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Circadian clocks, retinogenesis and ocular health in vertebrates

Publication year 2022
Published in Developmental Biology
Authors Amandine Bery, Udita Bagchi, A.A.B. Bergen, Marie-Paule Felder-Schmittbuhl

Circadian clocks are cell-autonomous, molecular pacemakers regulating a wide variety of behavioural and physiological processes in accordance with the 24 h light/dark cycle. The retina contains a complex network of cell-specific clocks orchestrating many biochemical and cellular parameters to adapt retinal biology and visual function to daily changes in light intensity. The gene regulatory networks controlling proliferation, specification and differentiation of retinal precursors into the diverse retinal cell types are evolutionary conserved among vertebrates. However, how these mechanisms are interconnected with circadian clocks is not well-characterized. Here we explore the existing evidence for the regulation of retinal development by circadian clock-related pathways, throughout vertebrates. We provide evidence for the influence of clock genes, from early to final differentiation steps. In addition, we report that the clock, integrating environmental cues, modulates a number of pathological processes. We highlight its potential role in retinal diseases and its instructive function on eye growth and related disorders.

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