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WARREN L. HERRON, BYRON W. RIEGEL, ELAINE BRENNAN, MELVIN L. RUBIN; Retinal Dystrophy in the Pigmented Rat. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1974;13(2):87-94. doi: https://doi.org/.
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The genetic pattern for obtaining a darkly pigmented Royal College of Surgeons' (RCS) rat is described. The rat dystrophy initially shows a build-up of rod outer segment material because the pigment epithelium does not phagocytize it. The progressive ophthalmoscopic appearance of the fundus of the pigmented dystrophic eye is described. The first abnormal finding is a lightening of the retinal appearance. Thereafter, the choroid and pigment epithelium become obscured. Finally, as the accumulated old rod outer segment debris is removed, the retina thins and pigment clumping is observed. In some pigmented dystrophic rats, a zone of thinned retina with pigmentary changes can be seen to abruptly thicken to the white appearance which hides deep retinal and choroidal detail. Histologic evaluation of this zone shows that the difference is in the amount of remaining old rod outer segment debris. Autoradiography confirmed that the pink-eyed rat and the pigmented dystrophic rat both exhibit an inability of the pigment epithelium to remove their old rod outer segment material. Similarities between human retinitis pigmentosa and the dystrophic rat are noted.
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