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Onkar Sawant, Amanda M. Horton, Meenal Shukla, Mary E. Rayborn, Neal S. Peachey, Joe G. Hollyfield, Sujata Rao; Light-Regulated Thyroid Hormone Signaling Is Required for Rod Photoreceptor Development in the Mouse Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(13):8248-8257. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.15-17743.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Ambient light is both a stimulus for visual function and a regulator of photoreceptor physiology. However, it is not known if light can regulate any aspect of photoreceptor development. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether ambient light is required for the development of mouse rod photoreceptors.
Newborn mouse pups (C57BL/6) were reared in either cyclic light (LD) or constant dark (DD). Pups were collected at postnatal day (P)5, P10, P17, or P24. We performed retinal morphometric and cell death analysis at P5, P10, and P17. Rhodopsin expression was assessed using immunofluorescence, Western blot, and quantitative RT-PCR analysis. Electroretinograms were performed at P17 and P24. Radioimmunoassay and ELISA were used to follow changes in thyroid hormone levels in the serum and vitreous.
In the DD pups, the outer nuclear layer was significantly thinner at P10 and there were higher numbers of apoptotic cells at P5 compared to the LD pups. Rhodopsin expression was lower at P10 and P17 in DD pups. Electroretinogram a-waves were reduced in amplitude at P17 in the DD pups. The DD animals had lower levels of circulating thyroid hormones at P10. Light-mediated changes in thyroid hormones occur as early as P5, as we detected lower levels of total triiodothyronine in the vitreous from the DD animals. Drug-induced developmental hypothyroidism resulted in lower rhodopsin expression at P10.
Our data demonstrate that light exposure during postnatal development is required for rod photoreceptor development and that this effect could be mediated by thyroid hormone signaling.
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