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J Comp Neurol. 1982 Dec 10;212(3):217-30.

Retinal degeneration in the pcd cerebellar mutant mouse. I. Light microscopic and autoradiographic analysis.

Abstract

The Purkinje cell degeneration (pcd) mutant mouse rapidly loses cerebellar Purkinje cells between 3 and 5 weeks after birth and slowly loses retinal photoreceptor cells during the first year of life. In the present study, the retinal degeneration in the pcd mouse was analyzed by light microscopy and autoradiography throughout the first 15 months of age. By day 25 there is an abundance of pyknotic photoreceptor nuclei and many outer segments are clearly disorganized. Thereafter, as the photoreceptor cells are lost, their outer segments slowly become shorter and more variable in length; this slow change in length is explained by an almost proportional reduction in both rod outer segment renewal and disc shedding rates. At about 2 months of age, the rate of rod outer segment renewal is slightly less than half that in littermate controls, and the number of large phagosomes in pigment epithelial cells during the burst of disc shedding soon after light onset is one-half or less than that seen in littermate controls. Between 2 and 10.5 months of age, the retina in the inferior hemisphere of the eye shows substantially more-advanced photoreceptor degeneration than does the superior hemisphere, particularly in the far peripheral retina. A central-to-peripheral gradient of degeneration is conspicuous in the superior hemisphere; a similar but less obvious gradient of degeneration is also seen in the inferior hemisphere of the eye. Loss of photoreceptor cells and their synaptic terminals results in a predictable thinning of the outer synaptic layer. However, the inner nuclear layer shows no measurable thinning and the inner synaptic layer is reduced in thickness by only about 5-15%. Beginning at about 10 months of age, foci of thinned pigment epithelial cells are evident, and by 12 months there is some vascularization of the pigment epithelium by retinal capillaries.

PMID:
7153374
DOI:
10.1002/cne.902120302
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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