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Bruce A. Berkowitz, Robert H. Podolsky, Karen Lins Childers, Sarah L. Roche, Thomas G. Cotter, Emma Graffice, Lamis Harp, Kenan Sinan, Ali M. Berri, Michael Schneider, Haohua Qian, Shasha Gao, Robin Roberts; Rod Photoreceptor Neuroprotection in Dark-Reared Pde6brd10 Mice. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(13):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.13.14.
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The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that anti-oxidant and / or anti-inflammation drugs that suppress rod death in cyclic light-reared Pde6brd10 mice are also effective in dark-reared Pde6brd10 mice.
In untreated dark-reared Pde6brd10 mice at post-natal (P) days 23 to 24, we measured the outer nuclear layer (ONL) thickness (histology) and dark-light thickness difference in external limiting membrane-retinal pigment epithelium (ELM-RPE) (optical coherence tomography [OCT]), retina layer oxidative stress (QUEnch-assiSTed [QUEST] magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]); and microglia/macrophage-driven inflammation (immunohistology). In dark-reared P50 Pde6brd10 mice, ONL thickness was measured (OCT) in groups given normal chow or chow admixed with methylene blue (MB) + Norgestrel (anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory), or MB or Norgestrel separately.
P24 Pde6brd10 mice showed no significant dark-light ELM-RPE response in superior and inferior retina consistent with high cGMP levels. Norgestrel did not significantly suppress the oxidative stress of Pde6brd10 mice that is only found in superior central outer retina of males at P23. Overt rod degeneration with microglia/macrophage activation was observed but only in the far peripheral superior retina in male and female P23 Pde6brd10 mice. Significant rod protection was measured in female P50 Pde6brd10 mice given 5 mg/kg/day MB + Norgestrel diet; no significant benefit was seen with MB chow or Norgestrel chow alone, nor in similarly treated male mice.
In early rod degeneration in dark-reared Pde6brd10 mice, little evidence is found in central retina for spatial associations among biomarkers of the PDE6B mutation, oxidative stress, and rod death; neuroprotection at P50 was limited to a combination of anti-oxidant/anti-inflammation treatment in a sex-specific manner.
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