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S H Tsang, J Chen, H Kjeldbye, W S Li, M I Simon, P Gouras, S P Goff; Retarding photoreceptor degeneration in Pdegtm1/Pdegtml mice by an apoptosis suppressor gene.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1997;38(5):943-950.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
PURPOSE: Mice (Pdegtm1/Pdegtm1) homozygous for a mutant allele of the gamma subunit of retinal cyclic guanosine monophosphate phosphodiesterase (PDE gamma) suffer a severe photoreceptor degeneration. To determine whether the antiapoptotic BCL2 gene is effective in delaying the cell death pathway in this new strain of mutant mice, a transgene encoding the BCL2 gene product was introduced by mating into the mutant background, and the resulting mice were examined for possible rescue of the retinal degeneration. METHODS: Electroretinograms (ERGs) of the Pdegtm1/Pdegtm1 mice carrying BCL2 were taken to monitor the responses to light. Light and electron microscopy of sections were used to examine degeneration at different times after birth. RESULTS: The ERGs of the mutants with the transgene were larger than those without the transgene at 2 and 3 weeks after birth. The maximum differences occurred at 2 weeks postpartum. At 4 weeks after birth, no ERG could be detected in either strain. Histologic analysis showed a greater preservation of photoreceptor nuclei in the Pdegtm1/Pdegtm1 mice containing the BCL2 transgene, which paralleled the electroretinography. CONCLUSIONS: The introduction of an antiapoptotic transgene BCL2 can delay temporarily and partially the degeneration of photoreceptors in a new autosomal-recessive murine model of retinal degeneration.
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