Development (Cambridge, England)

Self-organising aggregates of zebrafish retinal cells for investigating mechanisms of neural lamination.

PMID 28174240


To investigate the cell-cell interactions necessary for the formation of retinal layers, we cultured dissociated zebrafish retinal progenitors in agarose microwells. Within these wells, the cells re-aggregated within hours, forming tight retinal organoids. Using a Spectrum of Fates zebrafish line, in which all different types of retinal neurons show distinct fluorescent spectra, we found that by 48 h in culture, the retinal organoids acquire a distinct spatial organisation, i.e. they became coarsely but clearly laminated. Retinal pigment epithelium cells were in the centre, photoreceptors and bipolar cells were next most central and amacrine cells and retinal ganglion cells were on the outside. Image analysis allowed us to derive quantitative measures of lamination, which we then used to find that Müller glia, but not RPE cells, are essential for this process.