Spatial and temporal expression patterns of FGF receptor genes type 1 and type 2 in the developing chick retina

Exp Eye Res. 1994 Mar;58(3):351-8. doi: 10.1006/exer.1994.1025.


Fibroblast growth factors are known to influence the growth and differentiation of cultured cells derived from the chick retina. The fibroblast growth factors can interact with a family of at least four closely related receptor kinases. To find a correlation between the presence of fibroblast growth factor receptors and eye development, the patterns of expression of transcripts encoding the type 1 (FGF-R1) and type 2 (FGF-R2) receptors in the developing chick retina have been studied. Northern blot analysis of RNA of the whole retina was used to observe that FGF-R1 transcripts are abundant at embryonic day 4 and then decrease until day 11. After this stage, the level of expression of FGF-R1 increases and its peak of expression at embryonic day 18 is concomitant with the detection of the opsin transcript. FGF-R2 transcript is also detected by Northern blots of RNA of the whole retina until embryonic day 6. However, the re-expression after embryonic day 11 of FGF-R2 could only be demonstrated by PCR studies. The same pattern of expression is observed with in situ hybridization of sagittal sections. The two genes are coexpressed in the pigmented epithelium and in the neural retina during embryonic development. The expression follows the retinal layering according to a gradient from the vitreous humor to the choroid. Quantification of the in situ hybridization signals demonstrates that the pattern of expression of both receptors diverges after embryonic day 6 between the pigmented epithelium and the neuronal cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Northern
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chick Embryo
  • Gene Expression
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • RNA, Messenger / biosynthesis
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / genetics
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor / genetics*
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Fibroblast Growth Factor
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 1
  • Receptor, Fibroblast Growth Factor, Type 2