Sonic hedgehog regulates proliferation of the retinal ciliary marginal zone in posthatch chicks

Ala Moshiri, Christopher R. McGuire, Thomas A. Reh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


The ciliary marginal zone (CMZ) has long been known to be a source of postembryonic neuronal production in the retinas of fish and amphibians, and more recently, birds. However, there is little known about the factors that are required for the maintenance of this neural stem cell zone. The cells of the CMZ respond to mitogens such as endothelial growth factor, insulin-like growth factor-1, and insulin, factors that are also mitogenic for embryonic retinal progenitors, suggesting that the continued expression of embryonic mitogenic factors might be required to maintain the postembryonic proliferative potential of the CMZ. To test this hypothesis, we examined the expression and functional role of a critical embryonic retinal progenitor mitogen, Sonic hedgehog (Shh) in the regulation of proliferation of the cells of the CMZ. We have found that Shh is concentrated at the retinal margin of postembryonic chicks. Moreover, we report that intraocular injection of Shh stimulates proliferation of the CMZ cells, whereas cyclopamine, an inhibitor of the Shh pathway, inhibits CMZ proliferation. We conclude that Shh signaling is an important factor in the maintenance of postembryonic retinal neurogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)66-75
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental Dynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Neurogenesis
  • Regeneration
  • Retina
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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