This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, reproduction and adaptation in any medium and for any purpose provided that it is properly attributed. For attribution, the original author(s), title, publication source (PeerJ Preprints) and either DOI or URL of the article must be cited.
The genes associated with multipotency in the eye cells at different stages of differentiation continue to be in the focus of biomedical research. In this study we revealed the changes in the NANOG mRNA expression in the human eye tissues at the early developmental stages. Using in situ hybridization we have obtained the new evidence for NANOG transcriptional activity in the human eye tissues at 8−10.5 weeks of prenatal development. NANOG transcriptional activity was detected in ectodermal derivatives tissues (cornea epithelium and lens) as well as in neuroectodermal tissue (neural retina). The highest NANOG mRNA concentration has been registered in cornea epithelium. The differences in the NANOG mRNA expression pattern could relate to the eye cells properties and their microenvironment. It is known that even in definitive tissue the epithelium retains the self-renew ability, while the retinal cells self-maintenance potential in vivo is extremely limited. Our findings confirm the presence of NANOG mRNA in tissues derived from different germ layers and clarifies the cellular markers characteristic of various eye cell types. The data obtained could help facilitate the understanding the cell biology and cell differentiation mechanisms.