Rapid and Integrative Discovery of Retina Regulatory Molecules

Cell Rep. 2018 Aug 28;24(9):2506-2519. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.07.090.


Retinal function relies on precisely organized neurons and synapses and a properly patterned vasculature to support them. Alterations in these features can result in vision loss. However, our understanding of retinal organization pathways remains incomplete because of a lack of methods to rapidly identify neuron and vasculature regulators in mammals. Here we developed a pipeline for the identification of neural and synaptic integrity genes by high-throughput retinal screening (INSiGHT) that analyzes candidate expression, vascular patterning, cellular organization, and synaptic arrangement. Using this system, we examined 102 mutant mouse lines and identified 16 unique retinal regulatory genes. Fifteen of these candidates are identified as novel retina regulators, and many (9 of 16) are associated with human neural diseases. These results expand the genetic landscape involved in retinal circuit organization and provide a road map for continued discovery of mammalian retinal regulators and disease-causing alleles.

Keywords: high-throughput screening; nervous system; neural disease; neuron; retina; synapse; vasculature; vision loss.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Synapses