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Role of Cell Contact in Phenotype Stability and Modification: Studies on Retina Cells

A. A. Moscona
American Zoologist
Vol. 27, No. 1 (1987), pp. 137-144
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3883117
Page Count: 8
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Role of Cell Contact in Phenotype Stability and Modification: Studies on Retina Cells
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Abstract

This article summarizes the role of cell contact in regulation of gene expression in the neural retina. It reviews evidence that contact-dependent communication between Muller glia cells and neurons, mediated by cell-membrane molecules, plays an important role in the expression and stability of the phenotype of Muller glia cells. Disruption of glia-neuron cell contacts and continued cell separation elicit changes in the glia cells that lead to their transformation into lens-like (lentoidal) cell type. It is proposed that, deprivation of normal contacts with neurons brings about changes in the cell membrane of the glia cell which are signalled internally and result in altered gene expression and phenotype modification.

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