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Early or late Notch signaling inhibition forces cell differentiation, generating organoids enriched with cone or rod photoreceptors, respectively, demonstrating the power of our improved organoid system for future research in stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.Subplate cells in the mouse are generally defined as cells located in the subplate layer between the white matter and layer 6a.

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Mouse subplate cells are generally defined as cells located in the subplate layer between the white matter (WM) and layer 6a and are among the cortical cells that are born earliest and mature first (Angevine and Sidman 1961; Price et al. Additionally, our screen identified the G-protein-coupled lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1 (Lpar1/Edg2) as another putative marker of the postnatal subplate (Hoerder 2007).

None of these, however, is expressed from the time of subplate cell generation.

Embryonic heads were postfixed in 4% PFA overnight.

Brains of Lpar1-GFP animals aged E13.5, E15.5, P0, P2, P4, P6, P8, P10, P14, P21, and adult (= 2 brains or more for each age) were cut to 50 µm coronally on a vibrating microtome.

Lpar1-GFP cells are preferentially generated on E11.5, whereas Cplx3 or Nurr1-positive cells are equally generated during the 2-day peak of subplate neurogenesis (E11.5–E12.5). Subplate neurons are recognized to be important players in cortical development and maturation, with distinct roles at different developmental ages (Kanold and Luhmann 2010). Robertson (2000) described somatostatin, neuropeptide Y, and acetylcholine esterase as functional markers of the embryonic rat subplate; yet, none of these distinguishes the subplate layer from the overlying cortical plate in postnatal (P21) brains.

Our study also demonstrates that early-born subplate neurons labeled by Cplx3, Nurr1, and Lpar1-GFP survive preferentially after the first postnatal week compared with other subplate neurons. At embryonic ages, subplate cells are involved in thalamocortical and corticofugal axon guidance, including establishment of topographical projections (Mc Connell et al. This prompted our search for molecular markers of the postnatal subplate (Hoerder-Suabedissen et al 2009), in which we reported the presynaptic protein complexin 3 (Cplx3), connective tissue growth factor (CTGF), and the orphan nuclear receptor Nr4a2 (Nurr1), among others, as molecules that are consistently expressed in the mouse subplate layer during the postnatal period.

All 4 of these molecular markers show layer 6b-restricted expression at young postnatal ages, with CTGF expression being the most widespread in the young postnatal subplate. In the first autoradiographic study in mouse, Smart and Smart (1982) did not report a continued contribution to the marginal zone and subplate layer in their analysis of juvenile (P22) mouse brains.

However, all 4 markers overlap in their expression pattern to varying degrees. More in agreement with the latter, there are also reports of persistent immunohistochemical or in situ hybridization labeling of the postnatal and adult subplate layer (Arimatsu et al. Depending on the mediolateral position, cells within the subplate layer were primarily generated at E11 and E12 (plug date = E1), with a few more contributed by E13 divisions.

Following counterstaining with DAPI (4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole, 5 µg/m L, Invitrogen), GFP cell distribution was documented on an epifluorescence microscope.

The distribution of GFP cells and GFP Neu N neurons (discussed subsequently) was quantified from confocal images at P8 (= 3 brains).

Analysis of gene expression in individual organoids, cell birthdating, and interorganoid variation indicate efficient, reproducible, and temporally regulated retinogenesis.

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