Transitional Progenitors during Vertebrate Retinogenesis

Mol Neurobiol. 2017 Jul;54(5):3565-3576. doi: 10.1007/s12035-016-9899-x. Epub 2016 May 18.


The retina is a delicate neural tissue responsible for light signal capturing, modulating, and passing to mid-brain. The brain then translated the signals into three-dimensional vision. The mature retina is composed of more than 50 subtypes of cells, all of which are developed from a pool of early multipotent retinal progenitors, which pass through sequential statuses of oligopotent, bipotent, and unipotent progenitors, and finally become terminally differentiated retinal cells. A transitional progenitor model is proposed here to describe how intrinsic developmental programs, along with environmental cues, control the step-by-step differentiation during retinogenesis. The model could elegantly explain many current findings as well as predict roles of intrinsic factors during retinal development.

Keywords: Cell fate; Development; Differentiation; Intrinsic program; Multipotent; Progenitor; Retina; Retinogenesis; Stochastic mechanism; Transcription factor.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Models, Biological
  • Organogenesis*
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / embryology*
  • Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Stochastic Processes
  • Vertebrates / embryology*