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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2001 Mar;42(3):770-8.

Electroretinographic anomalies in mice with mutations in Myo7a, the gene involved in human Usher syndrome type 1B.

Author information

1
Medical Research Council Institute of Hearing Research, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

In humans, mutations in the gene encoding myosin VIIa can cause Usher syndrome type 1b (USH1B), a disease characterized by deafness and retinitis pigmentosa. Myosin VIIa is also the gene responsible for the inner ear abnormalities at the shaker1 (sh1) locus in mice. To date, none of the sh1 alleles examined have shown any signs of retinal degeneration. In the present study, electroretinograms (ERGs) were recorded from sh1 mice to determine whether they have any physiological abnormalities.

METHODS:

ERGs were recorded from mice homozygous for one of nine mutant alleles of Myo7a ranging in age from postnatal day (P)20 to approximately 1 year. All mice were dark adapted for 30 minutes, and all the mutant mice were paired with an appropriately age- and strain-matched control animal. A presumptive null allele of myosin VIIa, Myo7a(4626SB), was used to determine whether mice without myosin VIIa had an increased threshold, as assessed by the light level required to elicit a 15-microV b-wave.

RESULTS:

At the maximum light intensity used, five of the nine alleles examined had significantly reduced a- and b-wave amplitudes. For example, Myo7a(4626SB) mutant mice had a 20% reduction in a-wave amplitude at the maximum light intensity, and this reduction was the same for mice ranging in age from P20 through 7 months. The b-wave thresholds of the Myo7a(4626SB) mutant mice were not significantly different from those of the control mice. Furthermore, whereas most of the alleles' a-wave implicit times were the same in mutant and control mice, mutant mice with two of the alleles had significantly faster a-wave implicit times.

CONCLUSIONS:

Mutations in myosin VIIa in mice can lead to decreased ERG amplitudes while threshold remains normal. This is the first report of a physiological anomaly in a mouse model with a mutation in the same gene as involved in USH1B.

PMID:
11222540
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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