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N M Qtaishat, T I Okajima, S Li, M I Naash, D R Pepperberg; Retinoid kinetics in eye tissues of VPP transgenic mice and their normal littermates.. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 1999;40(6):1040-1049.
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PURPOSE: VPP mice, which possess a mutant transgene for opsin (V20G, P23H, P27L), exhibit a progressive rod degeneration that resembles one form of human autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. In the present study the association of the development of VPP rod degeneration with abnormal operation of the retinoid visual cycle was examined. METHODS: Dark-adapted VPP mice and normal littermates were anesthetized and the pupils dilated. One eye of each animal was illuminated for 2 minutes; the other eye was shielded from the light and served as a control. Each animal was then dark adapted for a defined period (0-300 minutes) and killed. Retinoids contained in the retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), and extracellular medium were recovered by means of formaldehyde-, isopropanol- and ethanol-based extractions and analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. RESULTS: Total amounts of retinoid recovered from unilluminated eyes of 2-month-old normal and VPP mice were 425 +/- 90 picomoles per eye and 115 +/- 33 picomoles per eye, respectively (mean +/- SD). Relative distributions of retinoids within normal and VPP eyes were similar. In normal and VPP animals, illumination for 2 minutes produced a similar immediate reduction in the molar percent of total retinoid represented by 11-cis retinal in the retina (average reduction of 34% and 28% in normal and VPP animals, respectively) and a similar transient increase of all-trans retinal in the retina. In both groups the decline of all-trans retinal was accompanied by an increase in total retinyl ester. In normal and VPP animals, a period of approximately 40 minutes or more preceded initiation of the recovery of 11-cis retinal in the retina, and the time course of this recovery was generally similar to that for the decline of retinyl ester. The overall dark-adaptation period required for half-completion of 11-cis retinal recovery was approximately 150 minutes. In neither group did illumination produce a substantial peak of all-trans retinol in the retina. CONCLUSIONS: The evident approximately fourfold reduction of total retinoid in the eyes of 2-month-old VPP mice is consistent with histologic and electroretinographic abnormalities determined in previous studies. Despite this marked abnormality in retinoid content, retinoid cycling in the VPP is remarkably similar to that in normal littermates. The data place constraints on the functional consequences of any abnormality in retinoid processing that may be present at this stage of the VPP rod degeneration.
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