Soluble Factors and the Development of Rod Photoreceptors

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2000 Feb;57(2):224-34. doi: 10.1007/PL00000686.


Photoreceptors are the most abundant cell type in the vertebrate neural retina. Like the other retinal neurons and the Müller glia, they arise from a population of precursor cells that are multipotent and intrinsic to the retina. Approximately 10 years ago, several studies demonstrated that retinal precursor cells (RPCs) are competent to respond to environmental factors that promote cell type determination and differentiation. Since those studies, significant effort has been directed at identifying the molecular nature of these environmental signals and understanding the precise mechanisms they employ to drive RPCs towards the different retinal fates. In this review, we describe the recent progress toward understanding how environmental factors influence the development of vertebrate rod photoreceptors.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Factors / physiology*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Growth Substances / physiology
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Laminin / physiology
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / embryology*
  • Solubility
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Taurine / physiology
  • Trans-Activators*
  • Tretinoin / physiology


  • Biological Factors
  • Growth Substances
  • Hedgehog Proteins
  • Laminin
  • Proteins
  • Trans-Activators
  • laminin beta2
  • Taurine
  • Tretinoin