A challenge in studying organogenesis is the ability to identify progenitor cell populations. To address this problem, we characterized the expression patterns of cell cycle proteins during mouse retinal development and used flow cytometry to determine the expression profiles in the cell cycle. We found that MCM6 and PCNA are expressed in essentially all retinal progenitor cells throughout the proliferative period and these proteins are readily detectable in all cell cycle phases. Furthermore, their expression levels are downregulated as cells exit the cell cycle and differentiate. We also analyzed the expression of Cyclins D1, A2, and B1, and phosphorylated Histone H3 and found unexpected expression patterns and cell cycle profiles. The combined utilization of the markers tested and the use of flow cytometry should further facilitate the study of stem and progenitor cell behavior during development and in adult tissues.
(c) 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.