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Steffen Lenzner, Sandra Prietz, Silke Feil, Ulrike A. Nuber, H.-Hilger Ropers, Wolfgang Berger; Global Gene Expression Analysis in a Mouse Model for Norrie Disease: Late Involvement of Photoreceptor Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(9):2825-2833.
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purpose. Mutations in the NDP gene give rise to a variety of eye diseases, including classic Norrie disease (ND), X-linked exudative vitreoretinopathy (EVRX), retinal telangiectasis (Coats disease), and advanced retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The gene product is a cystine-knot–containing extracellular signaling molecule of unknown function. In the current study, gene expression was determined in a mouse model of ND, to unravel disease-associated mechanisms at the molecular level.
methods. Gene transcription in the eyes of 2-year-old Ndp knockout mice was compared with that in the eyes of age-matched wild-type control animals, by means of cDNA subtraction and microarrays. Clones (n = 3072) from the cDNA subtraction libraries were spotted onto glass slides and hybridized with fluorescently labeled RNA-derived targets. More than 230 differentially expressed clones were sequenced, and their expression patterns were verified by virtual Northern blot analysis.
results. Numerous gene transcripts that are absent or downregulated in the eye of Ndp knockout mice are photoreceptor cell specific. In younger Ndp knockout mice (up to 1 year old), however, all these transcripts were found to be expressed at normal levels.
conclusions. The identification of numerous photoreceptor cell–specific transcripts with a reduced expression in 2-year-old, but not in young, Ndp knockout mice indicates that normal gene expression in these light-sensitive cells of mutant mice is established and maintained over a long period and that rods and cones are affected relatively late in the mouse model of ND. Obviously, the absence of the Ndp gene product is not compatible with long-term survival of photoreceptor cells in the mouse.
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