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Decembrini, Sarah; Martin, Catherine; Sennlaub, Florian; Chemtob, Sylvain; Bie, Martin; Samardzija, Marijana; Moulin, Alexandre; Behar-Cohen, Francine; Arsenijevic, Yvan (2017): Cone Genesis Tracing by the Chrnb4-EGFP Mouse Line: Evidences of Cellular Material Fusion after Cone Precursor Transplantation. In: Molecular therapy, Vol. 25, No. 3: pp. 634-653
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The cone function is essential to mediate high visual acuity, color vision, and daylight vision. Inherited cone dystrophies and age-related macular degeneration affect a substantial percentage of the world population. To identify and isolate the most competent cells for transplantation and integration into the retina, cone tracing during development would be an important added value. To that aim, the Chrnb4-EGFP mouse line was characterized throughout retinogenesis. It revealed a sub population of early retinal progenitors expressing the reporter gene that is progressively restricted to mature cones during retina development. The presence of the native CHRNB4 protein was confirmed in EGFP-positive cells, and it presents a similar pattern in the human retina. Sub-retinal transplantations of distinct subpopulations of Chrnb4-EGFP-expressing cells revealed the embryonic day 15.5 high-EGFP population the most efficient cells to interact with host retinas to provoke the appearance of EGFP-positive cones in the photoreceptor layer. Importantly, transplantations into the DsRed retinas revealed material exchanges between donor and host retinas, as >80% of transplanted EGFP-positive cones also were DsRed positive. Whether this cell material fusion is of significant therapeutic advantage requires further thorough investigations. The Chrnb4-EGFP mouse line definitely opens new research perspectives in cone genesis and retina repair.