Professor Mason has identified program genes that are important for cell identity in the developing retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. These genes direct retinal axon growth through the optic chiasm, where retinal fibers redistribute to one or the other side of the brain toward visual targets. This circuit is crucial for binocular vision. Current experiments involve in utero gene delivery into the normal and albino mouse retina to rescue defects in visual system circuitry. With these studies, Mason's lab works to develop gene therapy and cell transplantation to reduce visual defects in humans.
Rebsam A, Petros TJ, Mason CA. Switching retinogeniculate axon laterality leads to normal targeting but abnormal eye-specific segregation that is activity dependent. J Neurosci. 2009 Nov 25;29(47):14855-63.
Petros TJ, Shrestha BR, Mason C. Specificity and sufficiency of EphB1 in driving the ipsilateral retinal projection. J Neurosci. 2009 Mar 18;29(11):3463-74.
Petros TJ, Rebsam A, Mason CA. Retinal axon growth at the optic chiasm: to cross or not to cross. Annu Rev Neurosci. 2008;31:295-315. Review.
Garcia-Frigola C, Carreres MI, Vegar C, Mason C, Herrera E. Zic2 promotes axonal divergence at the optic chiasm midline by EphB1-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Development. 2008 May;135(10):1833-41.
Williams SE, Grumet M, Colman DR, Henkemeyer M, Mason CA, Sakurai T. A role for Nr-CAM in the patterning of binocular visual pathways. Neuron. 2006 May 18;50(4):535-47.
Herrera E, Marcus R, Li S, Williams SE, Erskine L, Lai E, Mason C. Foxd1 is required for proper formation of the optic chiasm. Development. 2004 Nov;131(22):5727-39.
Williams SE, Mann F, Erskine L, Sakurai T, Wei S, Rossi DJ, Gale NW, Holt CE, Mason CA, Henkemeyer M. Ephrin-B2 and EphB1 mediate retinal axon divergence at the optic chiasm. Neuron. 2003 Sep 11;39(6):919-35.
Herrera E, Brown L, Aruga J, Rachel RA, Dolen G, Mikoshiba K, Brown S, Mason CA. Zic2 patterns binocular vision by specifying the uncrossed retinal projection. Cell. 2003 Sep 5;114(5):545-57. Erratum in: Cell. 2003 Oct 3;115(1):125.
Rachel RA, Dolen G, Hayes NL, Lu A, Erskine L, Nowakowski RS, Mason CA. Spatiotemporal features of early neuronogenesis differ in wild-type and albino mouse retina. J Neurosci. 2002 Jun 1;22(11):4249-63.