Contribution of Müller cells toward the regulation of photoreceptor outer segment assembly.
The assembly of photoreceptor outer segments into stacked discs is a complicated process, the precise regulation of which remains a mystery. It is known that the integrity of the outer segment is heavily dependent upon surrounding cell types including the retinal pigment epithelium and Müller cells; however the role played by Müller cells within this photoreceptor-specific process has not been fully explored. Using an RPE-deprived but otherwise intact Xenopus laevis eye rudiment preparation, we reveal that Müller cell involvement in outer segment assembly is dependent upon the stimulus provided to the retina. Pigment epithelium-derived factor is able to support proper membrane folding after inhibition of Müller cell metabolism by alpha-aminoadipic acid, while isopropyl beta-D-thiogalactoside, a permissive glycan, requires intact Müller cell function. These results demonstrate that both intrinsic and extrinsic redundant mechanisms exist to support the ability of photoreceptors to properly assemble their outer segments. Our study further suggests that the receptor for pigment epithelium-derived factor resides in photoreceptors themselves while that for permissive glycans is likely localized to Müller cells, which in turn communicate with photoreceptors to promote proper membrane assembly.
Wang, X; Iannaccone, A; Jablonski, MM
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