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Junzo Kinoshita, Noriaki Iwata, Takanori Maejima, Masako Imaoka, Tomofumi Kimotsuki, Mitsuya Yasuda; N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea–Induced Acute Alteration of Retinal Function and Morphology in Monkeys. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(12):7146-7158. doi: 10.1167/iovs.15-16929.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate both functional and morphologic alteration of the retina acutely induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) in monkeys.
The MNU was administered intravenously at a single dose of 40 mg/kg to six cynomolgus monkeys, and standard full-field electroretinograms (ERGs) were recorded 1, 3, and 7 days after dosing. In addition, the rod and cone a-waves in response to high-intensity flashes were analyzed by the a-wave fitting model (a-wave analysis). The photopic negative response (PhNR) was also recorded at the same time points. Furthermore, the retinas of two animals each were examined histopathologically 1, 3, or 7 days after dosing.
The MNU attenuated all the standard full-field ERGs including the rod-driven and cone-driven responses; in the combined rod-cone response, the b-wave was more affected than the a-wave. In the a-wave analysis, the sensitivity parameters (S) of the rod and cone a-waves had decreased on the day after dosing and remained unchanged thereafter. The maximum response parameter (Rmax) of the rod a-wave gradually decreased. On the other hand, the Rmax in the cone a-wave transiently increased on the day after dosing and decreased thereafter; the PhNR amplitude showed a similar time course change. Histopathologically, the retinal lesion on the day after dosing mainly consisted of pyknosis and karyorrhexis in the photoreceptor nucleus. Depletion of some photoreceptor nuclei, and shortening and disorientation of the photoreceptor segments became prominent at 3 and 7 days after dosing. Localization of degenerated photoreceptors was consistent with that of rhodopsin-positive photoreceptors, resulting in a well-preserved central fovea.
Our results indicated that MNU acutely induced rod-dominant photoreceptor degeneration in monkey retinas, but the photoreceptor function was impaired in both the rods and cones. Functional involvement of the postreceptoral components was also indicated.
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