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Onkar B. Sawant, Vijay K. Jidigam, Kenya Wilcots, Rebecca D. Fuller, Ivy Samuels, Sujata Rao; Thyroid Activating Enzyme, Deiodinase II Is Required for Photoreceptor Function in the Mouse Model of Retinopathy of Prematurity. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(13):36. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.13.36.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) is a severe complication of premature infants, leading to vision loss when untreated. Presently, the molecular mechanisms underlying ROP are still far from being clearly understood. This study sought to investigate whether thyroid hormone (TH) signaling contributes to the neuropathology of ROP using the mouse model of ROP to evaluate longitudinal photoreceptor function.
Animals were exposed to hyperoxia from P7 to P12 to induce retinopathy, thereafter the animals were returned to room air (normoxia). The thyroid-activating enzyme type 2 deiodinases (Dio2) knockout (KO) mice and the littermate controls that were exposed to hyperoxia or maintained in room air and were then analyzed. The retinal function was evaluated using electroretinograms (ERGs) at three and seven weeks followed by histologic assessments with neuronal markers to detect cellular changes in the retina. Rhodopsin protein levels were measured to validate the results obtained from the immunofluorescence analyses.
In the ROP group, the photoreceptor ERG responses are considerably lower both in the control and the Dio2 KO animals at P23 compared to the non-ROP group. In agreement with the ERG responses, loss of Dio2 results in mislocalized cone nuclei, and abnormal rod bipolar cell dendrites extending into the outer nuclear layer. The retinal function is compromised in the adult Dio2 KO animals, although the cellular changes are less severe. Despite the reduction in scotopic a-wave amplitudes, rhodopsin levels are similar in the adult mice, across all genotypes irrespective of exposure to hyperoxia.
Using the mouse model of ROP, we show that loss of Dio2 exacerbates the effects of hyperoxia-induced retinal deficits that persist in the adults. Our data suggest that aberrant Dio2/TH signaling is an important factor in the pathophysiology of the visual dysfunction observed in the oxygen-induced retinopathy model of ROP.
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