Retinal Ganglion Cell Diversity and Subtype Specification from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells

Kirstin B. Langer, Sarah K. Ohlemacher, M. Joseph Phillips, Clarisse M. Fligor, Peng Jiang, David M. Gamm, Jason S. Meyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the projection neurons of the retina and transmit visual information to postsynaptic targets in the brain. While this function is shared among nearly all RGCs, this class of cell is remarkably diverse, comprised of multiple subtypes. Previous efforts have identified numerous RGC subtypes in animal models, but less attention has been paid to human RGCs. Thus, efforts of this study examined the diversity of RGCs differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) and characterized defined subtypes through the expression of subtype-specific markers. Further investigation of these subtypes was achieved using single-cell transcriptomics, confirming the combinatorial expression of molecular markers associated with these subtypes, and also provided insight into more subtype-specific markers. Thus, the results of this study describe the derivation of RGC subtypes from hPSCs and will support the future exploration of phenotypic and functional diversity within human RGCs. In this article, Langer and colleagues present extensive characterization of RGC subtypes derived from human pluripotent stem cells, with multiple subtypes identified by subtype-specific molecular markers. Their results present a more detailed analysis of RGC diversity in human cells and yield the use of different markers to identify RGC subtypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1282-1293
Number of pages12
JournalStem Cell Reports
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 10 2018


  • RGC subtype
  • RNA-seq
  • alpha RGC
  • direction selective RGC
  • iPSC
  • ipRGC
  • retina
  • retinal ganglion cell
  • stem cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

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