Mouse models of age-related macular degeneration
ABSTRACT 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.
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ABSTRACT: Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a heterogeneous group of retinal degenerative diseases initially affecting the rod photoreceptor. Patients present with night blindness, loss of peripheral vision and finally the loss of central vision, as a consequence of death of cone photoreceptors. RP is a genetic disease, showing inheritance of autosomal dominant (AD), autosomal recessive (AR) or X-linked (XL) recessive traits, although some patients have no family history of RP (simplex RP). Many animal models of RP are available and have led to a better understanding of the pathology of the disease, and to the development of therapeutic strategies aimed at curing or slowing down the genetic disorder. In this review, we describe the selected animal models (natural and transgenic) and their phenotypes and genotypes, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of the use of each animal. Also, we look at different therapeutic strategies being studied worldwide and report the latest results. Nevertheless, many obstacles will have to be overcome before most of these strategies can be applied to humans.Histology and histopathology 11/2009; 24(10):1295-322. · 2.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Niemann-Pick type C (NPC) disease is an inherited lysosomal storage disease and caused by mutations in Npc1 or Npc2, which mediate cooperatively the egress of cholesterol from lysosomes. The disease entails progressive neurodegeneration, whose cause is poorly understood. Here, we report that Npc1 is distributed in distinct layers of the mouse retina and that its deficiency causes striking retinal degeneration in 2-month-old mice with signs of age-related maculopathies. This includes impaired visual function, accumulation of lipofuscin in the retinal pigment epithelium layer, degeneration of photoreceptor outer segments, disruption of synaptic layers and an increase in autophagy markers in the ganglion cell layer. Moreover, the lack of Npc1 results in the upregulation of proteins that mediate cellular cholesterol release in the retina. Our findings suggest that Npc1 is required for normal retinal function and that its absence may serve as model to study age-related degeneration of the retina.Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 10/2009; 43(1):164-76. DOI:10.1016/j.mcn.2009.10.007 · 3.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Development of immortalized mouse retinal pigmented epithelial cell (RPE) lines that retain many of their in vivo phenotypic characteristics, would aid in studies of ocular diseases including age related macular degeneration (AMD). RPE cells were isolated from 18-month-old (estrogen receptor knockout) ERKOalpha and ERKObeta mice and their C57Bl/6 wildtype littermates. RPE65 and cellular retinaldehyde binding protein (CRALBP) expression, in vivo markers of RPE cells, were detected by real-time RT-PCR and western analysis. We confirmed the presence of epithelial cell markers, ZO1, cytokeratin 8 and 18 by immunofluorescence staining. In addition, we confirmed the distribution of actin filaments and the expression of ezrin. To develop cell lines, RPE cells were isolated, propagated and immortalized using human papilloma virus (HPV) 16 (E6/E7). RPE-specific markers and morphology were assessed before and after immortalization. In wildtype littermate controls, there was no evidence of any alterations in the parameters that we examined including MMP-2, TIMP-2, collagen type IV, and estrogen receptor (ER)alpha and ERbeta protein expression and ER copy number ratio. Therefore, immortalized mouse RPE cell lines that retain their in vivo phenotype can be isolated from either pharmacologically or genetically manipulated mice, and may be used to study RPE cell biology.Experimental Eye Research 12/2008; 88(1):99-105. DOI:10.1016/j.exer.2008.10.013 · 3.02 Impact Factor