Three-Dimensional Culture of Mouse Eyecups

  • Raven Diacou
  • Punita Bhansali
  • Wei LiuEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2092)


Retinal neurons and glia in the adult vertebrate retina are differentiated from multipotent retinal progenitors in the eyecups under the regulation of intrinsic and extrinsic factors, but the molecular mechanism underlying the process is partially understood. Functional studies using engineered mice provide tremendous insight into the mechanisms of retinal cell differentiation, but in utero embryogenesis prevents manipulations of mouse embryonic retina. Mouse eyecup culture using a culture filter or insert has been developed, but retinal structure is often altered due to the flattening of mouse eyecups in these culture systems. In this chapter, we describe three-dimensional culture of embryonic mouse eyecups. In our system, cell differentiation, stratified retinal structure, and ciliary margins in cultured eyecups were reminiscent of those in vivo. Our 3D culture of mouse eyecups has multiple applications when wild-type or engineered mice are used as models for studying retinal cell differentiation.

Key words

Retinal cell differentiation Three-dimensional culture Mouse eyecup explant 



We are thankful to Dr. R. Chuck for the support, grants from BrightFocus (M2012044 to W.L.), NEI (1R01EY022645 to W.L.), and RPB (unrestricted grant to the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at Albert Einstein College of Medicine). R.H. and P.B. were supported by NIH training grants T32GM007288 and K12GM102779, respectively.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsAlbert Einstein College of MedicineBronxUSA
  3. 3.Department of ​Biological Sciences & GeologyQueensborough Community CollegeBaysideUSA

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