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Brain Res. 2010 Mar 19;1321:60-6. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2010.01.051. Epub 2010 Jan 28.

Morphological changes of short-wavelength cones in the developing S334ter-3 transgenic rat.

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  • 1Departamento de Biotecnologia, Universidad de Alicante, San Vicente del Raspeig, Spain.


The S334ter-3 rat is a transgenic model of retinal degeneration (RD) developed to express a rhodopsin mutation similar to that found in human retinitis pigmentosa. Due to this advantage over other models of RD, a few retina transplant studies have been reported on this animal model. Currently, no information is available on cone photoreceptor changes that occur in the S334ter RD model. In this study, we investigated the effect of RD on the morphology, distribution, and synaptic connectivity of short-wavelength cones (S-cones) during development of S334ter-3 rat retinas. At P21 RD retinas, the outer-nuclear layer was significantly narrower, while S-cones showed shortening of their segments and axons compared to control retinas. From P90 onward, S-opsin-immunoreactive cells appeared at the outer margin of the inner-nuclear layer of RD retinas. Double-labelling experiments showed these cells contained recoverin and cone arrestin. Furthermore, ultra-structure study showed that synaptic ribbons are conserved in the S-cone at P180 RD retinas. Although cell density of S-cones significantly dropped after P90, survival rates depended on the retinal region. Overall, the S334ter-3 RD model shows hallmarks of cone remodelling due to photoreceptor degeneration.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

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