September 1998
Volume 39, Issue 10
Free
Articles  |   September 1998
Abnormal eye development associated with Cat4a, a dominant mouse cataract mutation on chromosome 8.
Author Affiliations
  • P A Grimes
    Department of Ophthalmology and Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6075, USA.
  • B Koeberlein
    Department of Ophthalmology and Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6075, USA.
  • J Favor
    Department of Ophthalmology and Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6075, USA.
  • A Neuhäuser-Klaus
    Department of Ophthalmology and Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6075, USA.
  • D Stambolian
    Department of Ophthalmology and Scheie Eye Institute, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia 19104-6075, USA.
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 1998, Vol.39, 1863-1869. doi:
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      P A Grimes, B Koeberlein, J Favor, A Neuhäuser-Klaus, D Stambolian; Abnormal eye development associated with Cat4a, a dominant mouse cataract mutation on chromosome 8.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1998;39(10):1863-1869.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

PURPOSE: Cat4a, one of four mutant alleles at the mouse Cat4 locus, causes central corneal opacity and anterior polar cataract in heterozygotes and microphthalmia in homozygotes. The Cat4 locus has been mapped to chromosome 8, 31 cM from the centromere. In this study ocular development of Cat4a mutant mice was investigated to characterize the defects in eye morphogenesis. METHODS: Serial sections from eyes of wild-type, heterozygous, and homozygous littermates were examined by means of light microscopy at selected intervals from embryonic day 11 to postnatal day 1. Eyes of adult heterozygous and homozygous mice also were evaluated histologically. RESULTS: Failure of separation of the lens vesicle from the surface ectoderm was the earliest structural defect observed. In heterozygous embryos, the abnormality was limited to persistent connection of the anterior pole of the lens to the cornea. Adult heterozygotes had defects in the central corneal stroma and endothelium and anterior polar cataracts with or without keratolenticular adhesion. In homozygous embryos, the persistent connection of lens to surface ectoderm was associated with aborted lens development, failure of closure of the optic fissure, and impairment of growth of the eyecup. Microphthalmic eyes of adult homozygous mice had a poorly developed cornea, and the anterior chamber and vitreous compartment were absent. An extensively folded retina and remnants of a degenerated lens filled the interior of the globe. CONCLUSIONS: A developmental defect inhibits separation of the lens vesicle from surface ectoderm in mice heterozygous or homozygous for the Cat4a mutation. In homozygotes subsequent lens and eye morphogenesis are also severely affected. Cat4a shows phenotypical similarity to several other independent mouse mutations including Small eye, a mutation of the Pax6 gene. Cat4 may be one of several genes involved in a common developmental path and may be part of the Pax6-regulated gene cascade governing eye morphogenesis.

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