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Development of the Eye 

Development of the Eye
Chapter:
Development of the Eye
Author(s):

David C. Beebe

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199934522.003.0008
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date: 07 March 2021

Precise regulation of eye development is required to produce good visual acuity. Tissue interactions between the optic vesicle, surface ectoderm and neural crest and mesodermal mesenchyme cells assure alignment of the retina, lens and cornea. Coordination of ocular development depends on the deployment of nearly every type of signaling pathway known to function in embryogenesis, including classical growth factors, TGFβ‎ superfamily molecules, Hedgehog, Notch and Wnt signaling and nuclear receptors for retinoids. These signals elicit the expression of transcription factors that guide cell type specific morphogenesis, differentiation and function, assuring the transparency of the cornea and lens, the detection of light and the processing of visual signals by the retina and the proper alignment of the eyes by the extraocular muscles. Defects in these processes or pathways can cause absence of the eyes, aberrant morphogenesis, or defective function of the ocular components, resulting in blindness or severe ocular dysfunction.

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