Brn-3a, Brn-3b, and Brn-3c are highfy homologous POU-domain transcription factors that are expressed in subsets of retinal ganglion cells. From each of the mouse Brn-3 genes, a DNA segment ranging in size from 4.6 to 13.4 kb and located immediately upstream of the start site of translation was joined to a human placental alkaline phosphatase (AP) reporter cDNA. Following the introduction of each construct into the mouse germline, a total of 19 transgenic lines were obtained, of which 16 expressed the AP reporter in the retina. Unexpectedly, at least 14 of the 16 expressing lines showed AP activity in subsets of amacrine cells, and these subsets typically differed among mouse lines injected with the same construct. Transgene expression was also found in ganglion cells in four lines and bipolar cells in seven lines. In all cases AP activity was confined to cells in the inner nuclear layer and the ganglion cell layer. The expression of Brn-3 transgenes in multiple cell types in the inner retina is reminiscent of earlier experiments in which visual pigment transgenes were found to be expressed in multiple cell types in the outer retina. Taken together, these observations suggest that anatomically and/or functionally related retinal neurons contain partially overlapping transcriptional regulatory specificities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Amacrine cells
- POU-domain transcription factors
- Transgenic mice