The postnatal development of immunoreactivity for photoreceptor-specific markers was studied in mice carrying the genes rd (retinal degeneration) and rds (retinal degeneration slow) in different combinations. Antibodies raised against three specific photoreceptor proteins (opsin, α-transducin and S-antigen) were applied on retinae from mice with the following allelic combinations at the rd and rds loci: +/+, +/+ (control); rd/rd, +/+; rds/rds, +/+; rds/+, +/+; and rd/rd, rds/rds. Immunoreactivity for each antibody appeared simultaneously in normal and mutants. Thereafter, the immunoreactivity patterns in the mutants diverged from the normal phenotype. Except for a dramatic loss of photoreceptor cells in the mutants, the main divergence from the normal development consisted of a progressive loss of the intracellular immunoreactivity compartmentalization for each protein. As degeneration progressed, the remaining photoreceptors became homogenously labelled; once this labelling pattern was acquired, it was maintained during subsequent stages of development. It is proposed that this pattern, common for all phenotypes studied, may be due to the loss of structural and biochemical polarity of the photoreceptor cells undergoing degeneration, and that this may be an important primary or secondary aspect of the disease process.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 1990|