Patterning of the Zebrafish Retina by a Wave of Sonic Hedgehog Activity

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Science  22 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5487, pp. 2137-2139
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5487.2137

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The Drosophila retina is patterned by a morphogenetic wave driven by the Hedgehog signaling protein. Hedgehog, secreted by the first neurons, induces neuronal differentiation andhedgehog expression in nearby uncommitted cells, thereby propagating the wave. Evidence is presented here that the zebrafish Hedgehog homolog, Sonic Hedgehog, is also expressed in the first retinal neurons, and that Sonic Hedgehog drives a wave of neurogenesis across the retina, strikingly similar to the wave inDrosophila. The conservation of this patterning mechanism is unexpected, given the highly divergent structures of vertebrate and invertebrate eyes, and supports a common evolutionary origin of the animal visual system.

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