Quantitative analysis of proliferation and cell cycle length during development of the rat retina

Dev Dyn. 1996 Mar;205(3):293-307. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1097-0177(199603)205:3<293::AID-AJA9>3.0.CO;2-D.


The rat retina has been a useful model system for the study of the development of the central nervous system (CNS). In order to facilitate future studies on the mechanisms that control retinal growth, we have quantified the proliferation of retinal cells and the length of the cell cycle throughout development. For each day during development, the number of mitotic and postmitotic cells per retina, the proportion of cycling cells, S phase length, and cell cycle length were determined through quantification of cell numbers and 3H-thymidine labeling. As retinal development proceeds, the proportion of cycling cells decreases, and cell cycle length increases, in part due to an increase in S phase length.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bromodeoxyuridine / pharmacology
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division
  • DNA
  • Isotope Labeling
  • Mitosis
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • S Phase
  • Time Factors


  • DNA
  • Bromodeoxyuridine