Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 28011038
Link to DOI – S1534-5807(16)30833-410.1016/j.devcel.2016.11.020
Dev Cell 2017 01; 40(2): 137-150
In lower vertebrates, stem/progenitor cells located in a peripheral domain of the retina, called the ciliary margin zone (CMZ), cooperate with retinal domain progenitors to build the mature neural retina. In mammals, it is believed that the CMZ lacks neurogenic potential and that the retina develops from one pool of multipotent retinal progenitor cells (RPCs). Here we identify a population of Msx1-expressing progenitors in the mouse CMZ that is both molecularly and functionally distinct from RPCs. Using genetic lineage tracing, we report that Msx1 progenitors have unique developmental properties compared with RPCs. Msx1 lineages contain both neural retina and non-neural ciliary epithelial progenies and overall generate fewer photoreceptors than classical RPC lineages. Furthermore, we show that the endocytic adaptor protein Numb regulates the balance between neural and non-neural fates in Msx1 progenitors. These results uncover a population of CMZ progenitors, distinct from classical RPCs, that also contributes to mammalian retinogenesis.