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Elaine Tan, Xi-Qin Ding, Anisse Saadi, Neeraj Agarwal, Muna I. Naash, Muayyad R. Al-Ubaidi; Expression of Cone-Photoreceptor–Specific Antigens in a Cell Line Derived from Retinal Tumors in Transgenic Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(3):764-768. doi: 10.1167/iovs.03-1114.
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purpose. To examine an immortalized mouse retinal cell line (661W) for markers characteristic of photoreceptor cells and validate its photoreceptor origin.
methods. The 661W cells were cloned from retinal tumors of a transgenic mouse line that expresses the simian virus (SV) 40 T antigen under control of the human interphotoreceptor retinol-binding protein (IRBP) promoter. Morphologic, immunocytochemical, and immunoblot analyses were performed to characterize these cells. Total cellular protein was used for immunoblot analysis of various photoreceptor-specific proteins.
results. 661W cells grew as a monolayer and exhibited processes characteristic of neuronal cells. Immunoblot analysis showed that 661W cells expressed SV40 T antigen, blue and green cone pigments, transducin, and cone arrestin. Immunocytochemical detection of blue and green opsins showed distribution throughout the cell, the nucleus included. However, these cells did not express rod-specific antigens, such as opsin and arrestin or rod- and cone-specific proteins such as phosducin, peripherin/rds, and ROM1. Furthermore, the cells did not express RPE65, a cone- and RPE-cell–specific protein.
conclusions. 661W cells demonstrate cellular and biochemical characteristics exhibited by cone photoreceptor cells. These cells also resemble neuronal cells with their spindlelike processes and should serve as a useful alternative in vitro model for the study of cone photoreceptor cell biology and associated diseases.
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