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Different lineage contexts direct common pro-neural factors to specify distinct retinal cell subtypes.

The Journal of cell biology (2020-07-24)
Mei Wang, Lei Du, Aih Cheun Lee, Yan Li, Huiwen Qin, Jie He
ABSTRACT

How astounding neuronal diversity arises from variable cell lineages in vertebrates remains mostly elusive. By in vivo lineage tracing of ∼1,000 single zebrafish retinal progenitors, we identified a repertoire of subtype-specific stereotyped neurogenic lineages. Remarkably, within these stereotyped lineages, GABAergic amacrine cells were born with photoreceptor cells, whereas glycinergic amacrine cells were born with OFF bipolar cells. More interestingly, post-mitotic differentiation blockage of GABAergic and glycinergic amacrine cells resulted in their respecification into photoreceptor and bipolar cells, respectively, suggesting lineage constraint in cell subtype specification. Using single-cell RNA-seq and ATAC-seq analyses, we further identified lineage-specific progenitors, each defined by specific transcription factors that exhibited characteristic chromatin accessibility dynamics. Finally, single pro-neural factors could specify different neuron types/subtypes in a lineage-dependent manner. Our findings reveal the importance of lineage context in defining neuronal subtypes and provide a demonstration of in vivo lineage-dependent induction of unique retinal neuron subtypes for treatment purposes.

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