Mouse models of age-related macular degeneration.

Lions Eye Institute, Centre for Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Department of Molecular Opthalmology, The University of Western Australia, 2 Verdun Street, Nedland Western Australia 6009, Australia.
Experimental Eye Research (Impact Factor: 3.02). 06/2006; 82(5):741-52. DOI: 10.1016/j.exer.2005.10.012
Source: PubMed

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: Abstract Purpose: To develop an experimental model of proliferative retinopathy by intravitreal injection of vascular endothelial growth factor 165 (VEGF165) in pigmented rabbits. Methods: A prospective, controlled, comparative intervention study. Six pigmented rabbits (Chinchilla breed) were subjected to intravitreal injection of VEGF165 in their right eye. The left eye was used as control and received an injection of balanced salt solution. In group 1, 3 rabbits received a 10-μg injection, and in group 2, 3 rabbits received a 20-μg injection. At baseline, all subjects were analyzed by anterior biomicroscopy, retinography, fluorescein angiography, and optical coherence tomography (OCT) fundus images. Biomicroscopy and all ancillary examinations were repeated at weeks 1, 2, and 5. In the fifth week after the injection, the rabbits were euthanized and the eyes were enucleated and subjected to histological evaluation. Results: Seven days after the intravitreal VEGF165 injection, all rabbits developed intense neovascularization of the retina and anterior segment. Neovascularization of the posterior pole was similar in both groups, and the anterior segment was more florid in group 2. At weeks 1 and 2, neovascularization persisted with a minor decrease in conjunctival hyperemia in both groups. At week 5, there was a partial regression of neovascularization of the posterior pole, which was more prominent in group 1 than group 2, with persistent anterior neovascularization in both groups. OCT showed a statistically significant increase in retinal thickness, hyaloid detachment, and tractional retinal detachment. After the 5-week period, ocular histopathological evaluation showed an increase in retinal thickness, hyaloid detachment, and intense neovascularization in both groups, especially group 2. Conclusion: This pilot study of a neovascularization model using intravitreal injection of VEGF165 in pigmented rabbits showed that both doses of 10 and 20 μg were successful and effective in inducing vascular growth in the retina and anterior segment and can therefore be used for evaluating drug efficacy in future studies.
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    ABSTRACT: Studies performed over the past decade in humans and experimental animals have been a major source of information and improved our understanding of how dysregulation of the complement system contributes to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) pathology. Drusen, the hall-mark of dry-type AMD are reported to be the by-product of complement mediated inflammatory processes. In wet AMD, unregulated complement activation results in increased production of angiogenic growth factors leading to choroidal neovascularization both in humans and in animal models. In this review article we have linked the complement system with modifiable and non-modifiable AMD risk factors as well as with prediction models of AMD. Understanding the association between the complement system, risk factors and prediction models will help improve our understanding of AMD pathology and management of this disease.
    Molecular Immunology 07/2014; 63(2). DOI:10.1016/j.molimm.2014.07.012 · 3.00 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Etiology of complex disorders, such as cataract and neurodegenerative diseases including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), remains poorly understood due to the paucity of animal models, fully replicating the human disease. Previously, two quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with early cataract, AMD-like retinopathy, and some behavioral aberrations in senescence-accelerated OXYS rats were uncovered on chromosome 1 in a cross between OXYS and WAG rats. To confirm the findings, we generated interval-specific congenic strains, WAG/OXYS-1.1 and WAG/OXYS-1.2, carrying OXYS-derived loci of chromosome 1 in the WAG strain. Both congenic strains displayed early cataract and retinopathy but differed clinically from OXYS rats. Here we applied a high-throughput RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) strategy to facilitate nomination of the candidate genes and functional pathways that may be responsible for these differences and can contribute to the development of the senescence-accelerated phenotype of OXYS rats. First, the size and map position of QTL-derived congenic segments were determined by comparative analysis of coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), which were identified for OXYS, WAG, and congenic retinal RNAs after sequencing. The transferred locus was not what we expected in WAG/OXYS-1.1 rats. In rat retina, 15442 genes were expressed. Coherent sets of differentially expressed genes were identified when we compared RNA-Seq retinal profiles of 20-day-old WAG/OXYS-1.1, WAG/OXYS-1.2, and OXYS rats. The genes most different in the average expression level between the congenic strains included those generally associated with the Wnt, integrin, and TGF-β signaling pathways, widely involved in neurodegenerative processes. Several candidate genes (including Arhgap33, Cebpg, Gtf3c1, Snurf, Tnfaip3, Yme1l1, Cbs, Car9 and Fn1) were found to be either polymorphic in the congenic loci or differentially expressed between the strains. These genes may contribute to the development of cataract and retinopathy. This study is the first RNA-Seq analysis of the rat retinal transcriptome generated with 40 mln sequencing read depth. The integration of QTL and transcriptomic analyses in our study forms the basis of future research into the relationship between the candidate genes within the congenic regions and specific changes in the retinal transcriptome as possible causal mechanisms that underlie age-associated disorders.