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Tbr1 instructs laminar patterning of retinal ganglion cell dendrites.

  • Author(s): Liu, Jinyue;
  • Reggiani, Jasmine DS;
  • Laboulaye, Mallory A;
  • Pandey, Shristi;
  • Chen, Bin;
  • Rubenstein, John LR;
  • Krishnaswamy, Arjun;
  • Sanes, Joshua R
  • et al.

Visual information is delivered to the brain by >40 types of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Diversity in this representation arises within the inner plexiform layer (IPL), where dendrites of each RGC type are restricted to specific sublaminae, limiting the interneuronal types that can innervate them. How such dendritic restriction arises is unclear. We show that the transcription factor Tbr1 is expressed by four mouse RGC types with dendrites in the outer IPL and is required for their laminar specification. Loss of Tbr1 results in elaboration of dendrites within the inner IPL, while misexpression in other cells retargets their neurites to the outer IPL. Two transmembrane molecules, Sorcs3 and Cdh8, act as effectors of the Tbr1-controlled lamination program. However, they are expressed in just one Tbr1+ RGC type, supporting a model in which a single transcription factor implements similar laminar choices in distinct cell types by recruiting partially non-overlapping effectors.

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