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Klaus Ruether, Andreas Feigenspan, Judith Pirngruber, Michael Leitges, Wolfgang Baehr, Olaf Strauss; PKCα Is Essential for the Proper Activation and Termination of Rod Bipolar Cell Response. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2010;51(11):6051-6058. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4704.
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Protein kinase (PKC)-α is abundant in retinal bipolar cells. This study was performed to explore its role in visual processing.
PKCα-knockout (Prkca −/−) mice and control animals were examined by using electroretinography (ERG), light microscopy, and immunocytochemistry.
The Prkca −/− mice showed no signs of retinal degeneration up to 12 months of age, but ERG measurements indicated a decelerated increase in the ascending limb of the scotopic (rod-sensitive) b-wave as well as a delayed return to baseline. These results suggest that PKCα is an important modulator that affects bipolar cell signal transduction and termination. Confocal microscopy of retinal sections showed that PKCα co-localized with calbindin, which indicates a PKCα localization in close proximity to the horizontal cell terminals. In addition, the implicit time of the ERG c-wave originating from the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and the recovery of photoreceptors from bleaching conditions were substantially faster in the knockout mice than in the wild-type control animals.
These results suggest that PKCα is a modulator of rod–bipolar cell function by accelerating glutamate-driven signal transduction and termination. This modulation is of importance in the switch between scotopic and photopic vision. Furthermore, PKCα seems to play a role in RPE function.
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