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J Neurogenet. 2017 Sep;31(3):88-101. doi: 10.1080/01677063.2017.1358268. Epub 2017 Aug 16.

Neurotoxicity of cGMP in the vertebrate retina: from the initial research on rd mutant mice to zebrafish genetic approaches.

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a Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University , Onna, Okinawa , Japan.


Zebrafish are an excellent animal model for research on vertebrate development and human diseases. Sophisticated genetic tools including large-scale mutagenesis methodology make zebrafish useful for studying neuronal degenerative diseases. Here, we review zebrafish models of inherited ophthalmic diseases, focusing on cGMP metabolism in photoreceptors. cGMP is the second messenger of phototransduction, and abnormal cGMP levels are associated with photoreceptor death. cGMP concentration represents a balance between cGMP phosphodiesterase 6 (PDE6) and guanylate cyclase (GC) activities in photoreceptors. Various zebrafish cGMP metabolism mutants were used to clarify molecular mechanisms by which dysfunctions in this pathway trigger photoreceptor degeneration. Here, we review the history of research on the retinal degeneration (rd) mutant mouse, which carries a genetic mutation of PDE6b, and we also highlight recent research in photoreceptor degeneration using zebrafish models. Several recent discoveries that provide insight into cGMP toxicity in photoreceptors are discussed.


Aipl1; Pde6c; Zebrafish; genetic mutants; photoreceptor degeneration; retina

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