Retinal stem cells modulate proliferative parameters to coordinate post-embryonic morphogenesis in the eye of fish

Elife. 2019 Mar 26;8:e42646. doi: 10.7554/eLife.42646.


Combining clonal analysis with a computational agent based model, we investigate how tissue-specific stem cells for neural retina (NR) and retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) of the teleost medaka (Oryzias latipes) coordinate their growth rates. NR cell division timing is less variable, consistent with an upstream role as growth inducer. RPE cells divide with greater variability, consistent with a downstream role responding to inductive signals. Strikingly, the arrangement of the retinal ciliary marginal zone niche results in a spatially biased random lineage loss, where stem- and progenitor cell domains emerge spontaneously. Further, our data indicate that NR cells orient division axes to regulate organ shape and retinal topology. We highlight an unappreciated mechanism for growth coordination, where one tissue integrates cues to synchronize growth of nearby tissues. This strategy may enable evolution to modulate cell proliferation parameters in one tissue to adapt whole-organ morphogenesis in a complex vertebrate organ.

Keywords: Medaka (Oryzias latipes); agent based model; ciliary marginal zone; clonal analysis; computational biology; developmental biology; retina; stem cell dynamics; systems biology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Morphogenesis*
  • Oryzias*
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • Stem Cells / physiology*