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Michael T. Massengill, Brianna Young, Deep Patel, Farwa Jafri, Ernesto Sabogal, Neil Ash, Hong Li, Cristhian J. Ildefonso, Alfred S. Lewin; Clinically Relevant Outcome Measures for the I307N Rhodopsin Mouse: A Model of Inducible Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2018;59(13):5417-5430. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-25345.
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The I307N rhodopsin (Rho) mouse is a light-inducible model of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP) that may be useful in testing therapies. We investigated the time-course of retinal changes of the I307N Rho mouse with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).
SD-OCT was performed up to day 30 after light damage; electroretinography (ERG) was employed to evaluate photoreceptor function. We utilized ImageJ to analyze reflectivity of the retina. We used light and electron microscopy to assess retinal organization. We stained synaptophysin and zonula occludins-1 with immunohistochemistry to determine injury to the plexiform layers and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). We performed lectin staining to evaluate retinal blood vessels.
Retinal degeneration increased with longer exposures to light. An increase in retinal thickness was detected by SD-OCT on day 1 after light challenge followed by loss of the outer nuclear layer (ONL) by day 8. Degeneration was most severe in the nasal and inferior retina. Hyper-reflectivity on SD-OCT developed as early as 1 day after light exposure. Disorganization of the ONL, condensation of photoreceptor chromatin, disruption of the outer limiting membrane, and disarray of outer segments were associated with the hyper-reflectivity. Retraction of the outer plexiform synapses and resorption of the subretinal detachment contributed to retinal thinning. The RPE remained intact, whereas atrophied major retinal vessels were evident after light damage.
Our time-course analysis of retinal degeneration in the I307N Rho mouse with SD-OCT and other outcome measures should enable the use of the mouse model in preclinical efficacy studies and mechanistic studies.
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