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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Retinal degeneration in two lines of transgenic S334ter rats.

  • Author(s): Martinez-Navarrete, G
  • Seiler, MJ
  • Aramant, RB
  • Fernandez-Sanchez, L
  • Pinilla, I
  • Cuenca, N
  • et al.

Aim of this study was to examine synaptic connectivity changes in the retina and the location and rate of apoptosis in transgenic S334ter line-3 and line-5 rats with photoreceptor degeneration. Heterozygous S334ter-line-3 and line-5 at P11-13, P30, P60, P90 and several control non-dystrophic rats (Long Evans and Sprague-Dawley) at P60, were studied anatomically by immunohistochemistry for various cell and synaptic markers, and by PNA and TUNEL label.- S334ter line-3 exhibited the fastest rate of degeneration with an early loss of photoreceptors, with 1-2 layers remaining at P30, and only cones left at P60. Line-5 had 4-5 layers left at P30, and very few rods left at P60-90. In both lines, horizontal cell processes (including dendrites and axon) were diminished at P11-13, showing gaps in the outer plexiform layer (OPL) at P60, and at P90, almost no terminal tips could be seen. Bipolar cells showed a retraction of their dendrites forming clusters along the OPL. Synaptic terminals of A-II amacrine cells in the IPL lost most of their parvalbumin-immunoreactivity. The apoptosis rate was different in both lines. Line-3 rats showed many photoreceptors affected at P11, occupying the innermost part of the outer nuclear layer. Line-5 showed a lower number of apoptotic cells within the same location at P13. In summary, the S334ter line-3 rat has a faster progression of degeneration than line-5. The horizontal and bipolar terminals are already affected at P11-P13 in both models. Apoptosis is related to the mutated rhodopsin transgene; the first photoreceptor cells affected are those close to the OPL.

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