Recent advances in genetic technologies have greatly accelerated our ability to find disease-related genes and to generate animal models. The availability of ocular tissues with known genetic diseases are greatly contributing to our understanding of retinal disease processes including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and panretinal and cone degenerations. While the macula is a highly specialised area of the retina not present in many mammals, the use of animal models such as mouse strains will give basic physiology and visual processing genetics relevant to human AMD. This review aims to provide a framework for better understanding some of the existing animal models and the knowledge that has been derived from their evaluations.
"There are many currently existing mouse models for studying AMD that mimic most of the phenotypic features present in humans . However, the greatest phenotypic difference between humans and mice relates to ocular size. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autosomal dominant early-onset long anterior zonules (LAZs) and late-onset retinal degeneration (L-ORD) in humans are associated with the S163R mutation of the complement 1q-tumor necrosis factor related protein-5 (CTRP5) gene. For using the pig as an L-ORD model for the study of pathology, we cloned, characterized, and studied the expression profile of pig CTRP5 (pCTRP5).
The pCTRP5 was cloned and sequenced from porcine genomic DNA. Bioinformatic analysis was done to evaluate the functional domains present in the pCTRP5 using PROSITE tools. The V5 epitope-tagged constructs of pCTRP5 and the mammalian promoters, elongation factor 1-α (EF) promoter and 579 bp of the putative promoter located upstream to pCTRP5 DNA, were used for in vitro expression analysis. The pCTRP5 expression, protein size, and cellular localization were studied in transiently transfected Cos-7 or ARPE-19 cells by western blot analysis using anti-CTRP5 and anti-V5 epitope antibodies. Expression of pCTRP5 in the pig eye tissues was analyzed by western blot analysis, real-time PCR, and immunohistochemistry.
As predicted, pCTRP5 showed a 92% DNA homology and 98% amino acid homology with human CTRP5 (hCTRP5). Bioinformatic analysis revealed the presence of an alternate in-frame translational start site upstream to the presumed initiator codon. The presence of a putative promoter region upstream to the pCTRP5 was identified. The putative pCTRP5 promoter was found to be functional by western blot analysis. The size of the pCTRP5 protein (pCTRP5) was consistent with its predicted molecular weight, indicating that the potential alternative start site was not used. Western blot and RT-PCR analyses showed that pCTRP5 was predominantly expressed in RPE, a pattern of expression consistent with that found in mouse and human eyes.
The sequence and genomic organization of pCTRP5 was found to be similar to the human homolog. The DNA and protein sequence of pCTRP5 are highly homologous to hCTRP5, indicating that they are highly conserved. A putative promoter region (579 bp) present upstream to pCTRP5 was found to be functional and was able to drive the expression of the pCTRP5 gene cloned downstream. The tissue distribution in the eye and the expression profile of pCTRP5 in transiently transfected cells is consistent with hCTRP5 expression. Immunohistochemistry analysis of the pig retinal sections revealed localization of pCTRP5 to the apical and basolateral regions on the RPE and in the ciliary body. The potential in-frame alternate start site was found to be nonfunctional by western blot analysis of transiently transfected cells. Similarities between human and pig CTRP5 and the presence of an area centralis region in the pig similar to the human macula, together with its large eyeball size, makes the domestic pig a good model for the study of LAZs and L-ORD.
"Development of cataract and AMD is influenced by a large number of genetic and environmental factors [29, 32], which remain poorly understood. Whereas early stages of these diseases cannot be studied in humans, existing animal models of complex multifactorial diseases (such as cataract and AMD) are not sufficient because of the complexity of their genetic background and/or deleterious effects of environmental factors [7, 24, 36]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataract are common age-related diseases in humans. Previously we showed that senescence-accelerated OXYS rats develop retinopathy and cataract, which are comparable to human AMD and senile cataract. Here we focused on the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs), which affect early-onset cataract and retinopathy in OXYS rats, using F2 hybrids bred by a reciprocal cross (OXYS×WAG and WAG×OXYS). Chromosome 1 showed significant associations between retinopathy and loci in the regions of markers D1Rat30 and D1Rat219 (QTL1) as well as D1Rat219 and D1Rat81 (QTL2); and between early cataract development with the locus in the region of the markers D1Rat219 and D1Rat81 (QTL2). To determine the effects of these QTLs, we generated two congenic strains by transferring chromosome 1 regions from OXYS into WAG background. Both congenic strains (named WAG/OXYS-1.1 and WAG/OXYS-1.2, respectively) display early cataract and retinopathy development. Thus, we confirmed that genes located in the analyzed regions of chromosome 1 are associated with the development of these diseases in OXYS rats.
"The situation with late-onset or genetically complex disorders, such as age-related macular degeneration, has been less clear-cut due to the presence of anatomical differences (e.g. the mouse has no macula) and the requirement for ageing in addition to inherited and environmental influences, such as diet, genetic background or light exposure. All of these factors may influence both ageing and inflammatory processes, making these disorders intrinsically more difficult to model , . Some mouse models of inherited macular dystrophies, including the Abca4 model of Stargardt disease, reproduce the biochemical features of the human disease but only manifest a very slow photoreceptor degeneration, in contrast to the human disease , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A single founder mutation resulting in a Ser163Arg substitution in the C1QTNF5 gene product causes autosomal dominant late-onset retinal macular degeneration (L-ORMD) in humans, which has clinical and pathological features resembling age-related macular degeneration. We generated and characterised a mouse "knock-in" model carrying the Ser163Arg mutation in the orthologous murine C1qtnf5 gene by site-directed mutagenesis and homologous recombination into mouse embryonic stem cells. Biochemical, immunological, electron microscopic, fundus autofluorescence, electroretinography and laser photocoagulation analyses were used to characterise the mouse model. Heterozygous and homozygous knock-in mice showed no significant abnormality in any of the above measures at time points up to 2 years. This result contrasts with another C1qtnf5 Ser163Arg knock-in mouse which showed most of the features of L-ORMD but differed in genetic background and targeting construct.
PLoS ONE 11/2011; 6(11):e27433. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0027433 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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