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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014, Article ID 803718, 9 pages
Research Article

Knockdown of Zebrafish Blood Vessel Epicardial Substance Results in Incomplete Retinal Lamination

1Department of Life Science, College of Life Science, National Taiwan University, Taipei 10617, Taiwan
2Department of Ophthalmology, Graduate Program of Neuroscience, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA
3Department of Ophthalmology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 10002, Taiwan
4Institute of Biological Chemistry, Academia Sinica, Taipei 11529, Taiwan

Received 18 December 2013; Accepted 29 January 2014; Published 6 March 2014

Academic Editors: A. M. Berrocal and Y. Zhong

Copyright © 2014 Yu-Ching Wu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Cell polarity during eye development determines the normal retinal lamination and differentiation of photoreceptor cells in the retina. In vertebrates, blood vessel epicardial substance (Bves) is known to play an important role in the formation and maintenance of the tight junctions essential for epithelial cell polarity. In the current study, we generated a transgenic zebrafish Bves (zbves) promoter-EGFP zebrafish line to investigate the expression pattern of Bves in the retina and to study the role of zbves in retinal lamination. Immunostaining with different specific antibodies from retinal cells and transmission electron microscopy were used to identify the morphological defects in normal and Bves knockdown zebrafish. In normal zebrafish, Bves is located at the apical junctions of embryonic retinal neuroepithelia during retinogenesis; later, it is strongly expressed around inner plexiform layer (IPL) and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). In contrast, a loss of normal retinal lamination and cellular polarity was found with undifferentiated photoreceptor cells in Bves knockdown zebrafish. Herein, our results indicated that disruption of Bves will result in a loss of normal retinal lamination.