adhesion molecules such as L1/NgCAM, F11, and 5A11, which are expressed on the surface of Müller cells and retinal neurons. CAMs also promote neurite outgrowth through second messenger pathways.

Retina development Müller cells lamination CAM 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rajesh K. Sharma
    • 1
  • Dianna A. Johnson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of TennesseeMemphis
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of TennesseeMemphis

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