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Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Jan 1;22(1):35-50. doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds398. Epub 2012 Sep 21.

Loss of CRB2 in the mouse retina mimics human retinitis pigmentosa due to mutations in the CRB1 gene.

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Department of Neuromedical Genetics, The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Meibergdreef 47, 1105 BA Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


In humans, the Crumbs homolog-1 (CRB1) gene is mutated in progressive types of autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa and Leber congenital amaurosis. However, there is no clear genotype-phenotype correlation for CRB1 mutations, which suggests that other components of the CRB complex may influence the severity of retinal disease. Therefore, to understand the physiological role of the Crumbs complex proteins, we generated and analysed conditional knockout mice lacking CRB2 in the developing retina. Progressive disorganization was detected during late retinal development. Progressive thinning of the photoreceptor layer and sites of cellular mislocalization was detected throughout the CRB2-deficient retina by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy and spectral domain optical coherence tomography. Under scotopic conditions using electroretinography, the attenuation of the a-wave was relatively stronger than that of the b-wave, suggesting progressive degeneration of photoreceptors in adult animals. Histological analysis of newborn mice showed abnormal lamination of immature rod photoreceptors and disruption of adherens junctions between photoreceptors, Müller glia and progenitor cells. The number of late-born progenitor cells, rod photoreceptors and Müller glia cells was increased, concomitant with programmed cell death of rod photoreceptors. The data suggest an essential role for CRB2 in proper lamination of the photoreceptor layer and suppression of proliferation of late-born retinal progenitor cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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