Foxg1 is required to limit the formation of ciliary margin tissue and Wnt/β-catenin signalling in the developing nasal retina of the mouse

Dev Biol. 2013 Aug 15;380(2):299-313. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2013.04.017. Epub 2013 Apr 24.


The ciliary margin (CM) develops in the peripheral retina and gives rise to the iris and the ciliary body. The Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway has been implicated in ciliary margin development. Here, we tested the hypothesis that in the developing mouse retina Foxg1 is responsible for suppressing the Wnt/β-catenin pathway and restricting CM development. We showed that there is excess CM tissue in Foxg1(-/-) null embryos and this expansion is more pronounced in the nasal retina where Foxg1 normally shows its highest expression levels. Results on expression of a reporter allele for Wnt/β-catenin signalling and of Lef1, a target of Wnt/β-catenin signalling, displayed significant upregulation of this pathway in Foxg1(-/-) nulls at embryonic days 12.5 and 14.5. Interestingly, this upregulation was observed specifically in the nasal retina, where normally very few Wnt-responsive cells are observed. These results indicate a suppressive role of Foxg1 on this signalling pathway. Our results reveal a new role of Foxg1 in limiting CM development in the nasal peripheral retina and add a new molecular player in the developmental network involved in CM specification.

Keywords: Ciliary margin; Eye development; Foxg1; Mouse; Wnt/β-catenin signalling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Forkhead Transcription Factors / physiology*
  • Lymphoid Enhancer-Binding Factor 1 / analysis
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / physiology*
  • Otx Transcription Factors / analysis
  • Retina / embryology*
  • Wnt Signaling Pathway / physiology*
  • beta Catenin / physiology*


  • Forkhead Transcription Factors
  • Foxg1 protein, mouse
  • Lef1 protein, mouse
  • Lymphoid Enhancer-Binding Factor 1
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Otx Transcription Factors
  • Otx1 protein, mouse
  • beta Catenin