Developmental improvement in the regularity and packing of mouse horizontal cells: implications for mechanisms underlying mosaic pattern formation

Vis Neurosci. Sep-Oct 2005;22(5):569-73. doi: 10.1017/S095252380522504X.


The present investigation has sought to determine whether the population of retinal horizontal cells undergoes an increase in the precision of its mosaic patterning during postnatal development, and if so, whether this increase is compatible with three different mechanistic accounts of retinal mosaic formation. Horizontal cells were labeled with antibodies to neurofilaments or calbindin at different developmental stages, and then visualized in retinal wholemounts. Multiple fields were sampled from each retina to determine horizontal cell density, while the X-Y coordinates of each cell in a field were determined. An estimate of total horizontal cell number was calculated for each retina, while the Voronoi domain regularity index and the packing factor were computed for each field. Two strains of mice showing a two-fold difference in the size of their horizontal cell population in maturity were sampled, C57BL/6J and A/J. Horizontal cell number in C57BL/6J was approximately twice that observed in A/J at all postnatal stages, with neither strain showing an effect of age on horizontal cell number. In both strains, however, the Voronoi domain regularity index and the packing factor were significantly lower at P-1 relative to later developmental stages. These results show that accounts of mosaic formation proposing the selective death of irregularly positioned cells, or the periodic occurrence of fate-determining events, are insufficient to establish the final patterning achieved by horizontal cells. Rather, they support the hypothesis that tangential dispersion enhances mosaic patterning during postnatal development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Calbindins
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Death / physiology
  • Cell Differentiation / physiology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred A
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism


  • Calbindins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G