Intrinsic control of mammalian retinogenesis

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2013 Jul;70(14):2519-32. doi: 10.1007/s00018-012-1183-2. Epub 2012 Oct 12.


The generation of appropriate and diverse neuronal and glial types and subtypes during development constitutes the critical first step toward assembling functional neural circuits. During mammalian retinogenesis, all seven neuronal and glial cell types present in the adult retina are specified from multipotent progenitors by the combined action of various intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Tremendous progress has been made over the past two decades in uncovering the complex molecular mechanisms that control retinal cell diversification. Molecular genetic studies coupled with bioinformatic approaches have identified numerous transcription factors and cofactors as major intrinsic regulators leading to the establishment of progenitor multipotency and eventual differentiation of various retinal cell types and subtypes. More recently, non-coding RNAs have emerged as another class of intrinsic factors involved in generating retinal cell diversity. These intrinsic regulatory factors are found to act in different developmental processes to establish progenitor multipotency, define progenitor competence, determine cell fates, and/or specify cell types and subtypes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / metabolism
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • Receptors, Notch / metabolism
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / growth & development
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • Receptors, Notch
  • Transcription Factors
  • delta protein