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Epha2 and Efna5 participate in lens cell pattern-formation.


ABSTRACT: Ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EPHA2) and one of its ligands, ephrin-A5 (EFNA5), have been associated with loss of eye lens transparency, or cataract, - an important cause of visual impairment. Here we show that mice functionally lacking EPHA2 (Epha2-null), EFNA5 (Efna5-null), or both receptor and ligand (Epha2/Efna5-null) consistently develop mostly transparent lenses with an internal refractive disturbance and a grossly disturbed cellular architecture. In situ hybridization localized Epha2 and Efna5 transcripts to lens epithelial cells and nascent fiber cells at the lens equator. In vivo labeling of Epha2-null lenses with a thymidine analog detected a significant decrease in lens epithelial cell proliferation within the germinative zone resulting in impaired early lens growth. Ex vivo imaging of Epha2-null, Efna5-null, and Epha2/Efna5-null lenses labelled in vivo with a membrane-targeted red fluorescent protein revealed misalignment of elongating fiber cells at the lens equator and loss of Y-suture pattern formation near the anterior and posterior poles of the lens. Immuno-fluorescent labeling of lens major intrinsic protein or aquaporin-0 (MIP/AQP0) showed that the precise, radial column patterning of hexagonal fiber cells throughout the cortex region was disrupted in Epha2-null, Efna5-null and Epha2/Efna5-null lenses. Collectively, these data suggest that Epha2 and Efna5 participate in the complex, global patterning of lens fiber cells that is necessary for maximal optical quality.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6287607 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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