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Corinne Kostic, Tim King, Crippa Sylvain, Stéphanie Philippe, Simon Lillico, Chamsy Sarkis, Jacques Mallet, Yvan Arsenijevic, Bruce Whitelaw; Analysis Of Photoreceptor Abnormality In Gucy2d E837D/R838S Transgenic Pigs. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2012;53(14):6462.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
We generated genetically engineered pigs expressing the human dominant GUCY2DE837D/R838S allele to modelize cone dystrophy. After a functional follow-up showing reduced photopic ERG responses (ARVO 2011), we analyzed the eyes by immunohistochemistry and revealed retinal modifications in the transgenic group.
Lentiviral vectors encoding the human double mutant GUCY2DE837D/R838S cDNA under the control of a portion of the pig arrestin-3 promoter (Arr3) were produced and used for lentiviral-mediated transgenesis in pigs. Animals were regularly submitted to behavioral and functional investigations and were sacrificed at 4, 7, 15 and 18 months of age for histological and RT-PCR analyses. Retinal markers were used to evaluate the retinal status of eleven transgenic pigs and 6 non-transgenic controls. The expression of the mutant cDNA was also assayed by RT-PCR.
A significant increase in the number of displaced nuclei in the outersegment layer is observed in transgenic animals compared to control animals independently of their age. Part of these nuclei originate from cones as demonstrated by colocalization with cone markers. No significant change in the ONL thickness (central and peripheral retina) was measured between 4 and 18 months of age, showing a slow progression of the disease in the transgenic pigs within this time-frame.
Arr3-GUCY2DE837D/R838S pigs show signs of retinal abnormality with slow progression which parallels the loss of photopic function. Further characterization of this model should help to elucidate the molecular mechanisms underlying the disease evolution.
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