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Sample records for rod photoreceptors correlates

  1. The evolution of rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Morshedian, Ala; Fain, Gordon L

    2017-04-05

    Photoreceptors in animals are generally of two kinds: the ciliary or c-type and the rhabdomeric or r-type. Although ciliary photoreceptors are found in many phyla, vertebrates seem to be unique in having two distinct kinds which together span the entire range of vision, from single photons to bright light. We ask why the principal photoreceptors of vertebrates are ciliary and not rhabdomeric, and how rods evolved from less sensitive cone-like photoreceptors to produce our duplex retina. We suggest that the principal advantage of vertebrate ciliary receptors is that they use less ATP than rhabdomeric photoreceptors. This difference may have provided sufficient selection pressure for the development of a completely ciliary eye. Although many of the details of rod evolution are still uncertain, present evidence indicates that (i) rods evolved very early before the split between the jawed and jawless vertebrates, (ii) outer-segment discs make no contribution to rod sensitivity but may have evolved to increase the efficiency of protein renewal, and (iii) evolution of the rod was incremental and multifaceted, produced by the formation of several novel protein isoforms and by changes in protein expression, with no one alteration having more than a few-fold effect on transduction activation or inactivation.This article is part of the themed issue 'Vision in dim light'.

  2. Nrl is required for rod photoreceptor development.

    PubMed

    Mears, A J; Kondo, M; Swain, P K; Takada, Y; Bush, R A; Saunders, T L; Sieving, P A; Swaroop, A

    2001-12-01

    The protein neural retina leucine zipper (Nrl) is a basic motif-leucine zipper transcription factor that is preferentially expressed in rod photoreceptors. It acts synergistically with Crx to regulate rhodopsin transcription. Missense mutations in human NRL have been associated with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Here we report that deletion of Nrl in mice results in the complete loss of rod function and super-normal cone function, mediated by S cones. The photoreceptors in the Nrl-/- retina have cone-like nuclear morphology and short, sparse outer segments with abnormal disks. Analysis of retinal gene expression confirms the apparent functional transformation of rods into S cones in the Nrl-/- retina. On the basis of these findings, we postulate that Nrl acts as a 'molecular switch' during rod-cell development by directly modulating rod-specific genes while simultaneously inhibiting the S-cone pathway through the activation of Nr2e3.

  3. Rod Photoreceptor Temporal Properties in Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Yuquan; Locke, Kirsten G.; Hood, Donald C.; Birch, David G.

    2011-01-01

    One of the characteristic signs of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the progressive loss of night vision. We have previously shown that the gain of rod photoreceptor activation is moderately reduced in some patients with RP, but this decrease in activation kinetics is not sufficient to account for the night blindness. Recently, single rod recording from animal models of RP showed rods under degeneration remain saturated for shorter periods than normal rods; i.e. are less able to sustain the rod photoresponse. Using paired-flash ERG, here we determine whether rod phototransduction inactivation parameters might also be abnormal in patients with RP. Inactivation parameters were derived from 13 subjects with normal vision, 16 patients with adRP, and 16 patients with autosomal recessive/isolate (rec/iso) RP. The adRP cases included 9 patients with rhodopsin mutations and 7 patients with peripherin/RDS mutations. The inactivation phase was derived using a double-flash paradigm, with a test flash of 2.7 log scot td-sec followed at varying intervals by a 4.2 log scot td-sec probe flash. Derived rod photoresponses to this just-saturating test flash in normal subjects exhibit a critical time to the initiation of recovery (Tsat) of 525±90 (SD) msec. The values of Tsat were 336±104 (SD) msec in patients with adRP (P<0.001) and 271±45 (SD) msec (P<0.001) in patients with rec/iso RP. When Tsat values were categorized by mutations, the values were 294±91 (SD) msec (P<0.001) for rhodopsin mutations, and 389±100 (SD) msec (p=0.01) for peripherin/RDS mutations. Overall, Tsat in patients with RP was significantly correlated with the amplitude of ISCEV standard rod response (r = 0.56; P < 0.001) and the gain of the activation phase of phototransduction (r=0.6, P<0.001). Tsat may be a useful marker for therapeutic efficacy in future clinical trials in RP. PMID:21219898

  4. Characterization of the Retinal Proteome During Rod Photoreceptor Genesis

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    Background: The process of rod photoreceptor genesis, cell fate determination and differentiation is complex and multi-factorial. Previous studies have defined a model of photoreceptor differentiation that relies on intrinsic changes within the presumptive photoreceptor cells as well as changes in...

  5. Visual transduction in human rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Kraft, T W; Schneeweis, D M; Schnapf, J L

    1993-05-01

    1. Photocurrents were recorded with suction electrodes from rod photoreceptors of seven humans. 2. Brief flashes of light evoked transient outward currents of up to 20 pA. With increasing light intensity the peak response amplitude increased along an exponential saturation function. A half-saturating peak response was evoked by approximately sixty-five photoisomerizations. 3. Responses to brief dim flashes rose to a peak in about 200 ms. The waveform was roughly like the impulse response of a series of four to five low-pass filters. 4. The rising phases of the responses to flashes of increasing strength were found to fit with a biochemical model of phototransduction with an 'effective delay time' and 'characteristic time' of about 2 and 800 ms, respectively. 5. Spectral sensitivities were obtained over a wavelength range from 380 to 760 nm. The action spectrum, which peaked at 495 nm, followed the template described for photoreceptors in the macaque retina. Variation between rods in the position of the spectrum on the wavelength axis was small. 6. The scotopic luminosity function derived from human psychophysical experiments was found to agree well with the measured rod action spectrum after adjustments were made for lens absorption and photopigment self-screening in the intact eye. 7. Responses to steps of light rose monotonically to a maintained level, showing little or no relaxation. Nevertheless, the relationship between light intensity and steady-state response amplitude was shallower than that expected from simple response saturation. This is consistent with an adaptation mechanism acting on a rapid time scale. 8. Flash sensitivity fell with increasing intensities of background light according to Weber's law. Sensitivity was reduced twofold by lights evoking about 120 photoisomerizations per second. Background lights decreased the time to peak and the integration time of the flash response by up to 20%.

  6. The molecular mechanism of thermal noise in rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Gozem, Samer; Schapiro, Igor; Ferré, Nicolas; Olivucci, Massimo

    2012-09-07

    Spontaneous electrical signals in the retina's photoreceptors impose a limit on visual sensitivity. Their origin is attributed to a thermal, rather than photochemical, activation of the transduction cascade. Although the mechanism of such a process is under debate, the observation of a relationship between the maximum absorption wavelength (λ(max)) and the thermal activation kinetic constant (k) of different visual pigments (the Barlow correlation) indicates that the thermal and photochemical activations are related. Here we show that a quantum chemical model of the bovine rod pigment provides a molecular-level understanding of the Barlow correlation. The transition state mediating thermal activation has the same electronic structure as the photoreceptor excited state, thus creating a direct link between λ(max) and k. Such a link appears to be the manifestation of intrinsic chromophore features associated with the existence of a conical intersection between its ground and excited states.

  7. Biophysical mechanism of transient retinal phototropism in rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-02-13

    Oblique light stimulation evoked transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been recently detected in frog and mouse retinas. High resolution microscopy of freshly isolated retinas indicated that the TRP is predominated by rod photoreceptors. Comparative confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed that the TRP predominantly occurred from the photoreceptor outer segment (OS). However, biophysical mechanism of rod OS change is still unknown. In this study, frog retinal slices, which open a cross section of retinal photoreceptor and other functional layers, were used to test the effect of light stimulation on rod OS. Near infrared light microscopy was employed to monitor photoreceptor changes in retinal slices stimulated by a rectangular-shaped visible light flash. Rapid rod OS length change was observed after the stimulation delivery. The magnitude and direction of the rod OS change varied with the position of the rods within the stimulated area. In the center of stimulated region the length of the rod OS shrunk, while in the peripheral region the rod OS tip swung towards center region in the plane perpendicular to the incident stimulus light. Our experimental result and theoretical analysis suggest that the observed TRP may reflect unbalanced disc-shape change due to localized pigment bleaching. Further investigation is required to understand biochemical mechanism of the observed rod OS kinetics. Better study of the TRP may provide a noninvasive biomarker to enable early detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other diseases that are known to produce retinal photoreceptor dysfunctions.

  8. Biophysical mechanism of transient retinal phototropism in rod photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-03-01

    Oblique light stimulation evoked transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been recently detected in frog and mouse retinas. High resolution microscopy of freshly isolated retinas indicated that the TRP is predominated by rod photoreceptors. Comparative confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed that the TRP predominantly occurred from the photoreceptor outer segment (OS). However, biophysical mechanism of rod OS change is still unknown. In this study, frog retinal slices, which open a cross section of retinal photoreceptor and other functional layers, were used to test the effect of light stimulation on rod OS. Near infrared light microscopy was employed to monitor photoreceptor changes in retinal slices stimulated by a rectangular-shaped visible light flash. Rapid rod OS length change was observed after the stimulation delivery. The magnitude and direction of the rod OS change varied with the position of the rods within the stimulated area. In the center of stimulated region the length of the rod OS shrunk, while in the peripheral region the rod OS tip swung towards center region in the plane perpendicular to the incident stimulus light. Our experimental result and theoretical analysis suggest that the observed TRP may reflect unbalanced disc-shape change due to localized pigment bleaching. Further investigation is required to understand biochemical mechanism of the observed rod OS kinetics. Better study of the TRP may provide a noninvasive biomarker to enable early detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other diseases that are known to produce retinal photoreceptor dysfunctions.

  9. Reprogramming of adult rod photoreceptors prevents retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Montana, Cynthia L.; Kolesnikov, Alexander V.; Shen, Susan Q.; Myers, Connie A.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Corbo, Joseph C.

    2013-01-01

    A prime goal of regenerative medicine is to direct cell fates in a therapeutically useful manner. Retinitis pigmentosa is one of the most common degenerative diseases of the eye and is associated with early rod photoreceptor death followed by secondary cone degeneration. We hypothesized that converting adult rods into cones, via knockdown of the rod photoreceptor determinant Nrl, could make the cells resistant to the effects of mutations in rod-specific genes, thereby preventing secondary cone loss. To test this idea, we engineered a tamoxifen-inducible allele of Nrl to acutely inactivate the gene in adult rods. This manipulation resulted in reprogramming of rods into cells with a variety of cone-like molecular, histologic, and functional properties. Moreover, reprogramming of adult rods achieved cellular and functional rescue of retinal degeneration in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. These findings suggest that elimination of Nrl in adult rods may represent a unique therapy for retinal degeneration. PMID:23319618

  10. Cell Type-Specific Epigenomic Analysis Reveals a Uniquely Closed Chromatin Architecture in Mouse Rod Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hughes, Andrew E. O.; Enright, Jennifer M.; Myers, Connie A.; Shen, Susan Q.; Corbo, Joseph C.

    2017-01-01

    Rod photoreceptors are specialized neurons that mediate vision in dim light and are the predominant photoreceptor type in nocturnal mammals. The rods of nocturnal mammals are unique among vertebrate cell types in having an ‘inverted’ nuclear architecture, with a dense mass of heterochromatin in the center of the nucleus rather than dispersed clumps at the periphery. To test if this unique nuclear architecture is correlated with a unique epigenomic landscape, we performed ATAC-seq on mouse rods and their most closely related cell type, cone photoreceptors. We find that thousands of loci are selectively closed in rods relative to cones as well as >60 additional cell types. Furthermore, we find that the open chromatin profile of photoreceptors lacking the rod master regulator Nrl is nearly indistinguishable from that of native cones, indicating that Nrl is required for selective chromatin closure in rods. Finally, we identified distinct enrichments of transcription factor binding sites in rods and cones, revealing key differences in the cis-regulatory grammar of these cell types. Taken together, these data provide insight into the development and maintenance of photoreceptor identity, and highlight rods as an attractive system for studying the relationship between nuclear organization and local changes in gene regulation. PMID:28256534

  11. Autophagy supports survival and phototransduction protein levels in rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Z; Doggett, T A; Sene, A; Apte, R S; Ferguson, T A

    2015-01-01

    Damage and loss of the postmitotic photoreceptors is a leading cause of blindness in many diseases of the eye. Although the mechanisms of photoreceptor death have been extensively studied, few studies have addressed mechanisms that help sustain these non-replicating neurons for the life of an organism. Autophagy is an intracellular pathway where cytoplasmic constituents are delivered to the lysosomal pathway for degradation. It is not only a major pathway activated in response to cellular stress, but is also important for cytoplasmic turnover and to supply the structural and energy needs of cells. We examined the importance of autophagy in photoreceptors by deleting the essential autophagy gene Atg5 specifically in rods. Loss of autophagy led to progressive degeneration of rod photoreceptors beginning at 8 weeks of age such that by 44 weeks few rods remained. Cone photoreceptor numbers were only slightly diminished following rod degeneration but their function was significantly decreased. Rod cell death was apoptotic but was not dependent on daily light exposure or accelerated by intense light. Although the light-regulated translocation of the phototransduction proteins arrestin and transducin were unaffected in rods lacking autophagy, Atg5-deficient rods accumulated transducin-α as they degenerated suggesting autophagy might regulate the level of this protein. This was confirmed when the light-induced decrease in transducin was abolished in Atg5-deficient rods and the inhibition of autophagy in retinal explants cultures prevented its degradation. These results demonstrate that basal autophagy is essential to the long-term health of rod photoreceptors and a critical process for maintaining optimal levels of the phototransduction protein transducin-α. As the lack of autophagy is associated with retinal degeneration and altered phototransduction protein degradation in the absence of harmful gene products, this process may be a viable therapeutic target where rod

  12. Stimulus-evoked outer segment changes in rod photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Lu, Yiming; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-06-01

    Rod-dominated transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been recently observed in freshly isolated mouse and frog retinas. Comparative confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography revealed that the TRP was predominantly elicited from the rod outer segment (OS). However, the biophysical mechanism of rod OS dynamics is still unknown. Mouse and frog retinal slices, which displayed a cross-section of retinal photoreceptors and other functional layers, were used to test the effect of light stimulation on rod OSs. Time-lapse microscopy revealed stimulus-evoked conformational changes of rod OSs. In the center of the stimulated region, the length of the rod OS shrunk, while in the peripheral region, the rod OS swung toward the center region. Our experimental observation and theoretical analysis suggest that the TRP may reflect unbalanced rod disc-shape changes due to localized visible light stimulation.

  13. NRL-Regulated Transcriptome Dynamics of Developing Rod Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Brooks, Matthew John; Zelinger, Lina; Karakülah, Gökhan; Gotoh, Norimoto; Boleda, Alexis; Gieser, Linn; Giuste, Felipe; Whitaker, Dustin Thad; Walton, Ashley; Villasmil, Rafael; Barb, Jennifer Joanna; Munson, Peter Jonathan; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Chaitankar, Vijender; Cogliati, Tiziana; Swaroop, Anand

    2016-11-22

    Gene regulatory networks (GRNs) guiding differentiation of cell types and cell assemblies in the nervous system are poorly understood because of inherent complexities and interdependence of signaling pathways. Here, we report transcriptome dynamics of differentiating rod photoreceptors in the mammalian retina. Given that the transcription factor NRL determines rod cell fate, we performed expression profiling of developing NRL-positive (rods) and NRL-negative (S-cone-like) mouse photoreceptors. We identified a large-scale, sharp transition in the transcriptome landscape between postnatal days 6 and 10 concordant with rod morphogenesis. Rod-specific temporal DNA methylation corroborated gene expression patterns. De novo assembly and alternative splicing analyses revealed previously unannotated rod-enriched transcripts and the role of NRL in transcript maturation. Furthermore, we defined the relationship of NRL with other transcriptional regulators and downstream cognate effectors. Our studies provide the framework for comprehensive system-level analysis of the GRN underlying the development of a single sensory neuron, the rod photoreceptor. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  14. Glycine input induces the synaptic facilitation in salamander rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Shen, Wen; Jiang, Zheng; Li, Baoqin

    2008-11-01

    Glycinergic synapses in photoreceptors are made by centrifugal feedback neurons in the network, but the function of the synapses is largely unknown. Here we report that glycinergic input enhances photoreceptor synapses in amphibian retinas. Using specific antibodies against a glycine transporter (GlyT2) and glycine receptor beta subunit, we identified the morphology of glycinergic input in photoreceptor terminals. Electrophysiological recordings indicated that 10 muM glycine depolarized rods and activated voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels in the neurons. The effects facilitated glutamate vesicle release in photoreceptors, meanwhile increased the spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents in Off-bipolar cells. Endogenous glycine feedback also enhanced glutamate transmission in photoreceptors. Additionally, inhibition of a Cl(-) uptake transporter NKCC1 with bumetanid effectively eliminated glycine-evoked a weak depolarization in rods, suggesting that NKCC1 maintains a high Cl(-) level in rods, which causes to depolarize in responding to glycine input. This study reveals a new function of glycine in retinal synaptic transmission.

  15. Adaptive potentiation in rod photoreceptors after light exposure.

    PubMed

    McKeown, Alex S; Kraft, Timothy W

    2014-06-01

    Photoreceptors adapt to changes in illumination by altering transduction kinetics and sensitivity, thereby extending their working range. We describe a previously unknown form of rod photoreceptor adaptation in wild-type (WT) mice that manifests as a potentiation of the light response after periods of conditioning light exposure. We characterize the stimulus conditions that evoke this graded hypersensitivity and examine the molecular mechanisms of adaptation underlying the phenomenon. After exposure to periods of saturating illumination, rods show a 10-35% increase in circulating dark current, an adaptive potentiation (AP) to light exposure. This potentiation grows as exposure to light is extended up to 3 min and decreases with longer exposures. Cells return to their initial dark-adapted sensitivity with a time constant of recovery of ∼7 s. Halving the extracellular Mg concentration prolongs the adaptation, increasing the time constant of recovery to 13.3 s, but does not affect the magnitude of potentiation. In rods lacking guanylate cyclase activating proteins 1 and 2 (GCAP(-/-)), AP is more than doubled compared with WT rods, and halving the extracellular Mg concentration does not affect the recovery time constant. Rods from a mouse expressing cyclic nucleotide-gated channels incapable of binding calmodulin also showed a marked increase in the amplitude of AP. Application of an insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) kinase inhibitor (Tyrphostin AG1024) blocked AP, whereas application of an insulin receptor kinase inhibitor (HNMPA(AM)3) failed to do so. A broad-acting tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor (orthovanadate) also blocked AP. Our findings identify a unique form of adaptation in photoreceptors, so that they show transient hypersensitivity to light, and are consistent with a model in which light history, acting via the IGF-1R, can increase the sensitivity of rod photoreceptors, whereas the photocurrent overshoot is regulated by Ca-calmodulin and Ca(2

  16. THE OSMOTIC BEHAVIOR OF ROD PHOTORECEPTOR OUTER SEGMENT DISCS

    PubMed Central

    Heller, Joram; Ostwald, Thomas J.; Bok, Dean

    1971-01-01

    The permeability properties of frog rod photoreceptor outer segment discs were investigated in preparations of purified, dark-adapted, outer segment fragments by the techniques of direct volume measurement and electron microscopy. Outer segment discs were found to swell and contract reversibly in response to changes in the osmotic pressure of the bathing medium in accordance with the Boyle-van't Hoff law. By use of the criterion of reversible osmotic swelling, the disc membrane is impermeable to Na+, K+, Mg+2, Ca+2, Cl-, and (PO4)-3 ions, whereas it is freely permeable to ammonium acetate. The disc membrane is impermeable to sucrose, although its osmotic behavior towards this substance is different from its behavior towards impermeable ions. Electron microscopy showed that the osmotic effects on the rod outer segment fragments represent changes in the intradiscal volume. Fixation with glutaraldehyde did not abolish the permeability properties of the disc membrane, and fixed membranes were still capable of osmotic volume changes. It is concluded from this study that the frog's rod photoreceptor outer segment discs are free-floating membranous organelles with an inside space separate and distinct from the photoreceptor intracellular space. PMID:4100753

  17. Multiple phosphorylated isoforms of NRL are expressed in rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Swain, P K; Hicks, D; Mears, A J; Apel, I J; Smith, J E; John, S K; Hendrickson, A; Milam, A H; Swaroop, A

    2001-09-28

    NRL, a bZIP transcription factor of the Maf subfamily, interacts with the homeodomain protein CRX and synergistically regulates rhodopsin expression. Here we report that six isoforms of NRL (29-35 kDa) are generated by phosphorylation and expressed specifically in the mammalian retina. The anti-NRL antibody also cross-reacts with a cytosolic 45-kDa protein, which is detected in neuronal tissues but is not encoded by the NRL gene. In both human retinal cell cultures and sections of fetal and adult human retina, NRL is present in the nuclei of developing and mature rods but not cones. We propose that NRL regulates rod photoreceptor-specific gene expression and is involved in rod differentiation.

  18. Advances in repairing the degenerate retina by rod photoreceptor transplantation.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Rachael A

    2014-01-01

    Despite very different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, loss of the light-sensitive photoreceptors. There are few clinical treatments and none can reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. The past decade has seen a number of landmark achievements in this field, which together provide strong justification for continuing investigation into photoreceptor replacement strategies. These include proof of principle for restoring vision by rod-photoreceptor transplantation in mice with congenital stationary night blindness and advances in stem cell biology, which have led to the generation of complete optic structures in vitro from embryonic stem cells. The latter represents enormous potential for generating suitable and renewable donor cells with which to achieve the former. However, there are still challenges presented by the degenerating recipient retinal environment that must be addressed as we move to translating these technologies towards clinical application.

  19. Regulation of Noncoding Transcriptome in Developing Photoreceptors by Rod Differentiation Factor NRL.

    PubMed

    Zelinger, Lina; Karakülah, Gökhan; Chaitankar, Vijender; Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Brooks, Matthew J; Swaroop, Anand

    2017-09-01

    Transcriptome analysis by next generation sequencing allows qualitative and quantitative profiling of expression patterns associated with development and disease. However, most transcribed sequences do not encode proteins, and little is known about the functional relevance of noncoding (nc) transcriptome in neuronal subtypes. The goal of this study was to perform a comprehensive analysis of long noncoding (lncRNAs) and antisense (asRNAs) RNAs expressed in mouse retinal photoreceptors. Transcriptomic profiles were generated at six developmental time points from flow-sorted Nrlp-GFP (rods) and Nrlp-GFP;Nrl-/- (S-cone like) mouse photoreceptors. Bioinformatic analysis was performed to identify novel noncoding transcripts and assess their regulation by rod differentiation factor neural retina leucine zipper (NRL). In situ hybridization (ISH) was used for validation and cellular localization. NcRNA profiles demonstrated dynamic yet specific expression signature and coexpression clusters during rod development. In addition to currently annotated 586 lncRNAs and 454 asRNAs, we identified 1037 lncRNAs and 243 asRNAs by de novo assembly. Of these, 119 lncRNAs showed altered expression in the absence of NRL and included NRL binding sites in their promoter/enhancer regions. ISH studies validated the expression of 24 lncRNAs (including 12 previously unannotated) and 4 asRNAs in photoreceptors. Coexpression analysis demonstrated 63 functional modules and 209 significant antisense-gene correlations, allowing us to predict possible role of these lncRNAs in rods. Our studies reveal coregulation of coding and noncoding transcripts in rod photoreceptors by NRL and establish the framework for deciphering the function of ncRNAs during retinal development.

  20. Regulation of Noncoding Transcriptome in Developing Photoreceptors by Rod Differentiation Factor NRL

    PubMed Central

    Zelinger, Lina; Karakülah, Gökhan; Chaitankar, Vijender; Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Brooks, Matthew J.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Transcriptome analysis by next generation sequencing allows qualitative and quantitative profiling of expression patterns associated with development and disease. However, most transcribed sequences do not encode proteins, and little is known about the functional relevance of noncoding (nc) transcriptome in neuronal subtypes. The goal of this study was to perform a comprehensive analysis of long noncoding (lncRNAs) and antisense (asRNAs) RNAs expressed in mouse retinal photoreceptors. Methods Transcriptomic profiles were generated at six developmental time points from flow-sorted Nrlp-GFP (rods) and Nrlp-GFP;Nrl−/− (S-cone like) mouse photoreceptors. Bioinformatic analysis was performed to identify novel noncoding transcripts and assess their regulation by rod differentiation factor neural retina leucine zipper (NRL). In situ hybridization (ISH) was used for validation and cellular localization. Results NcRNA profiles demonstrated dynamic yet specific expression signature and coexpression clusters during rod development. In addition to currently annotated 586 lncRNAs and 454 asRNAs, we identified 1037 lncRNAs and 243 asRNAs by de novo assembly. Of these, 119 lncRNAs showed altered expression in the absence of NRL and included NRL binding sites in their promoter/enhancer regions. ISH studies validated the expression of 24 lncRNAs (including 12 previously unannotated) and 4 asRNAs in photoreceptors. Coexpression analysis demonstrated 63 functional modules and 209 significant antisense-gene correlations, allowing us to predict possible role of these lncRNAs in rods. Conclusions Our studies reveal coregulation of coding and noncoding transcripts in rod photoreceptors by NRL and establish the framework for deciphering the function of ncRNAs during retinal development. PMID:28863214

  1. NEURONATIN IS A STRESS-RESPONSIVE PROTEIN OF ROD PHOTORECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    SHINDE, VISHAL; PITALE, PRIYAMVADA M.; HOWSE, WAYNE; GORBATYUK, OLEG; GORBATYUK, MARINA

    2016-01-01

    Neuronatin (NNAT) is a small transmembrane proteolipid that is highly expressed in the embryonic developing brain and several other peripheral tissues. This study is the first to provide evidence that NNAT is detected in the adult retina of various adult rod-dominant mammals, including wild-type (WT) rodents, transgenic rodents expressing mutant S334ter, P23H, or T17M rhodopsin, non-human primates, humans, and cone-dominant tree shrews. Immunohistochemical and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses were applied to detect NNAT. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that NNAT immunofluorescence is restricted to the outer segments (OSs) of photoreceptors without evidence of staining in other retinal cell types across all mammalian species. Moreover, in tree shrew retinas, we found NNAT to be co-localized with rhodopsin, indicating its predominant expression in rods. The rod-derived expression of NNAT was further confirmed by qRT-PCR in isolated rod photoreceptor cells. We also used these cells to mimic cellular stress in transgenic retinas by treating them with the endoplasmic reticulum stress inducer, tunicamycin. Thus, our data revealed accumulation of NNAT around the nucleus as compared to dispersed localization of NNAT within control cells. This distribution coincided with the partial intracellular mislocalization of NNAT to the outer nuclear layer observed in transgenic retinas. In addition, stressed retinas demonstrated an increase of NNAT mRNA and protein levels. Therefore, our study demonstrated that NNAT is a novel stress-responsive protein with a potential structural and/or functional role in adult mammalian retinas. PMID:27109921

  2. FGF Signaling Regulates Rod Photoreceptor Cell Maintenance and Regeneration in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Qin, Zhao; Kidd, Ambrose R.; Thomas, Jennifer L.; Poss, Kenneth D.; Hyde, David R.; Raymond, Pamela A.; Thummel, Ryan

    2011-01-01

    Fgf signaling is required for many biological processes involving the regulation of cell proliferation and maintenance, including embryonic patterning, tissue homeostasis, wound healing, and cancer progression. Although the function of Fgf signaling is suggested in several different regeneration models, including appendage regeneration in amphibians and fin and heart regeneration in zebrafish, it has not yet been studied during zebrafish photoreceptor cell regeneration. Here we demonstrate that intravitreal injections of FGF-2 induced rod precursor cell proliferation and photoreceptor cell neuroprotection during intense light damage. Using the dominant-negative Tg(hsp70:dn-fgfr1) transgenic line, we found that Fgf signaling was required for homeostasis of rod, but not cone, photoreceptors. Even though fgfr1 is expressed in both rod and cone photoreceptors, we found that Fgf signaling differentially affected the regeneration of cone and rod photoreceptors in the light-damaged retina, with the dominant-negative hsp70:dn-fgfr1 transgene significantly repressing rod photoreceptor regeneration without affecting cone photoreceptors. These data suggest that rod photoreceptor homeostasis and regeneration is Fgf-dependent and that rod and cone photoreceptors in adult zebrafish are regulated by different signaling pathways. PMID:21945172

  3. Deafferented Adult Rod Bipolar Cells Create New Synapses with Photoreceptors to Restore Vision.

    PubMed

    Beier, Corinne; Hovhannisyan, Anahit; Weiser, Sydney; Kung, Jennifer; Lee, Seungjun; Lee, Dae Yeong; Huie, Philip; Dalal, Roopa; Palanker, Daniel; Sher, Alexander

    2017-04-26

    Upon degeneration of photoreceptors in the adult retina, interneurons, including bipolar cells, exhibit a plastic response leading to their aberrant rewiring. Photoreceptor reintroduction has been suggested as a potential approach to sight restoration, but the ability of deafferented bipolar cells to establish functional synapses with photoreceptors is poorly understood. Here we use photocoagulation to selectively destroy photoreceptors in adult rabbits while preserving the inner retina. We find that rods and cones shift into the ablation zone over several weeks, reducing the blind spot at scotopic and photopic luminances. During recovery, rod and cone bipolar cells exhibit markedly different responses to deafferentation. Rod bipolar cells extend their dendrites to form new synapses with healthy photoreceptors outside the lesion, thereby restoring visual function in the deafferented retina. Secretagogin-positive cone bipolar cells did not exhibit such obvious dendritic restructuring. These findings are encouraging to the idea of photoreceptor reintroduction for vision restoration in patients blinded by retinal degeneration. At the same time, they draw attention to the postsynaptic side of photoreceptor reintroduction; various bipolar cell types, representing different visual pathways, vary in their response to the photoreceptor loss and in their consequent dendritic restructuring.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Loss of photoreceptors during retinal degeneration results in permanent visual impairment. Strategies for vision restoration based on the reintroduction of photoreceptors inherently rely on the ability of the remaining retinal neurons to correctly synapse with new photoreceptors. We show that deafferented bipolar cells in the adult mammalian retina can reconnect to rods and cones and restore retinal sensitivity at scotopic and photopic luminances. Rod bipolar cells extend their dendrites to form new synapses with healthy rod photoreceptors. These findings support the

  4. Mitochondria contribute to NADPH generation in mouse rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Adler, Leopold; Chen, Chunhe; Koutalos, Yiannis

    2014-01-17

    NADPH is the primary source of reducing equivalents in the cytosol. Its major source is considered to be the pentose phosphate pathway, but cytosolic NADP(+)-dependent dehydrogenases using intermediates of mitochondrial pathways for substrates have been known to contribute. Photoreceptors, a nonproliferating cell type, provide a unique model for measuring the functional utilization of NADPH at the single cell level. In these cells, NADPH availability can be monitored from the reduction of the all-trans-retinal generated by light to all-trans-retinol using single cell fluorescence imaging. We have used mouse rod photoreceptors to investigate the generation of NADPH by different metabolic pathways. In the absence of extracellular metabolic substrates, NADPH generation was severely compromised. Extracellular glutamine supported NADPH generation to levels comparable to those of glucose, but pyruvate and lactate were relatively ineffective. At low extracellular substrate concentrations, partial inhibition of ATP synthesis lowered, whereas suppression of ATP consumption augmented NADPH availability. Blocking pyruvate transport into mitochondria decreased NADPH availability, and addition of glutamine restored it. Our findings demonstrate that in a nonproliferating cell type, mitochondria-linked pathways can generate substantial amounts of NADPH and do so even when the pentose phosphate pathway is operational. Competing demands for ATP and NADPH at low metabolic substrate concentrations indicate a vulnerability to nutrient shortages. By supporting substantial NADPH generation, mitochondria provide alternative metabolic pathways that may support cell function and maintain viability under transient nutrient shortages. Such pathways may play an important role in protecting against retinal degeneration.

  5. The giant mottled eel, Anguilla marmorata, uses blue-shifted rod photoreceptors during upstream migration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Feng-Yu; Fu, Wen-Chun; Wang, I-Li; Yan, Hong Young; Wang, Tzi-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    Catadromous fishes migrate between ocean and freshwater during particular phases of their life cycle. The dramatic environmental changes shape their physiological features, e.g. visual sensitivity, olfactory ability, and salinity tolerance. Anguilla marmorata, a catadromous eel, migrates upstream on dark nights, following the lunar cycle. Such behavior may be correlated with ontogenetic changes in sensory systems. Therefore, this study was designed to identify changes in spectral sensitivity and opsin gene expression of A. marmorata during upstream migration. Microspectrophotometry analysis revealed that the tropical eel possesses a duplex retina with rod and cone photoreceptors. The λmax of rod cells are 493, 489, and 489 nm in glass, yellow, and wild eels, while those of cone cells are 508, and 517 nm in yellow, and wild eels, respectively. Unlike European and American eels, Asian eels exhibited a blue-shifted pattern of rod photoreceptors during upstream migration. Quantitative gene expression analyses of four cloned opsin genes (Rh1f, Rh1d, Rh2, and SWS2) revealed that Rh1f expression is dominant at all three stages, while Rh1d is expressed only in older yellow eel. Furthermore, sequence comparison and protein modeling studies implied that a blue shift in Rh1d opsin may be induced by two known (N83, S292) and four putative (S124, V189, V286, I290) tuning sites adjacent to the retinal binding sites. Finally, expression of blue-shifted Rh1d opsin resulted in a spectral shift in rod photoreceptors. Our observations indicate that the giant mottled eel is color-blind, and its blue-shifted scotopic vision may influence its upstream migration behavior and habitat choice.

  6. The Giant Mottled Eel, Anguilla marmorata, Uses Blue-Shifted Rod Photoreceptors during Upstream Migration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Feng-Yu; Fu, Wen-Chun; Wang, I-Li

    2014-01-01

    Catadromous fishes migrate between ocean and freshwater during particular phases of their life cycle. The dramatic environmental changes shape their physiological features, e.g. visual sensitivity, olfactory ability, and salinity tolerance. Anguilla marmorata, a catadromous eel, migrates upstream on dark nights, following the lunar cycle. Such behavior may be correlated with ontogenetic changes in sensory systems. Therefore, this study was designed to identify changes in spectral sensitivity and opsin gene expression of A. marmorata during upstream migration. Microspectrophotometry analysis revealed that the tropical eel possesses a duplex retina with rod and cone photoreceptors. The λmax of rod cells are 493, 489, and 489 nm in glass, yellow, and wild eels, while those of cone cells are 508, and 517 nm in yellow, and wild eels, respectively. Unlike European and American eels, Asian eels exhibited a blue-shifted pattern of rod photoreceptors during upstream migration. Quantitative gene expression analyses of four cloned opsin genes (Rh1f, Rh1d, Rh2, and SWS2) revealed that Rh1f expression is dominant at all three stages, while Rh1d is expressed only in older yellow eel. Furthermore, sequence comparison and protein modeling studies implied that a blue shift in Rh1d opsin may be induced by two known (N83, S292) and four putative (S124, V189, V286, I290) tuning sites adjacent to the retinal binding sites. Finally, expression of blue-shifted Rh1d opsin resulted in a spectral shift in rod photoreceptors. Our observations indicate that the giant mottled eel is color-blind, and its blue-shifted scotopic vision may influence its upstream migration behavior and habitat choice. PMID:25101636

  7. Rod photoreceptors drive circadian photoentrainment across a wide range of light intensities

    PubMed Central

    Altimus, C.M.; Güler, A.D.; Alam, N.M.; Arman, A.C.; Prusky, G.T.; Sampath, A.P.; Hattar, S

    2010-01-01

    In mammals, synchronization of the circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamus is achieved through direct input from the eyes conveyed by intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Circadian photoentrainment can be maintained by rod and cone photoreceptors, but their functional contributions and their retinal circuits that impinge on ipRGCs are not well understood. We demonstrate in genetic mouse models lacking functional rods, or where rods are the only functional photoreceptors, that rods are solely responsible for photoentrainment at scotopic light intensities. Surprisingly, rods were also capable of driving circadian photoentrainment at photopic intensities where they were incapable of supporting a visually–guided behavior. Using animals in which cone photoreceptors were ablated, we demonstrate that rods signal through cones at high light intensities, but not low light intensities. Thus two distinct retinal circuits drive ipRGC function to support circadian photoentrainment across a wide range of light intensities. PMID:20711184

  8. Inverse pattern of photoreceptor abnormalities in retinitis pigmentosa and cone-rod dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Yokochi, Midori; Li, Danjie; Horiguchi, Masayuki; Kishi, Shoji

    2012-12-01

    To determine the characteristics of the photoreceptor abnormalities in retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and cone-rod dystrophy (CRD). We evaluated the photoreceptor abnormalities using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) in 28 patients with RP and 17 patients with CRD. The OCT images and full-field electroretinograms were obtained from 21 eyes in normal subjects who were age-matched to patients with RP and CRD and served as controls. Eyes with RP and CRD had markedly decreased rod responses (6.5 and 57.5 % of normal value), maximal responses (9.6 and 51.6 %), cone (16.5 and 25.8 %), and 30-Hz flicker responses (17.8 and 30.1 % of normal value), and their P values were smaller than 0.0003. On comparison of ERG data between RP and CRD, they had statistically significant differences in rod responses (P < 0.0003) and maximal responses (P < 0.0003). However, there were no statistical differences in cone response and a weak difference in 30-Hz flicker responses (P < 0.017). The best-corrected visual acuity was -0.03 ± 0.09 (logMAR, mean ± standard deviation [SD]) in eyes with RP, but 0.57 ± 0.54 in eyes with CRD. SD-OCT showed that eyes with RP had an intact reflective line at the junction between the photoreceptor inner and outer segment (IS/OS) at the fovea, while eyes with CRD had no IS/OS. The extent of the central visual field was correlated with the IS/OS length at the macula in eyes with RP. The distribution patterns of the IS/OS line help to differentiate between RP and CRD.

  9. Hypoxic preconditioning protects photoreceptors against light damage independently of hypoxia inducible transcription factors in rods.

    PubMed

    Kast, Brigitte; Schori, Christian; Grimm, Christian

    2016-05-01

    Hypoxic preconditioning protects photoreceptors against light-induced degeneration preserving retinal morphology and function. Although hypoxia inducible transcription factors 1 and 2 (HIF1, HIF2) are the main regulators of the hypoxic response, photoreceptor protection does not depend on HIF1 in rods. Here we used rod-specific Hif2a single and Hif1a;Hif2a double knockout mice to investigate the potential involvement of HIF2 in rods for protection after hypoxic preconditioning. To identify potential HIF2 target genes in rods we determined the retinal transcriptome of hypoxic control and rod-specific Hif2a knockouts by RNA sequencing. We show that rods do not need HIF2 for hypoxia-induced increased survival after light exposure. The transcriptomic analysis revealed a number of genes that are potentially regulated by HIF2 in rods; among those were Htra1, Timp3 and Hmox1, candidates that are interesting due to their connection to human degenerative diseases of the retina. We conclude that neither HIF1 nor HIF2 are required in photoreceptors for protection by hypoxic preconditioning. We hypothesize that HIF transcription factors may be needed in other cells to produce protective factors acting in a paracrine fashion on photoreceptor cells. Alternatively, hypoxic preconditioning induces a rod-intrinsic response that is independent of HIF transcription factors.

  10. Noninvasive imaging of the human rod photoreceptor mosaic using a confocal adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscope

    PubMed Central

    Dubra, Alfredo; Sulai, Yusufu; Norris, Jennifer L.; Cooper, Robert F.; Dubis, Adam M.; Williams, David R.; Carroll, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    The rod photoreceptors are implicated in a number of devastating retinal diseases. However, routine imaging of these cells has remained elusive, even with the advent of adaptive optics imaging. Here, we present the first in vivo images of the contiguous rod photoreceptor mosaic in nine healthy human subjects. The images were collected with three different confocal adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscopes at two different institutions, using 680 and 775 nm superluminescent diodes for illumination. Estimates of photoreceptor density and rod:cone ratios in the 5°–15° retinal eccentricity range are consistent with histological findings, confirming our ability to resolve the rod mosaic by averaging multiple registered images, without the need for additional image processing. In one subject, we were able to identify the emergence of the first rods at approximately 190 μm from the foveal center, in agreement with previous histological studies. The rod and cone photoreceptor mosaics appear in focus at different retinal depths, with the rod mosaic best focus (i.e., brightest and sharpest) being at least 10 μm shallower than the cones at retinal eccentricities larger than 8°. This study represents an important step in bringing high-resolution imaging to bear on the study of rod disorders. PMID:21750765

  11. Stem Cell-Derived Photoreceptor Transplants Differentially Integrate Into Mouse Models of Cone-Rod Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Santos-Ferreira, Tiago; Völkner, Manuela; Borsch, Oliver; Haas, Jochen; Cimalla, Peter; Vasudevan, Praveen; Carmeliet, Peter; Corbeil, Denis; Michalakis, Stylianos; Koch, Edmund; Karl, Mike O; Ader, Marius

    2016-06-01

    Preclinical studies on photoreceptor transplantation provided evidence for restoration of visual function with pluripotent stem cells considered as a potential source for sufficient amounts of donor material. Adequate preclinical models representing retinal disease conditions of potential future patients are needed for translation research. Here we compared transplant integration in mouse models with mild (prominin1-deficient; Prom1-/-) or severe (cone photoreceptor function loss 1/rhodopsin-deficient double-mutant; Cpfl1/Rho-/-) cone-rod degeneration. For photoreceptor transplant production, we combined the mouse embryonic stem cell retinal organoid system with rhodopsin-driven GFP cell labeling by recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV). Organoid-derived photoreceptors were enriched by CD73-based magnetic-activated cell sorting (MACS) and transplanted subretinally into wild-type, Prom1-/- and Cpfl1/Rho-/- hosts. The survival, maturation, and synapse formation of donor cells was analyzed by immunohistochemistry. Retinal organoids yielded high photoreceptor numbers that were further MACS-enriched to 85% purity. Grafted photoreceptors survived in the subretinal space of all mouse models. Some cells integrated into wild-type as well as Prom1-/- mouse retinas and acquired a mature morphology, expressing rod and synaptic markers in close proximity to second-order neurons. In contrast, in the novel Cpfl1/Rho-/- model with complete photoreceptor degeneration, transplants remained confined to the subretinal space, expressed rod-specific but only reduced synaptic markers, and did not acquire mature morphology. Comparison of photoreceptor grafts in preclinical models with incomplete or complete photoreceptor loss, showed differential transplant success with effective and impaired integration, respectively. Thus, Cpfl1/Rho-/- mice represent a potential benchmark model resembling patients with severe retinal degeneration to optimize photoreceptor replacement therapies.

  12. DICER1 is essential for survival of postmitotic rod photoreceptor cells in mice

    PubMed Central

    Sundermeier, Thomas R.; Zhang, Ning; Vinberg, Frans; Mustafi, Debarshi; Kohno, Hideo; Golczak, Marcin; Bai, Xiaodong; Maeda, Akiko; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2014-01-01

    Photoreceptor cell death is the proximal cause of blindness in many retinal degenerative disorders; hence, understanding the gene regulatory networks that promote photoreceptor survival is at the forefront of efforts to combat blindness. Down-regulation of the microRNA (miRNA)-processing enzyme DICER1 in the retinal pigmented epithelium has been implicated in geographic atrophy, an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). However, little is known about the function of DICER1 in mature rod photoreceptor cells, another retinal cell type that is severely affected in AMD. Using a conditional-knockout (cKO) mouse model, we report that loss of DICER1 in mature postmitotic rods leads to robust retinal degeneration accompanied by loss of visual function. At 14 wk of age, cKO mice exhibit a 90% reduction in photoreceptor nuclei and a 97% reduction in visual chromophore compared with those in control littermates. Before degeneration, cKO mice do not exhibit significant defects in either phototransduction or the visual cycle, suggesting that miRNAs play a primary role in rod photoreceptor survival. Using comparative small RNA sequencing analysis, we identified rod photoreceptor miRNAs of the miR-22, miR-26, miR-30, miR-92, miR-124, and let-7 families as potential factors involved in regulating the survival of rods.—Sundermeier, T. R., Zhang, N., Vinberg, F., Mustafi, D., Kohno, H., Golczak, M., Bai, X., Maeda, A., Kefalov, V. J., Palczewski, K. DICER1 is essential for survival of postmitotic rod photoreceptor cells in mice. PMID:24812086

  13. Multiple rod-cone and cone-rod photoreceptor transmutations in snakes: evidence from visual opsin gene expression.

    PubMed

    Simões, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L; Loew, Ellis R; Sanders, Kate L; Fisher, Robert N; Hart, Nathan S; Hunt, David M; Partridge, Julian C; Gower, David J

    2016-01-27

    In 1934, Gordon Walls forwarded his radical theory of retinal photoreceptor 'transmutation'. This proposed that rods and cones used for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, were not fixed but could evolve into each other via a series of morphologically distinguishable intermediates. Walls' prime evidence came from series of diurnal and nocturnal geckos and snakes that appeared to have pure-cone or pure-rod retinas (in forms that Walls believed evolved from ancestors with the reverse complement) or which possessed intermediate photoreceptor cells. Walls was limited in testing his theory because the precise identity of visual pigments present in photoreceptors was then unknown. Subsequent molecular research has hitherto neglected this topic but presents new opportunities. We identify three visual opsin genes, rh1, sws1 and lws, in retinal mRNA of an ecologically and taxonomically diverse sample of snakes central to Walls' theory. We conclude that photoreceptors with superficially rod- or cone-like morphology are not limited to containing scotopic or photopic opsins, respectively. Walls' theory is essentially correct, and more research is needed to identify the patterns, processes and functional implications of transmutation. Future research will help to clarify the fundamental properties and physiology of photoreceptors adapted to function in different light levels. © 2016 The Author(s).

  14. Transformation of cone precursors to functional rod photoreceptors by bZIP transcription factor NRL.

    PubMed

    Oh, Edwin C T; Khan, Naheed; Novelli, Elena; Khanna, Hemant; Strettoi, Enrica; Swaroop, Anand

    2007-01-30

    Networks of transcriptional regulatory proteins dictate specification of neural lineages from multipotent retinal progenitors. Rod photoreceptor differentiation requires the basic motif-leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor NRL, because loss of Nrl in mice (Nrl-/-) results in complete transformation of rods to functional cones. To examine the role of NRL in cell fate determination, we generated transgenic mice that express Nrl under the control of Crx promoter in postmitotic photoreceptor precursors of WT and Nrl-/- retina. We show that NRL expression, in both genetic backgrounds, leads to a functional retina with only rod photoreceptors. The absence of cones does not alter retinal lamination, although cone synaptic circuitry is now recruited by rods. Ectopic expression of NRL in developing cones can also induce rod-like characteristics and partially suppress cone-specific gene expression. We show that NRL is associated with specific promoter sequences in Thrb (encoding TRbeta2 transcription factor required for M-cone differentiation) and S-opsin and may, therefore, directly participate in transcriptional suppression of cone development. Our studies establish that NRL is not only essential but is sufficient for rod differentiation and that postmitotic photoreceptor precursors are competent to make binary decisions during early retinogenesis.

  15. In vivo optophysiology reveals that G-protein activation triggers osmotic swelling and increased light scattering of rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Phuong T.; Yarov-Yarovoy, Vladimir; Burns, Marie E.; Pugh, Edward N.

    2017-01-01

    The light responses of rod and cone photoreceptors have been studied electrophysiologically for decades, largely with ex vivo approaches that disrupt the photoreceptors’ subretinal microenvironment. Here we report the use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to measure light-driven signals of rod photoreceptors in vivo. Visible light stimulation over a 200-fold intensity range caused correlated rod outer segment (OS) elongation and increased light scattering in wild-type mice, but not in mice lacking the rod G-protein alpha subunit, transducin (Gαt), revealing these responses to be triggered by phototransduction. For stimuli that photoactivated one rhodopsin per Gαt the rod OS swelling response reached a saturated elongation of 10.0 ± 2.1%, at a maximum rate of 0.11% s−1. Analyzing swelling as osmotically driven water influx, we find the H2O membrane permeability of the rod OS to be (2.6 ± 0.4) × 10−5 cm⋅s−1, comparable to that of other cells lacking aquaporin expression. Application of Van’t Hoff’s law reveals that complete activation of phototransduction generates a potentially harmful 20% increase in OS osmotic pressure. The increased backscattering from the base of the OS is explained by a model combining cytoplasmic swelling, translocation of dissociated G-protein subunits from the disc membranes into the cytoplasm, and a relatively higher H2O permeability of nascent discs in the basal rod OS. Translocation of phototransduction components out of the OS may protect rods from osmotic stress, which could be especially harmful in disease conditions that affect rod OS structural integrity. PMID:28320964

  16. Photoreceptor cell death, proliferation and formation of hybrid rod/S-cone photoreceptors in the degenerating STK38L mutant retina.

    PubMed

    Berta, Ágnes I; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Genini, Sem; Goldstein, Orly; O'Brien, Paul J; Szél, Ágoston; Acland, Gregory M; Beltran, William A; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2011-01-01

    A homozygous mutation in STK38L in dogs impairs the late phase of photoreceptor development, and is followed by photoreceptor cell death (TUNEL) and proliferation (PCNA, PHH3) events that occur independently in different cells between 7-14 weeks of age. During this period, the outer nuclear layer (ONL) cell number is unchanged. The dividing cells are of photoreceptor origin, have rod opsin labeling, and do not label with markers specific for macrophages/microglia (CD18) or Müller cells (glutamine synthetase, PAX6). Nestin labeling is absent from the ONL although it labels the peripheral retina and ciliary marginal zone equally in normals and mutants. Cell proliferation is associated with increased cyclin A1 and LATS1 mRNA expression, but CRX protein expression is unchanged. Coincident with photoreceptor proliferation is a change in the photoreceptor population. Prior to cell death the photoreceptor mosaic is composed of L/M- and S-cones, and rods. After proliferation, both cone types remain, but the majority of rods are now hybrid photoreceptors that express rod opsin and, to a lesser extent, cone S-opsin, and lack NR2E3 expression. The hybrid photoreceptors renew their outer segments diffusely, a characteristic of cones. The results indicate the capacity for terminally differentiated, albeit mutant, photoreceptors to divide with mutations in this novel retinal degeneration gene.

  17. Photoreceptor Cell Death, Proliferation and Formation of Hybrid Rod/S-Cone Photoreceptors in the Degenerating STK38L Mutant Retina

    PubMed Central

    Berta, Ágnes I.; Boesze-Battaglia, Kathleen; Genini, Sem; Goldstein, Orly; O'Brien, Paul J.; Szél, Ágoston; Acland, Gregory M.; Beltran, William A.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2011-01-01

    A homozygous mutation in STK38L in dogs impairs the late phase of photoreceptor development, and is followed by photoreceptor cell death (TUNEL) and proliferation (PCNA, PHH3) events that occur independently in different cells between 7–14 weeks of age. During this period, the outer nuclear layer (ONL) cell number is unchanged. The dividing cells are of photoreceptor origin, have rod opsin labeling, and do not label with markers specific for macrophages/microglia (CD18) or Müller cells (glutamine synthetase, PAX6). Nestin labeling is absent from the ONL although it labels the peripheral retina and ciliary marginal zone equally in normals and mutants. Cell proliferation is associated with increased cyclin A1 and LATS1 mRNA expression, but CRX protein expression is unchanged. Coincident with photoreceptor proliferation is a change in the photoreceptor population. Prior to cell death the photoreceptor mosaic is composed of L/M- and S-cones, and rods. After proliferation, both cone types remain, but the majority of rods are now hybrid photoreceptors that express rod opsin and, to a lesser extent, cone S-opsin, and lack NR2E3 expression. The hybrid photoreceptors renew their outer segments diffusely, a characteristic of cones. The results indicate the capacity for terminally differentiated, albeit mutant, photoreceptors to divide with mutations in this novel retinal degeneration gene. PMID:21980341

  18. GCAP1 rescues rod photoreceptor response in GCAP1/GCAP2 knockout mice

    PubMed Central

    Howes, Kim A.; Pennesi, Mark E.; Sokal, Izabela; Church-Kopish, Jill; Schmidt, Ben; Margolis, David; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Rieke, Fred; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Wu, Samuel M.; Detwiler, Peter B.; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2002-01-01

    Visual transduction in retinal photoreceptors operates through a dynamic interplay of two second messengers, Ca2+ and cGMP. Ca2+ regulates the activity of guanylate cyclase (GC) and the synthesis of cGMP by acting on a GC-activating protein (GCAP). While this action is critical for rapid termination of the light response, the GCAP responsible has not been identified. To test if GCAP1, one of two GCAPs present in mouse rods, supports the generation of normal flash responses, transgenic mice were generated that express only GCAP1 under the control of the endogenous promoter. Paired flash responses revealed a correlation between the degree of recovery of the rod a-wave and expression levels of GCAP1. In single cell recordings, the majority of the rods generated flash responses that were indistinguishable from wild type. These results demonstrate that GCAP1 at near normal levels supports the generation of wild-type flash responses in the absence of GCAP2. PMID:11927539

  19. miR Cluster 143/145 Directly Targets Nrl and Regulates Rod Photoreceptor Development.

    PubMed

    Sreekanth, Sreekumaran; Rasheed, Vazhanthodi A; Soundararajan, Lalitha; Antony, Jayesh; Saikia, Minakshi; Sivakumar, Krishnankutty Chandrika; Das, Ani V

    2016-11-23

    Retinal histogenesis requires coordinated and temporal functioning of factors by which different cell types are generated from multipotent progenitors. Development of rod photoreceptors is regulated by multiple transcription factors, and Nrl is one of the major factors involved in their fate specification. Presence or absence of Nrl at the postnatal stages decides the generation of cone photoreceptors or other later retinal cells. This suggests the need for regulated expression of Nrl in order to accelerate the generation of other cell types during retinal development. We found that miR cluster 143/145, comprising miR-143 and miR-145, targets and imparts a posttranscriptional inhibition of Nrl. Expression of both miRNAs was differentially regulated during retinal development and showed least expression at PN1 stage in which most of the rod photoreceptors are generated. Downregulation of rod photoreceptor regulators and markers upon miR cluster 143/145 overexpression demonstrated that this cluster indeed negatively regulates rod photoreceptors. Further, we prove that Nrl positively regulates miR cluster 143/145, thus establishing a feedback loop regulatory mechanism. This may be one possible mechanism by which Nrl is posttranscriptionally regulated to facilitate the generation of other cell types in retina.

  20. Rod photoreceptor-specific gene expression in human retinoblastoma cells.

    PubMed Central

    Di Polo, A; Farber, D B

    1995-01-01

    Retinoblastoma cells in culture have previously been shown to express cone-specific genes but not their rod counterparts. We have detected the messages for the rod alpha, beta, and gamma subunits of cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE), the rod alpha subunit of transducin, rod opsin, and the cone alpha' subunit of PDE in RNA of human Y-79 retinoblastoma cells by reverse transcription-PCR. Quantitative analysis of the mRNAs for the rod alpha and cone alpha' PDE subunits revealed that they were expressed at comparable levels; however, the transcript encoding the rod beta PDE subunit was 10 times more abundant in these cells. Northern hybridization analysis of Y-79 cell RNA confirmed the presence of the transcripts for rod and cone PDE catalytic subunits. To test whether the transcriptional machinery required for the expression of rod-specific genes was endogenous in Y-79 retinoblastoma cells, cultures were transfected with a construct containing the promoter region of the rod beta PDE subunit gene attached to the firefly luciferase reporter vector. Significant levels of reporter enzyme activity were observed in the cell lysates. Our results demonstrate that the Y-79 retinoblastoma cell line is a good model system for the study of transcriptional regulation of rod-specific genes. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 PMID:7732024

  1. Potential of Small Molecule–Mediated Reprogramming of Rod Photoreceptors to Treat Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Nakamura, Paul A.; Tang, Shibing; Shimchuk, Andy A.; Ding, Sheng; Reh, Thomas A.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Mutations in rod photoreceptor genes can cause retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Rod gene expression is regulated by the nuclear hormone receptor, Nr2e3. Genetic deletion of Nr2e3 reprograms rods into cells that resemble cone photoreceptors, and might therefore prevent their death from some forms of RP. There are no identified ligands for Nr2e3; however, reverse agonists might mimic the genetic rescue effect and may be therapeutically useful for the treatment of RP. Methods We screened for small molecule modulators of Nr2e3 using primary retinal cell cultures and characterized the most potent, which we have named photoregulin1 (PR1), in vitro and in vivo. We also tested the ability of PR1 to slow the progression of photoreceptor degeneration in two common mouse models of autosomal dominant RP, the RhoP23H and the Pde6brd1 mutations. Results In developing retina, PR1 causes a decrease in rod gene expression and an increase in S opsin+ cones. Photoregulin1 continues to inhibit rod gene expression in adult mice. When applied to two mouse models of RP, PR1 slows the degeneration of photoreceptors. Conclusions Chemical compounds identified as modulators of Nr2e3 activity may be useful for the treatment of RP through their effects on expression of disease-causing mutant genes. PMID:27893103

  2. Differentiation of Swine iPSC into Rod Photoreceptors and Their Integration into the Retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Liang; Wang, Wei; Liu, Yongqing; de Castro, Juan Fernandez; Ezashi, Toshihiko; Telugu, Bhanu Prakash V.L.; Roberts, R. Michael; Kaplan, Henry J.; Dean, Douglas C.

    2014-01-01

    Absence of a regenerative pathway for damaged retina following injury or disease has led to experiments utilizing stem cell transplantation for retinal repair, and encouraging results have been obtained in rodents. The swine eye is a closer anatomical and physiological match to the human eye, but embryonic stem cells have not been isolated from pig, and photoreceptor differentiation has not been demonstrated with swine induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC). Here, we subjected swine iPSC to a rod photoreceptor differentiation protocol consisting of floating culture as embryoid bodies followed by differentiation in adherent culture. Real time PCR and immunostaining of differentiated cells demonstrated loss of expression of the pluripotent genes POU5F1, NANOG and SOX2 and induction of rod photoreceptor genes RCVRN, NRL, RHO and ROM1. While these differentiated cells displayed neuronal morphology, culturing on a Matrigel substratum triggered a further morphological change resulting in concentration of RHO and ROM1 in outer segment-like projections resembling those on primary cultures of rod photoreceptors. The differentiated cells were transplanted into the subretinal space of pigs treated with iodoacetic acid to eliminate rod photoreceptors. Three weeks after transplantation, engrafted RHO+ cells were evident in the outer nuclear layer where photoreceptors normally reside. A portion of these transplanted cells had generated projections resembling outer segments. These results demonstrate that swine iPSC can differentiate into photoreceptors in culture and these cells can integrate into the damaged swine neural retina thus laying a foundation for future studies using the pig as a model for retinal stem cell transplantation. PMID:21491544

  3. Targeting of GFP to newborn rods by Nrl promoter and temporal expression profiling of flow-sorted photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Akimoto, Masayuki; Cheng, Hong; Zhu, Dongxiao; Brzezinski, Joseph A; Khanna, Ritu; Filippova, Elena; Oh, Edwin C T; Jing, Yuezhou; Linares, Jose-Luis; Brooks, Matthew; Zareparsi, Sepideh; Mears, Alan J; Hero, Alfred; Glaser, Tom; Swaroop, Anand

    2006-03-07

    The Maf-family transcription factor Nrl is a key regulator of photoreceptor differentiation in mammals. Ablation of the Nrl gene in mice leads to functional cones at the expense of rods. We show that a 2.5-kb Nrl promoter segment directs the expression of enhanced GFP specifically to rod photoreceptors and the pineal gland of transgenic mice. GFP is detected shortly after terminal cell division, corresponding to the timing of rod genesis revealed by birthdating studies. In Nrl-/- retinas, the GFP+ photoreceptors express S-opsin, consistent with the transformation of rod precursors into cones. We report the gene profiles of freshly isolated flow-sorted GFP+ photoreceptors from wild-type and Nrl-/- retinas at five distinct developmental stages. Our results provide a framework for establishing gene regulatory networks that lead to mature functional photoreceptors from postmitotic precursors. Differentially expressed rod and cone genes are excellent candidates for retinopathies.

  4. Targeting of GFP to newborn rods by Nrl promoter and temporal expression profiling of flow-sorted photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Akimoto, Masayuki; Cheng, Hong; Zhu, Dongxiao; Brzezinski, Joseph A.; Khanna, Ritu; Filippova, Elena; Oh, Edwin C. T.; Jing, Yuezhou; Linares, Jose-Luis; Brooks, Matthew; Zareparsi, Sepideh; Mears, Alan J.; Hero, Alfred; Glaser, Tom; Swaroop, Anand

    2006-01-01

    The Maf-family transcription factor Nrl is a key regulator of photoreceptor differentiation in mammals. Ablation of the Nrl gene in mice leads to functional cones at the expense of rods. We show that a 2.5-kb Nrl promoter segment directs the expression of enhanced GFP specifically to rod photoreceptors and the pineal gland of transgenic mice. GFP is detected shortly after terminal cell division, corresponding to the timing of rod genesis revealed by birthdating studies. In Nrl−/− retinas, the GFP+ photoreceptors express S-opsin, consistent with the transformation of rod precursors into cones. We report the gene profiles of freshly isolated flow-sorted GFP+ photoreceptors from wild-type and Nrl−/− retinas at five distinct developmental stages. Our results provide a framework for establishing gene regulatory networks that lead to mature functional photoreceptors from postmitotic precursors. Differentially expressed rod and cone genes are excellent candidates for retinopathies. PMID:16505381

  5. Effect of reduced retinal VLC-PUFA on rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Lea D; Brush, Richard S; Chan, Michael; Lydic, Todd A; Reese, Kristen; Reid, Gavin E; Busik, Julia V; Elliott, Michael H; Anderson, Robert E

    2014-04-10

    Autosomal dominant Stargardt-like macular dystrophy (STGD3) is a juvenile-onset disease that is caused by mutations in Elovl4 (elongation of very long fatty acids-4). The Elovl4 catalyzes the first step in the conversion of C24 and longer fatty acids (FAs) to very long-chain FAs (VLC-FAs, ≥C26). Photoreceptors are particularly rich in VLC polyunsaturated FAs (VLC-PUFA). To explore the role of VLC-PUFAs in photoreceptors, we conditionally deleted Elovl4 in the mouse retina. Proteins were analyzed by Western blotting and lipids by gas chromatography (GC)-mass spectrometry, GC-flame ionization detection, and tandem mass spectrometry. Retina function was assessed by electroretinography (ERG), and structure was evaluated by bright field, immunofluorescence, and transmission electron microscopy. Conditional deletion (KO) of retinal Elovl4 reduced RNA and protein levels by 91% and 96%, respectively. Total retina VLC-PUFAs were reduced by 88% compared to the wild type (WT) levels. Retinal VLC-PUFAs incorporated in phosphatidylcholine were less abundant at 12 months compared to 8-week-old levels. Amplitudes of the ERG a-wave were reduced by 22%, consistent with photoreceptor degeneration (11% loss of photoreceptors). Analysis of the rod a-wave responses gave no evidence of a role for VLC-PUFA in visual transduction. However, there were significant reductions in rod b-wave amplitudes (>30%) that could not be explained by loss of rod photoreceptors. There was no effect of VLC-PUFA reduction on cone ERG responses, and cone density was not different between the WT and KO mice at 12 months of age. The VLC-PUFAs are important for rod, but not cone, function and for rod photoreceptor longevity. Copyright 2014 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.

  6. Protective effect of clusterin on rod photoreceptor in rat model of retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Baral, Erika; Yu, Wan-Qing; Craft, Cheryl Mae

    2017-01-01

    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) begins with the death of rod photoreceptors and is slowly followed by a gradual loss of cones and a rearrangement of the remaining retinal neurons. Clusterin is a chaperone protein that protects cells and is involved in various pathophysiological stresses, including retinal degeneration. Using a well-established transgenic rat model of RP (rhodopsin S334ter), we investigated the effects of clusterin on rod photoreceptor survival. To investigate the role of clusterin in S334ter-line3 retinas, Voronoi analysis and immunohistochemistry were used to evaluate the geometry of rod distribution. Additionally, immunoblot analysis, Bax activation, STAT3 and Akt phosphorylation were used to evaluate the pathway involved in rod cell protection. In this study, clusterin (10μg/ml) intravitreal treatment produced robust preservation of rod photoreceptors in S334ter-line3 retina. The mean number of rods in 1mm2 was significantly greater in clusterin injected RP retinas (postnatal (P) 30, P45, P60, & P75) than in age-matched saline injected RP retinas (P<0.01). Clusterin activated Akt, STAT3 and significantly reduced Bax activity; in addition to inducing phosphorylated STAT3 in Müller cells, which suggests it may indirectly acts on photoreceptors. Thus, clusterin treatment may interferes with mechanisms leading to rod death by suppressing cell death through activation of Akt and STAT3, followed by Bax suppression. Novel insights into the pathway of how clusterin promotes the rod cell survival suggest this treatment may be a potential therapeutic strategy to slow progression of vision loss in human RP. PMID:28767729

  7. Rod photoreceptors protect from cone degeneration-induced retinal remodeling and restore visual responses in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Saade, Carole J.; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Fadool, James M.

    2013-01-01

    Humans are largely dependent upon cone-mediated vision. However, death or dysfunction of rods, the predominant photoreceptor subtype, results in secondary loss of cones, remodeling of retinal circuitry and blindness. The changes in circuitry may contribute to the vision deficit and undermine attempts at restoring sight. We exploit zebrafish larvae as a genetic model to specifically characterize changes associated with photoreceptor degenerations in a cone-dominated retina. Photoreceptors form synapses with two types of second order neurons, bipolar cells and horizontal cells. Using cell-specific reporter gene expression and immunolabeling for postsynaptic glutamate receptors, significant remodeling is observed following cone degeneration in the pde6cw59 larval retina but not rod degeneration in the Xops:mCFPq13 line. In adults, rods and cones are present in approximately equal numbers, and in pde6cw59 mutants glutamate receptor expression and synaptic structures in the outer plexiform layer are preserved, and visual responses are gained in these once-blind fish. We propose that the abundance of rods in the adult protects the retina from cone degeneration-induced remodeling. We test this hypothesis by genetically manipulating the number of rods in larvae. We show that an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in lor/tbx2bp22bbtl or six7 morpholino-injected larvae protect from pde6cw59-induced secondary changes. The observations that remodeling is a common consequence of photoreceptor death across species, and that in zebrafish a small number of surviving photoreceptors afford protection from degeneration-induced changes provides a model for systematic analysis of factors that slow or even prevent the secondary deteriorations associated with neural degenerative disease. PMID:23365220

  8. Rod photoreceptors protect from cone degeneration-induced retinal remodeling and restore visual responses in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Saade, Carole J; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Fadool, James M

    2013-01-30

    Humans are largely dependent upon cone-mediated vision. However, death or dysfunction of rods, the predominant photoreceptor subtype, results in secondary loss of cones, remodeling of retinal circuitry, and blindness. The changes in circuitry may contribute to the vision deficit and undermine attempts at restoring sight. We exploit zebrafish larvae as a genetic model to specifically characterize changes associated with photoreceptor degenerations in a cone-dominated retina. Photoreceptors form synapses with two types of second-order neurons, bipolar cells, and horizontal cells. Using cell-specific reporter gene expression and immunolabeling for postsynaptic glutamate receptors, significant remodeling is observed following cone degeneration in the pde6c(w59) larval retina but not rod degeneration in the Xops:mCFP(q13) line. In adults, rods and cones are present in approximately equal numbers, and in pde6c(w59) mutants glutamate receptor expression and synaptic structures in the outer plexiform layer are preserved, and visual responses are gained in these once blind fish. We propose that the abundance of rods in the adult protects the retina from cone degeneration-induced remodeling. We test this hypothesis by genetically manipulating the number of rods in larvae. We show that an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in lor/tbx2b(p25bbtl) or six7 morpholino-injected larvae protect from pde6c(w59)-induced secondary changes. The observations that remodeling is a common consequence of photoreceptor death across species, and that in zebrafish a small number of surviving photoreceptors afford protection from degeneration-induced changes, provides a model for systematic analysis of factors that slow or even prevent the secondary deteriorations associated with neural degenerative disease.

  9. Functional Optical Coherence Tomography Enables In Vivo Physiological Assessment of Retinal Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Qiuxiang; Lu, Rongwen; Wang, Benquan; Messinger, Jeffrey D.; Curcio, Christine A.; Yao, Xincheng

    2015-01-01

    Transient intrinsic optical signal (IOS) changes have been observed in retinal photoreceptors, suggesting a unique biomarker for eye disease detection. However, clinical deployment of IOS imaging is challenging due to unclear IOS sources and limited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Here, by developing high spatiotemporal resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) and applying an adaptive algorithm for IOS processing, we were able to record robust IOSs from single-pass measurements. Transient IOSs, which might reflect an early stage of light phototransduction, are consistently observed in the photoreceptor outer segment almost immediately (<4 ms) after retinal stimulation. Comparative studies of dark- and light-adapted retinas have demonstrated the feasibility of functional OCT mapping of rod and cone photoreceptors, promising a new method for early disease detection and improved treatment of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases that can cause photoreceptor damage. PMID:25901915

  10. Functional Optical Coherence Tomography Enables In Vivo Physiological Assessment of Retinal Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiuxiang; Lu, Rongwen; Wang, Benquan; Messinger, Jeffrey D.; Curcio, Christine A.; Yao, Xincheng

    2015-04-01

    Transient intrinsic optical signal (IOS) changes have been observed in retinal photoreceptors, suggesting a unique biomarker for eye disease detection. However, clinical deployment of IOS imaging is challenging due to unclear IOS sources and limited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Here, by developing high spatiotemporal resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) and applying an adaptive algorithm for IOS processing, we were able to record robust IOSs from single-pass measurements. Transient IOSs, which might reflect an early stage of light phototransduction, are consistently observed in the photoreceptor outer segment almost immediately (<4 ms) after retinal stimulation. Comparative studies of dark- and light-adapted retinas have demonstrated the feasibility of functional OCT mapping of rod and cone photoreceptors, promising a new method for early disease detection and improved treatment of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases that can cause photoreceptor damage.

  11. In vivo imaging of the human rod photoreceptor mosaic

    PubMed Central

    Doble, Nathan; Choi, Stacey S.; Codona, Johanan L.; Christou, Julian; Enoch, Jay M.; Williams, David R.

    2011-01-01

    Although single cone receptors have been imaged in the living human eye, there has been no observation of rods in vivo. Using an adaptive optics (AO) ophthalmoscope and post processing, evidence of rod mosaic was observed at 5° and 10° eccentricities in the horizontal, temporal retina. For 4 normal human subjects, small structures were observed in between the larger cones, and were observed repeatedly at the same locations on different days and with varying wavelengths. Image analysis gave spacings that agree well with rod measurements from histological data. PMID:21209677

  12. Two transcription factors can direct three photoreceptor outcomes from rod precursor cells in mouse retinal development

    PubMed Central

    Ng, Lily; Lu, Ailing; Swaroop, Alok; Sharlin, David; Swaroop, Anand; Forrest, Douglas

    2011-01-01

    The typical mammalian visual system is based upon three photoreceptor types: rods for dim light vision and two types of cones (M and S) for color vision in daylight. However, the process that generates photoreceptor diversity and the cell type in which diversity arises remain unclear. Mice deleted for thyroid hormone receptor ®2 (TR®2) and neural retina leucine zipper factor (NRL) lack M cones and rods, respectively, but gain S cones. We therefore tested the hypothesis that NRL and TR®2 direct a common precursor to a rod, M cone or S cone outcome using Nrlb2/b2 “knock-in” mice that express TR®2 instead of NRL from the endogenous Nrl gene. Nrlb2/b2 mice lacked rods and produced excess M cones in contrast to the excess S cones in Nrl−/− mice. Notably, the presence of both factors yielded rods in Nrl+/b2 mice. The results demonstrate innate plasticity in post-mitotic rod precursors that allows these cells to form three functional photoreceptor types in response to NRL or TRβ2. We also detected precursor cells in normal embryonic retina that transiently co-expressed Nrl and TRβ2, suggesting that some precursors may originate in a plastic state. The plasticity of the precursors revealed in Nrlb2/b2 mice suggests that a two-step transcriptional switch can direct three photoreceptor fates: first, rod versus cone identity dictated by NRL and secondly, if NRL fails to act, M versus S cone identity dictated by TR®2. PMID:21813673

  13. Two transcription factors can direct three photoreceptor outcomes from rod precursor cells in mouse retinal development.

    PubMed

    Ng, Lily; Lu, Ailing; Swaroop, Alok; Sharlin, David S; Swaroop, Anand; Forrest, Douglas

    2011-08-03

    The typical mammalian visual system is based upon three photoreceptor types: rods for dim light vision and two types of cones (M and S) for color vision in daylight. However, the process that generates photoreceptor diversity and the cell type in which diversity arises remain unclear. Mice deleted for thyroid hormone receptor β2 (TRβ2) and neural retina leucine zipper factor (NRL) lack M cones and rods, respectively, but gain S cones. We therefore tested the hypothesis that NRL and TRβ2 direct a common precursor to a rod, M cone, or S cone outcome using Nrl(b2/b2) "knock-in" mice that express TRβ2 instead of NRL from the endogenous Nrl gene. Nrl(b2/b2) mice lacked rods and produced excess M cones in contrast to the excess S cones in Nrl(-/-) mice. Notably, the presence of both factors yielded rods in Nrl(+/b2) mice. The results demonstrate innate plasticity in postmitotic rod precursors that allows these cells to form three functional photoreceptor types in response to NRL or TRβ2. We also detected precursor cells in normal embryonic retina that transiently coexpressed Nrl and TRβ2, suggesting that some precursors may originate in a plastic state. The plasticity of the precursors revealed in Nrl(b2/b2) mice suggests that a two-step transcriptional switch can direct three photoreceptor fates: first, rod versus cone identity dictated by NRL, and second, if NRL fails to act, M versus S cone identity dictated by TRβ2.

  14. Direct Evidence for Daily Plasticity of Electrical Coupling between Rod Photoreceptors in the Mammalian Retina

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Nan Ge

    2016-01-01

    Rod photoreceptors are electrically coupled through gap junctions. Coupling is a key determinant of their light response properties, but whether rod electrical coupling is dynamically regulated remains elusive and controversial. Here, we have obtained direct measurements of the conductance between adjacent rods in mouse retina and present evidence that rod electrical coupling strength is dependent on the time of day, the lighting conditions, and the mouse strain. Specifically, we show in CBA/Ca mice that under circadian conditions, the rod junctional conductance has a median value of 98 pS during the subjective day and of 493 pS during the subjective night. In C57BL/6 mice, the median junctional conductance between dark-adapted rods is ∼140 pS, regardless of the time in the circadian cycle. Adaptation to bright light decreases the rod junctional conductance to ∼0 pS, regardless of the time of day or the mouse strain. Together, these results establish the high degree of plasticity of rod electrical coupling over the course of the day. Estimates of the rod coupling strength will provide a foundation for further investigations of rod interactions and the role of rod coupling in the ability of the visual system to anticipate, assimilate, and respond to the daily changes in ambient light intensity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many cells in the CNS communicate via gap junctions, or electrical synapses, the regulation of which remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the strength of electrical coupling between rod photoreceptors of the retina is regulated by the time of day and the lighting conditions. This mechanism may help us understand some key aspects of day and night vision as well as some visual malfunctions. PMID:26740659

  15. Transcriptional Regulation of Rod Photoreceptor Homeostasis Revealed by In Vivo NRL Targetome Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Hong; Kim, Douglas S.; Klocke, Bernward; Johnson, Kory R.; Cui, Kairong; Gotoh, Norimoto; Zang, Chongzhi; Gregorski, Janina; Gieser, Linn; Peng, Weiqun; Fann, Yang; Seifert, Martin; Zhao, Keji; Swaroop, Anand

    2012-01-01

    A stringent control of homeostasis is critical for functional maintenance and survival of neurons. In the mammalian retina, the basic motif leucine zipper transcription factor NRL determines rod versus cone photoreceptor cell fate and activates the expression of many rod-specific genes. Here, we report an integrated analysis of NRL-centered gene regulatory network by coupling chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP–Seq) data from Illumina and ABI platforms with global expression profiling and in vivo knockdown studies. We identified approximately 300 direct NRL target genes. Of these, 22 NRL targets are associated with human retinal dystrophies, whereas 95 mapped to regions of as yet uncloned retinal disease loci. In silico analysis of NRL ChIP–Seq peak sequences revealed an enrichment of distinct sets of transcription factor binding sites. Specifically, we discovered that genes involved in photoreceptor function include binding sites for both NRL and homeodomain protein CRX. Evaluation of 26 ChIP–Seq regions validated their enhancer functions in reporter assays. In vivo knockdown of 16 NRL target genes resulted in death or abnormal morphology of rod photoreceptors, suggesting their importance in maintaining retinal function. We also identified histone demethylase Kdm5b as a novel secondary node in NRL transcriptional hierarchy. Exon array analysis of flow-sorted photoreceptors in which Kdm5b was knocked down by shRNA indicated its role in regulating rod-expressed genes. Our studies identify candidate genes for retinal dystrophies, define cis-regulatory module(s) for photoreceptor-expressed genes and provide a framework for decoding transcriptional regulatory networks that dictate rod homeostasis. PMID:22511886

  16. Transcriptional regulation of rod photoreceptor homeostasis revealed by in vivo NRL targetome analysis.

    PubMed

    Hao, Hong; Kim, Douglas S; Klocke, Bernward; Johnson, Kory R; Cui, Kairong; Gotoh, Norimoto; Zang, Chongzhi; Gregorski, Janina; Gieser, Linn; Peng, Weiqun; Fann, Yang; Seifert, Martin; Zhao, Keji; Swaroop, Anand

    2012-01-01

    A stringent control of homeostasis is critical for functional maintenance and survival of neurons. In the mammalian retina, the basic motif leucine zipper transcription factor NRL determines rod versus cone photoreceptor cell fate and activates the expression of many rod-specific genes. Here, we report an integrated analysis of NRL-centered gene regulatory network by coupling chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-Seq) data from Illumina and ABI platforms with global expression profiling and in vivo knockdown studies. We identified approximately 300 direct NRL target genes. Of these, 22 NRL targets are associated with human retinal dystrophies, whereas 95 mapped to regions of as yet uncloned retinal disease loci. In silico analysis of NRL ChIP-Seq peak sequences revealed an enrichment of distinct sets of transcription factor binding sites. Specifically, we discovered that genes involved in photoreceptor function include binding sites for both NRL and homeodomain protein CRX. Evaluation of 26 ChIP-Seq regions validated their enhancer functions in reporter assays. In vivo knockdown of 16 NRL target genes resulted in death or abnormal morphology of rod photoreceptors, suggesting their importance in maintaining retinal function. We also identified histone demethylase Kdm5b as a novel secondary node in NRL transcriptional hierarchy. Exon array analysis of flow-sorted photoreceptors in which Kdm5b was knocked down by shRNA indicated its role in regulating rod-expressed genes. Our studies identify candidate genes for retinal dystrophies, define cis-regulatory module(s) for photoreceptor-expressed genes and provide a framework for decoding transcriptional regulatory networks that dictate rod homeostasis.

  17. Knocking Down Snrnp200 Initiates Demorphogenesis of Rod Photoreceptors in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yuan; Chen, Xue; Qin, Bing; Zhao, Kanxing; Zhao, Qingshun; Staley, Jonathan P.; Zhao, Chen

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. The small nuclear ribonucleoprotein 200 kDa (SNRNP200) gene is a fundamental component for precursor message RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing and has been implicated in the etiology of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). This study aims to determine the consequences of knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Methods. Expression of the Snrnp200 transcript in zebrafish was determined via whole mount in situ hybridization. Morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) aiming to knock down the expression of Snrnp200 was injected into zebrafish embryos, followed by analyses of aberrant splicing and expression of the U4/U6-U5 tri-small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) components and retina-specific transcripts. Systemic changes and retinal phenotypes were further characterized by histological study and immunofluorescence staining. Results. Snrnp200 was ubiquitously expressed in zebrafish. Knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish triggered aberrant splicing of the cbln1 gene, upregulation of other U4/U6-U5 tri-snRNP components, and downregulation of a panel of retina-specific transcripts. Systemic defects were found correlated with knockdown of Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Only demorphogenesis of rod photoreceptors was detected in the initial stage, mimicking the disease characteristics of RP. Conclusions. We conclude that knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish could alter regular splicing and expression of a panel of genes, which may eventually trigger rod defects. PMID:26137319

  18. Knocking Down Snrnp200 Initiates Demorphogenesis of Rod Photoreceptors in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; Chen, Xue; Qin, Bing; Zhao, Kanxing; Zhao, Qingshun; Staley, Jonathan P; Zhao, Chen

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. The small nuclear ribonucleoprotein 200 kDa (SNRNP200) gene is a fundamental component for precursor message RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing and has been implicated in the etiology of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). This study aims to determine the consequences of knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Methods. Expression of the Snrnp200 transcript in zebrafish was determined via whole mount in situ hybridization. Morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) aiming to knock down the expression of Snrnp200 was injected into zebrafish embryos, followed by analyses of aberrant splicing and expression of the U4/U6-U5 tri-small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) components and retina-specific transcripts. Systemic changes and retinal phenotypes were further characterized by histological study and immunofluorescence staining. Results. Snrnp200 was ubiquitously expressed in zebrafish. Knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish triggered aberrant splicing of the cbln1 gene, upregulation of other U4/U6-U5 tri-snRNP components, and downregulation of a panel of retina-specific transcripts. Systemic defects were found correlated with knockdown of Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Only demorphogenesis of rod photoreceptors was detected in the initial stage, mimicking the disease characteristics of RP. Conclusions. We conclude that knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish could alter regular splicing and expression of a panel of genes, which may eventually trigger rod defects.

  19. Dynamic near-infrared imaging reveals transient phototropic change in retinal rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Lu, Rongwen; Levy, Alexander M; Zhang, Qiuxiang; Pittler, Steven J; Yao, Xincheng

    2013-10-01

    Stiles-Crawford effect (SCE) is exclusively observed in cone photoreceptors, but why the SCE is absent in rod photoreceptors is still a mystery. In this study, we employed dynamic near infrared light imaging to monitor photoreceptor kinetics in freshly isolated frog and mouse retinas stimulated by oblique visible light flashes. It was observed that retinal rods could rapidly (onset: ∼10 ms for frog and 5 ms for mouse; time-to-peak: ∼200 ms for frog and 30 ms for mouse) shift toward the direction of the visible light, which might quickly compensate for the loss of luminous efficiency due to oblique illumination. In contrast, such directional movement was negligible in retinal cones. Moreover, transient rod phototropism could contribute to characteristic intrinsic optical signal (IOS). We anticipate that further study of the transient rod phototropism may not only provide insight into better understanding of the nature of vision but also promise an IOS biomarker for functional mapping of rod physiology at high resolution.

  20. Cyclic GMP diffusion coefficient in rod photoreceptor outer segments.

    PubMed

    Koutalos, Y; Nakatani, K; Yau, K W

    1995-01-01

    Cyclic GMP (cGMP) is the intracellular messenger that mediates phototransduction in retinal rods. As photoisomerizations of rhodopsin molecules are local events, the longitudinal diffusion of cGMP in the rod outer segment should be a contributing factor to the response of the cell to light. We have employed the truncated rod outer segment preparation from bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) and tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) to measure the cGMP diffusion coefficient. In this preparation, the distal portion of a rod outer segment was drawn into a suction pipette for measuring membrane current, and the rest of the cell was then sheared off with a glass probe, allowing bath cGMP to diffuse into the outer segment and activate the cGMP-gated channels on the surface membrane. Addition and removal of bath cGMP were fast enough to produce effectively step changes in cGMP concentration at the open end of the outer segment. When cGMP hydrolysis is inhibited by isobutylmethylxanthine (IBMX), the equation for the diffusion of cGMP inside the truncated rod outer segment has a simple analytical solution, which we have used to analyze the rise and decay kinetics of the cGMP-elicited currents. From these measurements we have obtained a cGMP diffusion coefficient of approximately 70 x 10(-8) cm2 s-1 for bullfrog rods and approximately 60 x 10(-8) cm2 s-1 for tiger salamander rods. These values are six to seven times lower than the expected value in aqueous solution. The estimated diffusion coefficient is the same at high (20-1000 microM) and low (5-10 microM) concentrations of cGMP, suggesting no significant effect from buffering over these concentration ranges.

  1. Evolutionary transformation of rod photoreceptors in the all-cone retina of a diurnal garter snake.

    PubMed

    Schott, Ryan K; Müller, Johannes; Yang, Clement G Y; Bhattacharyya, Nihar; Chan, Natalie; Xu, Mengshu; Morrow, James M; Ghenu, Ana-Hermina; Loew, Ellis R; Tropepe, Vincent; Chang, Belinda S W

    2016-01-12

    Vertebrate retinas are generally composed of rod (dim-light) and cone (bright-light) photoreceptors with distinct morphologies that evolved as adaptations to nocturnal/crepuscular and diurnal light environments. Over 70 years ago, the "transmutation" theory was proposed to explain some of the rare exceptions in which a photoreceptor type is missing, suggesting that photoreceptors could evolutionarily transition between cell types. Although studies have shown support for this theory in nocturnal geckos, the origins of all-cone retinas, such as those found in diurnal colubrid snakes, remain a mystery. Here we investigate the evolutionary fate of the rods in a diurnal garter snake and test two competing hypotheses: (i) that the rods, and their corresponding molecular machinery, were lost or (ii) that the rods were evolutionarily modified to resemble, and function, as cones. Using multiple approaches, we find evidence for a functional and unusually blue-shifted rhodopsin that is expressed in small single "cones." Moreover, these cones express rod transducin and have rod ultrastructural features, providing strong support for the hypothesis that they are not true cones, as previously thought, but rather are modified rods. Several intriguing features of garter snake rhodopsin are suggestive of a more cone-like function. We propose that these cone-like rods may have evolved to regain spectral sensitivity and chromatic discrimination as a result of ancestral losses of middle-wavelength cone opsins in early snake evolution. This study illustrates how sensory evolution can be shaped not only by environmental constraints but also by historical contingency in forming new cell types with convergent functionality.

  2. Evolutionary transformation of rod photoreceptors in the all-cone retina of a diurnal garter snake

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Ryan K.; Müller, Johannes; Yang, Clement G. Y.; Bhattacharyya, Nihar; Chan, Natalie; Xu, Mengshu; Morrow, James M.; Ghenu, Ana-Hermina; Loew, Ellis R.; Tropepe, Vincent; Chang, Belinda S. W.

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate retinas are generally composed of rod (dim-light) and cone (bright-light) photoreceptors with distinct morphologies that evolved as adaptations to nocturnal/crepuscular and diurnal light environments. Over 70 years ago, the “transmutation” theory was proposed to explain some of the rare exceptions in which a photoreceptor type is missing, suggesting that photoreceptors could evolutionarily transition between cell types. Although studies have shown support for this theory in nocturnal geckos, the origins of all-cone retinas, such as those found in diurnal colubrid snakes, remain a mystery. Here we investigate the evolutionary fate of the rods in a diurnal garter snake and test two competing hypotheses: (i) that the rods, and their corresponding molecular machinery, were lost or (ii) that the rods were evolutionarily modified to resemble, and function, as cones. Using multiple approaches, we find evidence for a functional and unusually blue-shifted rhodopsin that is expressed in small single “cones.” Moreover, these cones express rod transducin and have rod ultrastructural features, providing strong support for the hypothesis that they are not true cones, as previously thought, but rather are modified rods. Several intriguing features of garter snake rhodopsin are suggestive of a more cone-like function. We propose that these cone-like rods may have evolved to regain spectral sensitivity and chromatic discrimination as a result of ancestral losses of middle-wavelength cone opsins in early snake evolution. This study illustrates how sensory evolution can be shaped not only by environmental constraints but also by historical contingency in forming new cell types with convergent functionality. PMID:26715746

  3. Three-dimensional retinal organoids from mouse pluripotent stem cells mimic in vivo development with enhanced stratification and rod photoreceptor differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Holly Yu; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Dong, Lijin

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The generation of three-dimensional (3D) organoids with optic cup–like structures from pluripotent stem cells has created opportunities for investigating mammalian retinal development in vitro. However, retinal organoids in culture do not completely reflect the developmental state and in vivo architecture of the rod-dominant mouse retina. The goals of this study were to develop an efficient protocol for generating retinal organoids from stem cells and examine the morphogenesis of rods in vitro. Methods To assess rod photoreceptor differentiation in retinal organoids, we took advantage of Nrl-green fluorescent protein (GFP) mice that show rod-specific expression of GFP directed by the promoter of leucine zipper transcription factor NRL. Using embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs and iPSCs, respectively) derived from the Nrl-GFP mouse, we were successful in establishing long-term retinal organoid cultures using modified culture conditions (called High Efficiency Hypoxia Induced Generation of Photoreceptors in Retinal Organoids, or HIPRO). Results We demonstrated efficient differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to retinal structures. More than 70% of embryoid bodies formed optic vesicles at day (D) 7, >50% produced optic cups by D10, and most of them survived until at least D35. The HIPRO organoids included distinct inner retina neurons in a somewhat stratified architecture and mature Müller glia spanning the entire retina. Almost 70% of the cells in the retinal organoids were rod photoreceptors that exhibited elongated cilia. Transcriptome profiles of GFP+ rod photoreceptors, purified from organoids at D25–35, demonstrated a high correlation with the gene profiles of purified rods from the mouse retina at P2 to P6, indicating their early state of differentiation. Conclusions The 3D retinal organoids, generated by HIPRO method, closely mimic in vivo retinogenesis and provide an efficient in vitro model to investigate photoreceptor

  4. Variegated yet non-random rod and cone photoreceptor disease patterns in RPGR-ORF15-associated retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Charng, Jason; Cideciyan, Artur V; Jacobson, Samuel G; Sumaroka, Alexander; Schwartz, Sharon B; Swider, Malgorzata; Roman, Alejandro J; Sheplock, Rebecca; Anand, Manisha; Peden, Marc C; Khanna, Hemant; Heon, Elise; Wright, Alan F; Swaroop, Anand

    2016-12-15

    Mutations in the ORF15 exon of the RPGR gene cause a common form of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, which often results in severe loss of vision. In dogs and mice, gene augmentation therapy has been shown to arrest the progressive degeneration of rod and cone photoreceptors. However, the distribution of potentially treatable photoreceptors across the human retinas and the rate of degeneration are not known. Here, we have defined structural and functional features of the disease in 70 individuals with ORF15 mutations. We also correlated the features observed in patients with those of three Rpgr-mutant (Rpgr-ko, Rd9, and Rpgr-cko) mice. In patients, there was pronounced macular disease. Across the retina, rod and cone dysfunction showed a range of patterns and a spectrum of severity between individuals, but a high symmetry was observed between eyes of each individual. Genotype was not related to disease expression. In the Rpgr-ko mice, there were intra-retinal differences in rhodopsin and cone opsin trafficking. In Rd9 and Rpgr-cko mice, retinal degeneration showed inter-ocular symmetry. Longitudinal results in patients revealed localized rod and cone dysfunction with progression rates of 1.3 to 2.5 log per decade in sensitivity loss. Relatively retained rod and cone photoreceptors in mid- and far-peripheral temporal-inferior and nasal-inferior visual field regions should be good targets for future localized gene therapies in patients. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. LIM Kinase, a Newly Identified Regulator of Presynaptic Remodeling by Rod Photoreceptors After Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weiwei; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Rod photoreceptors retract their axon terminals and develop neuritic sprouts in response to retinal detachment and reattachment, respectively. This study examines the role of LIM kinase (LIMK), a component of RhoA and Rac pathways, in the presynaptic structural remodeling of rod photoreceptors. Methods Phosphorylated LIMK (p-LIMK), the active form of LIMK, was examined in salamander retina with Western blot and confocal microscopy. Axon length within the first 7 hours and process growth after 3 days of culture were assessed in isolated rod photoreceptors treated with inhibitors of upstream regulators ROCK and p21-activated kinase (Pak) (Y27632 and IPA-3) and a direct LIMK inhibitor (BMS-5). Porcine retinal explants were also treated with BMS-5 and analyzed 24 hours after detachment. Because Ca2+ influx contributes to axonal retraction, L-type channels were blocked in some experiments with nicardipine. Results Phosphorylated LIMK is present in rod terminals during retraction and in newly formed processes. Axonal retraction over 7 hours was significantly reduced by inhibition of LIMK or its regulators, ROCK and Pak. Process growth was reduced by LIMK or Pak inhibition especially at the basal (axon-bearing) region of the rod cells. Combining Ca2+ channel and LIMK inhibition had no additional effect on retraction but did further inhibit sprouting after 3 days. In detached porcine retina, LIMK inhibition reduced rod axonal retraction and improved retinal morphology. Conclusions Thus structural remodeling, in the form of either axonal retraction or neuritic growth, requires LIMK activity. LIM kinase inhibition may have therapeutic potential for reducing pathologic rod terminal plasticity after retinal injury. PMID:26658506

  6. In vivo imaging of the photoreceptor mosaic of a rod monochromat.

    PubMed

    Carroll, Joseph; Choi, Stacey S; Williams, David R

    2008-11-01

    Complete achromatopsia (i.e., rod monochromacy) is a congenital vision disorder in which cone function is absent or severely diminished, often due to mutations in one of two components of the cone phototransduction cascade (transducin or the cyclic-nucleotide gated channel). Previous histological data concerning cone structure are conflicting; suggesting anywhere from normal numbers of foveal cones to a complete absence of foveal cones. Here, we used an adaptive optics ophthalmoscope to obtain in vivo retinal images from a rod monochromat for whom the genetic basis of the disorder consists of a homozygous mutation in the CNGB3 gene. Behavioral data from the patient were consistent with an absence of cone function. Retinal images revealed a severely disrupted photoreceptor mosaic in the fovea and parafovea, where the size and density of the visible photoreceptors resembled that of normal rods. Imaging of additional rod monochromats to characterize differences in the photoreceptor mosaic between genetically classified patients will be required to determine which, if any, might be receptive to restorative gene therapy procedures.

  7. Numb regulates the polarized delivery of cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels in rod photoreceptor cilia.

    PubMed

    Ramamurthy, Vasanth; Jolicoeur, Christine; Koutroumbas, Demetra; Mühlhans, Johanna; Le, Yun-Zheng; Hauswirth, William W; Giessl, Andreas; Cayouette, Michel

    2014-10-15

    The development and maintenance of protein compartmentalization is essential for neuronal function. A striking example is observed in light-sensing photoreceptors, in which the apical sensory cilium is subdivided into an inner and outer segment, each containing specific proteins essential for vision. It remains unclear, however, how such polarized protein localization is regulated. We report here that the endocytic adaptor protein Numb localizes to the inner, but not the outer segment of mouse photoreceptor cilia. Rod photoreceptor-specific inactivation of numb in vivo leads to progressive photoreceptor degeneration, indicating an essential role for Numb in photoreceptor cell biology. Interestingly, we report that loss of Numb in photoreceptors does not affect the localization of outer segment disk membrane proteins, such as rhodopsin, Peripherin-rds, Rom-1, and Abca4, but significantly disrupts the localization of the rod cyclic nucleotide-gated (Cng) channels, which accumulates on the inner segment plasma membrane in addition to its normal localization to the outer segments. Mechanistically, we show that Numb interacts with both subunits of the Cng channel and promotes the trafficking of Cnga1 to the recycling endosome. These results suggest a model in which Numb prevents targeting of Cng channels to the inner segment, by promoting their trafficking through the recycling endosome, where they can be sorted for specific delivery to the outer segment. This study uncovers a novel mechanism regulating polarized protein delivery in light-sensing cilia, raising the possibility that Numb plays a part in the regulation of protein trafficking in other types of cilia. Copyright © 2014 the authors 0270-6474/14/3413976-12$15.00/0.

  8. Discs of mammalian rod photoreceptors form through the membrane evagination mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Jin-Dong; Salinas, Raquel Y.

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptor discs are membrane organelles harboring components of the visual signal transduction pathway. The mechanism by which discs form remains enigmatic and is the subject of a major controversy. Classical studies suggest that discs are formed as serial plasma membrane evaginations, whereas a recent alternative postulates that discs, at least in mammalian rods, are formed through intracellular vesicular fusion. We evaluated these models in mouse rods using methods that distinguish between the intracellular vesicular structures and plasma membrane folds independently of their appearance in electron micrographs. The first differentiated membranes exposed to the extracellular space from intracellular membranes; the second interrogated the orientation of protein molecules in new discs. Both approaches revealed that new discs are plasma membrane evaginations. We further demonstrated that vesiculation and plasma membrane enclosure at the site of new disc formation are artifacts of tissue fixation. These data indicate that all vertebrate photoreceptors use the evolutionary conserved membrane evagination mechanism to build their discs. PMID:26527746

  9. Rod sensitivity, cone sensitivity, and photoreceptor layer thickness in retinal degenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Birch, David G; Wen, Yuquan; Locke, Kelly; Hood, Donald C

    2011-09-09

    To evaluate the effects of selective rod and/or cone loss on frequency-domain optical coherence tomography (fdOCT) measures of photoreceptor structure in patients with retinal degenerative diseases. Six patients with cone dystrophy (CD) and eight patients with retinitis pigmentosa (RP) were recruited from the Southwest Eye Registry on the basis of diagnosis and ERG findings. fdOCT horizontal line scans were segmented to obtain the thicknesses of the outer segments plus RPE (OS+) and the outer nuclear layer (ONL). The normalized product ONL*OS was obtained after dividing by mean ONL*OS values of 23 normal individuals. Visual field sensitivity profiles were obtained with a modified retinal perimeter, from the horizontal midline with short- and long-wave stimuli under dark- and light-adapted conditions. Patients with CD and normal rod-mediated sensitivity, but decreased cone-mediated sensitivity, showed normal ONL*OS outside the fovea. The total receptor layer was thinned in the fovea, consistent with loss in cone nuclei and Henle's fiber layer. Patients with RP and sensitivity in the dark that was mediated by cones showed ONL*OS thickness that was linearly related to cone sensitivity. ONL*OS thickness was linearly related to rod sensitivity in regions with greater loss of cone than rod sensitivity. Both rods and cones can support an intact IS/OS junction and normal photoreceptor thickness measures. The product of ONL and OS thicknesses is proportional to the sensitivity mediated by the less abnormal type of photoreceptor.

  10. Low-conductance HCN1 ion channels augment the frequency response of rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Barrow, Andrew J; Wu, Samuel M

    2009-05-06

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels are expressed in several tissues throughout the body, including the heart, the CNS, and the retina. HCN channels are found in many neurons in the retina, but their most established role is in generating the hyperpolarization-activated current, I(h), in photoreceptors. This current makes the light response of rod and cone photoreceptors more transient, an effect similar to that of a high-pass filter. A unique property of HCN channels is their small single-channel current, which is below the thermal noise threshold of measuring electronics. We use nonstationary fluctuation analysis (NSFA) in the intact retina to estimate the conductance of single HCN channels, revealing a conductance of approximately 650 fS in both rod and cone photoreceptors. We also analyze the properties of HCN channels in salamander rods and cones, from the biophysical to the functional level, showing that HCN1 is the predominant isoform in both cells, and demonstrate how HCN1 channels speed up the light response of both rods and cones under distinct adaptational conditions. We show that in rods and cones, HCN channels increase the natural frequency response of single cells by modifying the photocurrent input, which is limited in its frequency response by the speed of a molecular signaling cascade. In doing so, HCN channels form the first of several systems in the retina that augment the speed of the visual response, allowing an animal to perceive visual stimuli that change more quickly than the underlying photocurrent.

  11. LOW CONDUCTANCE HCN1 ION CHANNELS AUGMENT THE FREQUENCY RESPONSE OF ROD AND CONE PHOTORECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    Barrow, Andrew J.; Wu, Samuel M.

    2009-01-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide gated (HCN) ion channels are expressed in several tissues throughout the body, including the heart, the CNS, and the retina. HCN channels are found in many neurons in the retina, but their most established role is in generating the hyperpolarization-activated current, Ih, in photoreceptors. This current makes the light response of rod and cone photoreceptors more transient, an effect similar to that of a high-pass filter. A unique property of HCN channels is their small single channel current, which is below the thermal noise threshold of measuring electronics. We use nonstationary fluctuation analysis (NSFA) in the intact retina to estimate the conductance of single HCN channels, revealing a conductance of approximately 650 fS in both rod and cone photoreceptors. We also analyze the properties of HCN channels in salamander rods and cones, from the biophysical to the functional level, showing that HCN1 is the predominant isoform in both cells, and demonstrate how HCN1 channels speed up the light response of both rods and cones under distinct adaptational conditions. We show that in rods and cones, HCN channels increase the natural frequency response of single cells by modifying the photocurrent input, which is limited in its frequency response by the speed of a molecular signaling cascade. In doing so, HCN channels form the first of several systems in the retina that augment the speed of the visual response, allowing an animal to perceive visual stimuli that change more quickly than the underlying photocurrent. PMID:19420251

  12. Occupancy of the chromophore binding site of opsin activates visual transduction in rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Kefalov, V J; Carter Cornwall, M; Crouch, R K

    1999-03-01

    The retinal analogue beta-ionone was used to investigate possible physiological effects of the noncovalent interaction between rod opsin and its chromophore 11-cis retinal. Isolated salamander rod photoreceptors were exposed to bright light that bleached a significant fraction of their pigment, were allowed to recover to a steady state, and then were exposed to beta-ionone. Our experiments show that in bleach-adapted rods beta-ionone causes a decrease in light sensitivity and dark current and an acceleration of the dim flash photoresponse and the rate constants of guanylyl cyclase and cGMP phosphodiesterase. Together, these observations indicate that in bleach-adapted rods beta-ionone activates phototransduction in the dark. Control experiments showed no effect of beta-ionone in either fully dark-adapted or background light-adapted cells, indicating direct interaction of beta-ionone with the free opsin produced by bleaching. We speculate that beta-ionone binds specifically in the chromophore pocket of opsin to produce a complex that is more catalytically potent than free opsin alone. We hypothesize that a similar reaction may occur in the intact retina during pigment regeneration. We propose a model of rod pigment regeneration in which binding of 11-cis retinal to opsin leads to activation of the complex accompanied by a decrease in light sensitivity. The subsequent covalent attachment of retinal to opsin completely inactivates opsin and leads to the recovery of sensitivity. Our findings resolve the conflict between biochemical and physiological data concerning the effect of the occupancy of the chromophore binding site on the catalytic potency of opsin. We show that binding of beta-ionone to rod opsin produces effects opposite to its previously described effects on cone opsin. We propose that this distinction is due to a fundamental difference in the interaction of rod and cone opsins with retinal, which may have implications for the different physiology of the

  13. Physiological properties of rod photoreceptor cells in green-sensitive cone pigment knock-in mice.

    PubMed

    Sakurai, Keisuke; Onishi, Akishi; Imai, Hiroo; Chisaka, Osamu; Ueda, Yoshiki; Usukura, Jiro; Nakatani, Kei; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2007-07-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptor cells that are responsible for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, exhibit photoresponses different from each other and contain similar phototransduction proteins with distinctive molecular properties. To investigate the contribution of the different molecular properties of visual pigments to the responses of the photoreceptor cells, we have generated knock-in mice in which rod visual pigment (rhodopsin) was replaced with mouse green-sensitive cone visual pigment (mouse green). The mouse green was successfully transported to the rod outer segments, though the expression of mouse green in homozygous retina was approximately 11% of rhodopsin in wild-type retina. Single-cell recordings of wild-type and homozygous rods suggested that the flash sensitivity and the single-photon responses from mouse green were three to fourfold lower than those from rhodopsin after correction for the differences in cell volume and levels of several signal transduction proteins. Subsequent measurements using heterozygous rods expressing both mouse green and rhodopsin E122Q mutant, where these pigments in the same rod cells can be selectively irradiated due to their distinctive absorption maxima, clearly showed that the photoresponse of mouse green was threefold lower than that of rhodopsin. Noise analysis indicated that the rate of thermal activations of mouse green was 1.7 x 10(-7) s(-1), about 860-fold higher than that of rhodopsin. The increase in thermal activation of mouse green relative to that of rhodopsin results in only 4% reduction of rod photosensitivity for bright lights, but would instead be expected to severely affect the visual threshold under dim-light conditions. Therefore, the abilities of rhodopsin to generate a large single photon response and to retain high thermal stability in darkness are factors that have been necessary for the evolution of scotopic vision.

  14. Role of guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs) in setting the flash sensitivity of rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, Ana; Burns, Marie E.; Sokal, Izabela; Dizhoor, Alexander M.; Baehr, Wolfgang; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Baylor, Denis A.; Chen, Jeannie

    2001-01-01

    The retina's photoreceptor cells adjust their sensitivity to allow photons to be transduced over a wide range of light intensities. One mechanism thought to participate in sensitivity adjustments is Ca2+ regulation of guanylate cyclase (GC) by guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs). We evaluated the contribution of GCAPs to sensitivity regulation in rods by disrupting their expression in transgenic mice. The GC activity from GCAPs−/− retinas showed no Ca2+ dependence, indicating that Ca2+ regulation of GCs had indeed been abolished. Flash responses from dark-adapted GCAPs−/− rods were larger and slower than responses from wild-type rods. In addition, the incremental flash sensitivity of GCAPs−/− rods failed to be maintained at wild-type levels in bright steady light. GCAP2 expressed in GCAPs−/− rods restored maximal light-induced GC activity but did not restore normal flash response kinetics. We conclude that GCAPs strongly regulate GC activity in mouse rods, decreasing the flash sensitivity in darkness and increasing the incremental flash sensitivity in bright steady light, thereby extending the rod's operating range. PMID:11493703

  15. Correlated and uncorrelated invisible temporal white noise alters mesopic rod signaling.

    PubMed

    Hathibelagal, Amithavikram R; Feigl, Beatrix; Kremers, Jan; Zele, Andrew J

    2016-03-01

    We determined how rod signaling at mesopic light levels is altered by extrinsic temporal white noise that is correlated or uncorrelated with the activity of one (magnocellular, parvocellular, or koniocellular) postreceptoral pathway. Rod and cone photoreceptor excitations were independently controlled using a four-primary photostimulator. Psychometric (Weibull) functions were measured for incremental rod pulses (50 to 250 ms) in the presence (or absence; control) of perceptually invisible subthreshold extrinsic noise. Uncorrelated (rod) noise facilitates rod detection. Correlated postreceptoral pathway noise produces differential changes in rod detection thresholds and decreases the slope of the psychometric functions. We demonstrate that invisible extrinsic noise changes rod-signaling characteristics within the three retinogeniculate pathways at mesopic illumination depending on the temporal profile of the rod stimulus and the extrinsic noise type.

  16. Remodeling of cone photoreceptor cells after rod degeneration in rd mice.

    PubMed

    Lin, Bin; Masland, Richard H; Strettoi, Enrica

    2009-03-01

    We studied the survival of cone photoreceptors following the degeneration of rods in the rd mouse. Cones were visualized by selective expression of green fluorescent protein (GFP) following transduction with an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector. As previously reported, many cones survive after the initial degeneration of the rods. Soon after the initial degeneration, they lose their outer segments and all but a vestigial inner segment; and they partially retract or lose their axon and synaptic pedicle. However, they retain many fundamental features of the cone phenotype, and for many weeks show a polarized morphology indicative of substantial regrowth of processes. The cells retain their laminar position, forming a cell row just distal to a much thinned outer plexiform layer. The somata subsequently enlarge. Most of the cells extend bipolar processes, recreating the original bipolar morphology of a photoreceptor cell--though now turned on its side relative to the native position. The cells express short- or middle-wavelength opsins, recoverin and connexin36. One or more of the polarized processes could often be shown to contain synaptic ribbons, as visualized by antibodies against RIBEYE. The cones do not express protein kinase C alpha, Go alpha, ChX10 or calbindin, markers of bipolar or horizontal cells. The partially differentiated cone morphology persists for at least several months, after which the processes begin to retract and there is slow loss of the cells. Thus, during the time following the loss of their rod-dominated microenvironment, the cones achieve a semi-stable state in which much of their normal phenotype is preserved. Cone photoreceptors in retinas of human RP donors appear from their morphology to undergo a similar progression. The therapeutic window for rescue of cone photoreceptors may be longer than would have been thought.

  17. Dendritic stratification differs among retinal OFF bipolar cell types in the absence of rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Puller, Christian; Arbogast, Patrick; Keeley, Patrick W.; Reese, Benjamin E.; Haverkamp, Silke

    2017-01-01

    Retinal OFF bipolar cells show distinct connectivity patterns with photoreceptors in the wild-type mouse retina. Some types are cone-specific while others penetrate further through the outer plexiform layer (OPL) to contact rods in addition to cones. To explore dendritic stratification of OFF bipolar cells in the absence of rods, we made use of the ‘cone-full’ Nrl-/- mouse retina in which all photoreceptor precursor cells commit to a cone fate including those which would have become rods in wild-type retinas. The dendritic distribution of OFF bipolar cell types was investigated by confocal and electron microscopic imaging of immunolabeled tissue sections. The cells’ dendrites formed basal contacts with cone terminals and expressed the corresponding glutamate receptor subunits at those sites, indicating putative synapses. All of the four analyzed cell populations showed distinctive patterns of vertical dendritic invasion through the OPL. This disparate behavior of dendritic extension in an environment containing only cone terminals demonstrates type-dependent specificity for dendritic outgrowth in OFF bipolar cells: rod terminals are not required for inducing dendritic extension into distal areas of the OPL. PMID:28257490

  18. Variations in retinal photoreceptor topography and the organization of the rod-free zone reflect behavioral diversity in Australian passerines.

    PubMed

    Coimbra, João Paulo; Collin, Shaun P; Hart, Nathan S

    2015-05-01

    The avian retina possesses one of the most diverse complements of photoreceptor types among vertebrates but little is known about their spatial distribution. Here we used retinal wholemounts and stereological methods to present the first complete maps of the topographic distribution of rods and cones in four species of Australian passerines with diverse trophic specializations. All species studied have one central and one temporal rod-free zone. In the insectivorous yellow-rumped thornbill, the central rod-free zone is unusually large, occupying ∼17% (56°) of the retinal area (angular subtense), whereas in nectarivorous and frugivorous species it represents only ∼0.1% (5-7°) to 0.3% (10°) of the retinal area (angular subtense). In contrast, the temporal rod-free zone varies little between species (∼0.02-0.4%; 2-10°). In all species, rods follow a pronounced dorsoventral gradient with highest densities in the ventral retina. The topographic distribution of cones is concentric and reveals a central fovea and a temporal area. In the yellow-rumped thornbill, cone densities form an extended plateau surrounding the fovea, beyond which densities fall rapidly towards the retinal periphery. For the other species, cone densities decline gradually along a foveal to peripheral gradient. Estimates of spatial resolving power calculated using cone peak densities are higher in the central fovea (19-41 cycles/degree) than in the temporal area (9-15 cycles/degree). In conclusion, we suggest that the unusual organization of the rod-free zone and the distinct topographic distribution of rods and cones correlate with specific ecological needs for enhanced visual sensitivity and spatial resolution in these birds.

  19. Mechanism for Selective Synaptic Wiring of Rod Photoreceptors into the Retinal Circuitry and Its Role in Vision.

    PubMed

    Cao, Yan; Sarria, Ignacio; Fehlhaber, Katherine E; Kamasawa, Naomi; Orlandi, Cesare; James, Kiely N; Hazen, Jennifer L; Gardner, Matthew R; Farzan, Michael; Lee, Amy; Baker, Sheila; Baldwin, Kristin; Sampath, Alapakkam P; Martemyanov, Kirill A

    2015-09-23

    In the retina, rod and cone photoreceptors form distinct connections with different classes of downstream bipolar cells. However, the molecular mechanisms responsible for their selective connectivity are unknown. Here we identify a cell-adhesion protein, ELFN1, to be essential for the formation of synapses between rods and rod ON-bipolar cells in the primary rod pathway. ELFN1 is expressed selectively in rods where it is targeted to the axonal terminals by the synaptic release machinery. At the synapse, ELFN1 binds in trans to mGluR6, the postsynaptic receptor on rod ON-bipolar cells. Elimination of ELFN1 in mice prevents the formation of synaptic contacts involving rods, but not cones, allowing a dissection of the contributions of primary and secondary rod pathways to retinal circuit function and vision. We conclude that ELFN1 is necessary for the selective wiring of rods into the primary rod pathway and is required for high sensitivity of vision.

  20. Effective delivery of recombinant proteins to rod photoreceptors via lipid nanovesicles

    SciTech Connect

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Dal Cortivo, Giuditta; Pontelli, Valeria; Cangiano, Lorenzo; Buffelli, Mario; Dell’Orco, Daniele

    2015-06-12

    The potential of liposomes to deliver functional proteins in retinal photoreceptors and modulate their physiological response was investigated by two experimental approaches. First, we treated isolated mouse retinas with liposomes encapsulating either recoverin, an important endogenous protein operating in visual phototransduction, or antibodies against recoverin. We then intravitrally injected in vivo liposomes encapsulating either rhodamin B or recoverin and we investigated the distribution in retina sections by confocal microscopy. The content of liposomes was found to be released in higher amount in the photoreceptor layer than in the other regions of the retina and the functional effects of the release were in line with the current model of phototransduction. Our study sets the basis for quantitative investigations aimed at assessing the potential of intraocular protein delivery via biocompatible nanovesicles, with promising implications for the treatment of retinal diseases affecting the photoreceptor layer. - Highlights: • Recombinant proteins encapsulated in nano-sized liposomes injected intravitreally reach retinal photoreceptors. • The phototransduction cascade in rods is modulated by the liposome content. • Mathematical modeling predicts the alteration of the photoresponses following liposome fusion.

  1. gdf6a Is Required for Cone Photoreceptor Subtype Differentiation and for the Actions of tbx2b in Determining Rod Versus Cone Photoreceptor Fate

    PubMed Central

    DuVal, Michèle G.; Oel, A. Phillip; Allison, W. Ted

    2014-01-01

    Functional vision restoration is within reach via stem cell therapy, but one of the largest obstacles is the derivation of colour-sensitive cone photoreceptors that are required for high-acuity daytime vision. To enhance progress made using nocturnal murine models, we instead utilize cone-rich zebrafish and herein investigate relationships between gdf6a and tbx2b in cone photoreceptor development. Growth/differentiation factor 6a (gdf6a), a bone morphogenetic protein family ligand, is an emerging factor in photoreceptor degenerative diseases. The T-box transcription factor tbx2b is required to specify UV cone photoreceptor fate instead of rod photoreceptor fate. Interactions between these factors in cone development would be unanticipated, considering the discrete phenotypes in their respective mutants. However, gdf6a positively modulates the abundance of tbx2b transcript during early eye morphogenesis, and we extended this conclusion to later stages of retinal development comprising the times when photoreceptors differentiate. Despite this, gdf6a−/− larvae possess a normal relative number of UV cones and instead present with a low abundance of blue cone photoreceptors, approximately half that of siblings (p<0.001), supporting a differential role for gdf6a amongst the spectral subtypes of cone photoreceptors. Further, gdf6a−/− larvae from breeding of compound heterozygous gdf6a+/−;tbx2b+/− mutants exhibit the recessive lots-of-rods phenotype (which also shows a paucity of UV cones) at significantly elevated rates (44% or 48% for each of two tbx2b alleles, χ2 p≤0.007 for each compared to expected Mendelian 25%). Thus the gdf6a−/− background sensitizes fish such that the recessive lots-of-rods phenotype can appear in heterozygous tbx2b+/− fish. Overall, this work establishes a novel link between tbx2b and gdf6a in determining photoreceptor fates, defining the nexus of an intricate pathway influencing the abundance of cone spectral subtypes and

  2. gdf6a is required for cone photoreceptor subtype differentiation and for the actions of tbx2b in determining rod versus cone photoreceptor fate.

    PubMed

    Duval, Michèle G; Oel, A Phillip; Allison, W Ted

    2014-01-01

    Functional vision restoration is within reach via stem cell therapy, but one of the largest obstacles is the derivation of colour-sensitive cone photoreceptors that are required for high-acuity daytime vision. To enhance progress made using nocturnal murine models, we instead utilize cone-rich zebrafish and herein investigate relationships between gdf6a and tbx2b in cone photoreceptor development. Growth/differentiation factor 6a (gdf6a), a bone morphogenetic protein family ligand, is an emerging factor in photoreceptor degenerative diseases. The T-box transcription factor tbx2b is required to specify UV cone photoreceptor fate instead of rod photoreceptor fate. Interactions between these factors in cone development would be unanticipated, considering the discrete phenotypes in their respective mutants. However, gdf6a positively modulates the abundance of tbx2b transcript during early eye morphogenesis, and we extended this conclusion to later stages of retinal development comprising the times when photoreceptors differentiate. Despite this, gdf6a-/- larvae possess a normal relative number of UV cones and instead present with a low abundance of blue cone photoreceptors, approximately half that of siblings (p<0.001), supporting a differential role for gdf6a amongst the spectral subtypes of cone photoreceptors. Further, gdf6a-/- larvae from breeding of compound heterozygous gdf6a+/-;tbx2b+/- mutants exhibit the recessive lots-of-rods phenotype (which also shows a paucity of UV cones) at significantly elevated rates (44% or 48% for each of two tbx2b alleles, χ2 p≤0.007 for each compared to expected Mendelian 25%). Thus the gdf6a-/- background sensitizes fish such that the recessive lots-of-rods phenotype can appear in heterozygous tbx2b+/- fish. Overall, this work establishes a novel link between tbx2b and gdf6a in determining photoreceptor fates, defining the nexus of an intricate pathway influencing the abundance of cone spectral subtypes and specifying rod vs

  3. Recruitment of Rod Photoreceptors from Short-Wavelength-Sensitive Cones during the Evolution of Nocturnal Vision in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Oel, Adam Phillip; Brooks, Matthew John; Jia, Li; Plachetzki, David Charles; Li, Wei; Allison, William Ted; Swaroop, Anand

    2016-06-20

    Vertebrate ancestors had only cone-like photoreceptors. The duplex retina evolved in jawless vertebrates with the advent of highly photosensitive rod-like photoreceptors. Despite cones being the arbiters of high-resolution color vision, rods emerged as the dominant photoreceptor in mammals during a nocturnal phase early in their evolution. We investigated the evolutionary and developmental origins of rods in two divergent vertebrate retinas. In mice, we discovered genetic and epigenetic vestiges of short-wavelength cones in developing rods, and cell-lineage tracing validated the genesis of rods from S cones. Curiously, rods did not derive from S cones in zebrafish. Our study illuminates several questions regarding the evolution of duplex retina and supports the hypothesis that, in mammals, the S-cone lineage was recruited via the Maf-family transcription factor NRL to augment rod photoreceptors. We propose that this developmental mechanism allowed the adaptive exploitation of scotopic niches during the nocturnal bottleneck early in mammalian evolution. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  4. Effect of 11-Cis 13-Demethylretinal on Phototransduction in Bleach-Adapted Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Corson, D.Wesley; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Cornwall, M. Carter; Crouch, Rosalie K.

    2000-01-01

    We used 11-cis 13-demethylretinal to examine the physiological consequences of retinal's noncovalent interaction with opsin in intact rod and cone photoreceptors during visual pigment regeneration. 11-Cis 13-demethylretinal is an analog of 11-cis retinal in which the 13 position methyl group has been removed. Biochemical experiments have shown that it is capable of binding in the chromophore pocket of opsin, forming a Schiff-base linkage with the protein to produce a pigment, but at a much slower rate than the native 11-cis retinal (Nelson, R., J. Kim deReil, and A. Kropf. 1970. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 66:531–538). Experimentally, this slow rate of pigment formation should allow separate physiological examination of the effects of the initial binding of retinal in the pocket and the subsequent formation of the protonated Schiff-base linkage. Currents from solitary rods and cones from the tiger salamander were recorded in darkness before and after bleaching and then after exposure to 11-cis 13-demethylretinal. In bleach-adapted rods, 11-cis 13-demethylretinal caused transient activation of phototransduction, as evidenced by a decrease of the dark current and sensitivity, acceleration of the dim flash responses, and activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase and guanylyl cyclase. The steady state of phototransduction activity was still higher than that of the bleach-adapted rod. In contrast, exposure of bleach-adapted cones to 11-cis 13-demethylretinal resulted in an immediate deactivation of transduction as measured by the same parameters. These results extend the validity of a model for the effects of the noncovalent binding of a retinoid in the chromophore pockets of rod and cone opsins to analogs capable of forming a Schiff-base and imply that the noncovalent binding by itself may play a role for the dark adaptation of photoreceptors. PMID:10919871

  5. Mechanisms, pools, and sites of spontaneous vesicle release at synapses of rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Cork, Karlene M; Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2016-08-01

    Photoreceptors have depolarized resting potentials that stimulate calcium-dependent release continuously from a large vesicle pool but neurons can also release vesicles without stimulation. We characterized the Ca(2+) dependence, vesicle pools, and release sites involved in spontaneous release at photoreceptor ribbon synapses. In whole-cell recordings from light-adapted horizontal cells (HCs) of tiger salamander retina, we detected miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) when no stimulation was applied to promote exocytosis. Blocking Ca(2+) influx by lowering extracellular Ca(2+) , by application of Cd(2+) and other agents reduced the frequency of mEPSCs but did not eliminate them, indicating that mEPSCs can occur independently of Ca(2+) . We also measured release presynaptically from rods and cones by examining quantal glutamate transporter anion currents. Presynaptic quantal event frequency was reduced by Cd(2+) or by increased intracellular Ca(2+) buffering in rods, but not in cones, that were voltage clamped at -70 mV. By inhibiting the vesicle cycle with bafilomycin, we found the frequency of mEPSCs declined more rapidly than the amplitude of evoked excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) suggesting a possible separation between vesicle pools in evoked and spontaneous exocytosis. We mapped sites of Ca(2+) -independent release using total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to visualize fusion of individual vesicles loaded with dextran-conjugated pHrodo. Spontaneous release in rods occurred more frequently at non-ribbon sites than evoked release events. The function of Ca(2+) -independent spontaneous release at continuously active photoreceptor synapses remains unclear, but the low frequency of spontaneous quanta limits their impact on noise.

  6. Control of ligand specificity in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels from rod photoreceptors and olfactory epithelium.

    PubMed Central

    Altenhofen, W; Ludwig, J; Eismann, E; Kraus, W; Bönigk, W; Kaupp, U B

    1991-01-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated ionic channels in photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons are activated by binding of cGMP or cAMP to a receptor site on the channel polypeptide. By site-directed mutagenesis and functional expression of bovine wild-type and mutant channels in Xenopus oocytes, we have tested the hypothesis that an alanine/threonine difference in the cyclic nucleotide-binding site determines the specificity of ligand binding, as has been proposed for cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases [Weber, I.T., Shabb, J.B. & Corbin, J.D. (1989) Biochemistry 28, 6122-6127]. The wild-type olfactory channel is approximately 25-fold more sensitive to both cAMP and cGMP than the wild-type rod photoreceptor channel, and both channels are 30- to 40-fold more sensitive to cGMP than to cAMP. Substitution of the respective threonine by alanine in the rod photoreceptor and olfactory channels decreases the cGMP sensitivity of channel activation 30-fold but little affects activation by cAMP. Substitution of threonine by serine, an amino acid that also carries a hydroxyl group, even improves cGMP sensitivity of the wild-type channels 2- to 5-fold. We conclude that the hydroxyl group of Thr-560 (rod) and Thr-537 (olfactory) forms an additional hydrogen bond with cGMP, but not cAMP, and thereby provides the structural basis for ligand discrimination in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels. PMID:1719541

  7. Control of ligand specificity in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels from rod photoreceptors and olfactory epithelium.

    PubMed

    Altenhofen, W; Ludwig, J; Eismann, E; Kraus, W; Bönigk, W; Kaupp, U B

    1991-11-01

    Cyclic nucleotide-gated ionic channels in photoreceptors and olfactory sensory neurons are activated by binding of cGMP or cAMP to a receptor site on the channel polypeptide. By site-directed mutagenesis and functional expression of bovine wild-type and mutant channels in Xenopus oocytes, we have tested the hypothesis that an alanine/threonine difference in the cyclic nucleotide-binding site determines the specificity of ligand binding, as has been proposed for cyclic nucleotide-dependent protein kinases [Weber, I.T., Shabb, J.B. & Corbin, J.D. (1989) Biochemistry 28, 6122-6127]. The wild-type olfactory channel is approximately 25-fold more sensitive to both cAMP and cGMP than the wild-type rod photoreceptor channel, and both channels are 30- to 40-fold more sensitive to cGMP than to cAMP. Substitution of the respective threonine by alanine in the rod photoreceptor and olfactory channels decreases the cGMP sensitivity of channel activation 30-fold but little affects activation by cAMP. Substitution of threonine by serine, an amino acid that also carries a hydroxyl group, even improves cGMP sensitivity of the wild-type channels 2- to 5-fold. We conclude that the hydroxyl group of Thr-560 (rod) and Thr-537 (olfactory) forms an additional hydrogen bond with cGMP, but not cAMP, and thereby provides the structural basis for ligand discrimination in cyclic nucleotide-gated channels.

  8. Speed, sensitivity, and stability of the light response in rod and cone photoreceptors: Facts and models

    PubMed Central

    Korenbrot, Juan I.

    2012-01-01

    The light responses of rod and cone photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina are quantitatively different, yet extremely stable and reproducible because of the extraordinary regulation of the cascade of enzymatic reactions that link photon absorption and visual pigment excitation to the gating of cGMP-gated ion channels in the outer segment plasma membrane. While the molecular scheme of the phototransduction pathway is essentially the same in rods and cones, the enzymes and protein regulators that constitute the pathway are distinct. These enzymes and regulators can differ in the quantitative features of their functions or in concentration if their functions are similar or both can be true. The molecular identity and distinct function of the molecules of the transduction cascade in rods and cones are summarized. The functional significance of these molecular differences is examined with a mathematical model of the signal-transducing enzymatic cascade. Constrained by available electrophysiological, biochemical and biophysical data, the model simulates photocurrents that match well the electrical photoresponses measured in both rods and cones. Using simulation computed with the mathematical model, the time course of light-dependent changes in enzymatic activities and second messenger concentrations in non-mammalian rods and cones are compared side by side. PMID:22658984

  9. Retinal cone and rod photoreceptor cells exhibit differential susceptibility to light-induced damage.

    PubMed

    Okano, Kiichiro; Maeda, Akiko; Chen, Yu; Chauhan, Vishal; Tang, Johnny; Palczewska, Grazyna; Sakai, Tsutomu; Tsuneoka, Hiroshi; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Maeda, Tadao

    2012-04-01

    All-trans-retinal and its condensation-products can cause retinal degeneration in a light-dependent manner and contribute to the pathogenesis of human macular diseases such as Stargardt's disease and age-related macular degeneration. Although these toxic retinoid by-products originate from rod and cone photoreceptor cells, the contribution of each cell type to light-induced retinal degeneration is unknown. In this study, the primary objective was to learn whether rods or cones are more susceptible to light-induced, all-trans-retinal-mediated damage. Previously, we reported that mice lacking enzymes that clear all-trans-retinal from the retina, ATP-binding cassette transporter 4 and retinol dehydrogenase 8, manifested light-induced retinal dystrophy. We first examined early-stage age-related macular degeneration patients and found retinal degenerative changes in rod-rich rather than cone-rich regions of the macula. We then evaluated transgenic mice with rod-only and cone-like-only retinas in addition to progenies of such mice inbred with Rdh8(-/-) Abca4(-/-) mice. Of all these strains, Rdh8(-/-) Abca4(-/-) mice with a mixed rod-cone population showed the most severe retinal degeneration under regular cyclic light conditions. Intense light exposure induced acute retinal damage in Rdh8(-/-) Abca4(-/-) and rod-only mice but not cone-like-only mice. These findings suggest that progression of retinal degeneration in Rdh8(-/-) Abca4(-/-) mice is affected by differential vulnerability of rods and cones to light. © 2012 The Authors. Journal of Neurochemistry © 2012 International Society for Neurochemistry.

  10. Fasudil, a Clinically Used ROCK Inhibitor, Stabilizes Rod Photoreceptor Synapses after Retinal Detachment.

    PubMed

    Townes-Anderson, Ellen; Wang, Jianfeng; Halász, Éva; Sugino, Ilene; Pitler, Amy; Whitehead, Ian; Zarbin, Marco

    2017-06-01

    Retinal detachment disrupts the rod-bipolar synapse in the outer plexiform layer by retraction of rod axons. We showed that breakage is due to RhoA activation whereas inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK), using Y27632, reduces synaptic damage. We test whether the ROCK inhibitor fasudil, used for other clinical applications, can prevent synaptic injury after detachment. Detachments were made in pigs by subretinal injection of balanced salt solution (BSS) or fasudil (1, 10 mM). In some animals, fasudil was injected intravitreally after BSS-induced detachment. After 2 to 4 hours, retinae were fixed for immunocytochemistry and confocal microscopy. Axon retraction was quantified by imaging synaptic vesicle label in the outer nuclear layer. Apoptosis was analyzed using propidium iodide staining. For biochemical analysis by Western blotting, retinal explants, detached from retinal pigmented epithelium, were cultured for 2 hours. Subretinal injection of fasudil (10 mM) reduced retraction of rod spherules by 51.3% compared to control detachments (n = 3 pigs, P = 0.002). Intravitreal injection of 10 mM fasudil, a more clinically feasible route of administration, also reduced retraction (28.7%, n = 5, P < 0.05). Controls had no photoreceptor degeneration at 2 hours, but by 4 hours apoptosis was evident. Fasudil 10 mM reduced pyknotic nuclei by 55.7% (n = 4, P < 0.001). Phosphorylation of cofilin and myosin light chain, downstream effectors of ROCK, was decreased with 30 μM fasudil (n = 8-10 explants, P < 0.05). Inhibition of ROCK signaling with fasudil reduced photoreceptor degeneration and preserved the rod-bipolar synapse after retinal detachment. These results support the possibility, previously tested with Y27632, that ROCK inhibition may attenuate synaptic damage in iatrogenic detachments.

  11. Differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells of swine into rod photoreceptors and their integration into the retina.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Liang; Wang, Wei; Liu, Yongqing; Fernandez de Castro, Juan; Ezashi, Toshihiko; Telugu, Bhanu Prakash V L; Roberts, R Michael; Kaplan, Henry J; Dean, Douglas C

    2011-06-01

    Absence of a regenerative pathway for damaged retina following injury or disease has led to experiments using stem cell transplantation for retinal repair, and encouraging results have been obtained in rodents. The swine eye is a closer anatomical and physiological match to the human eye, but embryonic stem cells have not been isolated from pig, and photoreceptor differentiation has not been demonstrated with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of swine. Here, we subjected iPSCs of swine to a rod photoreceptor differentiation protocol consisting of floating culture as embryoid bodies followed by differentiation in adherent culture. Real-time PCR and immunostaining of differentiated cells demonstrated loss of expression of the pluripotent genes POU5F1, NANOG, and SOX2 and induction of rod photoreceptor genes RCVRN, NRL, RHO, and ROM1. While these differentiated cells displayed neuronal morphology, culturing on a Matrigel substratum triggered a further morphological change resulting in concentration of rhodopsin (RHO) and rod outer segment-specific membrane protein 1 in outer segment-like projections resembling those on primary cultures of rod photoreceptors. The differentiated cells were transplanted into the subretinal space of pigs treated with iodoacetic acid to eliminate rod photoreceptors. Three weeks after transplantation, engrafted RHO+ cells were evident in the outer nuclear layer where photoreceptors normally reside. A portion of these transplanted cells had generated projections resembling outer segments. These results demonstrate that iPSCs of swine can differentiate into photoreceptors in culture, and these cells can integrate into the damaged swine neural retina, thus, laying a foundation for future studies using the pig as a model for retinal stem cell transplantation. Copyright © 2011 AlphaMed Press.

  12. The translocation of signaling molecules in dark adapting mammalian rod photoreceptor cells is dependent on the cytoskeleton.

    PubMed

    Reidel, Boris; Goldmann, Tobias; Giessl, Andreas; Wolfrum, Uwe

    2008-10-01

    In vertebrate rod photoreceptor cells, arrestin and the visual G-protein transducin move between the inner segment and outer segment in response to changes in light. This stimulus dependent translocation of signalling molecules is assumed to participate in long term light adaptation of photoreceptors. So far the cellular basis for the transport mechanisms underlying these intracellular movements remains largely elusive. Here we investigated the dependency of these movements on actin filaments and the microtubule cytoskeleton of photoreceptor cells. Co-cultures of mouse retina and retinal pigment epithelium were incubated with drugs stabilizing and destabilizing the cytoskeleton. The actin and microtubule cytoskeleton and the light dependent distribution of signaling molecules were subsequently analyzed by light and electron microscopy. The application of cytoskeletal drugs differentially affected the cytoskeleton in photoreceptor compartments. During dark adaptation the depolymerization of microtubules as well as actin filaments disrupted the translocation of arrestin and transducin in rod photoreceptor cells. During light adaptation only the delivery of arrestin within the outer segment was impaired after destabilization of microtubules. Movements of transducin and arrestin required intact cytoskeletal elements in dark adapting cells. However, diffusion might be sufficient for the fast molecular movements observed as cells adapt to light. These findings indicate that different molecular translocation mechanisms are responsible for the dark and light associated translocations of arrestin and transducin in rod photoreceptor cells.

  13. Niflumic acid reduces the hyperpolarization-activated current (I(h)) in rod photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed

    Satoh, T O; Yamada, M

    2001-08-01

    We examined the effects of niflumic acid (NFA), a chloride channel blocker, on the hyperpolarization-activated current (I(h)) in newt rod photoreceptors. At 100 microM, NFA delayed the activation of I(h) induced by hyperpolarizing voltage pulses to -83 mV from a holding potential of -43 mV, and reduced the steady-state current. However, reduction by NFA was weakened when I(h) was activated by hyperpolarizing steps to -123 mV, suggesting that these effects were voltage-dependent. The suppressive effects of NFA on I(h) were accompanied by a negative shift in activation voltage. NFA also delayed the relaxation of I(h) tail currents, showing that this drug also inhibited deactivation of the current. The reversal potential and the fully activated conductance were not affected. These observations suggest that NFA reduces I(h) by modifying the gating kinetics of the underlying channels. The suppressive actions of NFA remained when intracellular Ca2+ was strongly chelated, and the failure of suppression by NFA in inside-out patches suggests that the agent may act on the I(h) channel from the extracellular side. These results, obtained in rod photoreceptors, are consistent with similar effects of NFA on I(f) in cardiac myocytes, suggesting that both currents share similar pharmacological properties.

  14. Mpp4 is required for proper localization of plasma membrane calcium ATPases and maintenance of calcium homeostasis at the rod photoreceptor synaptic terminals.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jun; Pawlyk, Basil; Wen, Xiao-Hong; Adamian, Michael; Soloviev, Maria; Michaud, Norman; Zhao, Yun; Sandberg, Michael A; Makino, Clint L; Li, Tiansen

    2007-05-01

    Membrane palmitoylated protein 4 (Mpp4) is a member of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase family. We show that Mpp4 localizes specifically to the plasma membrane of photoreceptor synaptic terminals. Plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPases (PMCAs), the Ca(2+) extrusion pumps, interact with an Mpp4-dependent presynaptic membrane protein complex that includes Veli3 and PSD95. In mice lacking Mpp4, PMCAs were lost from rod photoreceptor presynaptic membranes. Synaptic ribbons were enlarged, a phenomenon known to correlate with higher Ca(2+). SERCA2 (sarcoplasmic-endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) ATPase, type 2), which pumps cytosolic Ca(2+) into intracellular Ca(2+) stores and localizes next to the ribbons, was increased. The distribution of IP(3)RII (InsP(3) receptor, type 2), which releases Ca(2+) from the stores, was shifted away from the synaptic terminals. Synaptic transmission to second-order neurons was maintained but was reduced in amplitude. These data suggest that loss of Mpp4 disrupts a Ca(2+) extrusion mechanism at the presynaptic membranes, with ensuing adaptive responses by the photoreceptor to restore Ca(2+) homeostasis. We propose that Mpp4 organizes a presynaptic protein complex that includes PMCAs and has a role in modulating Ca(2+) homeostasis and synaptic transmission in rod photoreceptors.

  15. Multiple rod–cone and cone–rod photoreceptor transmutations in snakes: Evidence from visual opsin gene expression

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simoe, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L.; Loew, Ellis R.; Sanders, Kate L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.; Partridge, Julian C.; Gower, David J.

    2016-01-01

    In 1934, Gordon Walls forwarded his radical theory of retinal photoreceptor ‘transmutation’. This proposed that rods and cones used for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, were not fixed but could evolve into each other via a series of morphologically distinguishable intermediates. Walls' prime evidence came from series of diurnal and nocturnal geckos and snakes that appeared to have pure-cone or pure-rod retinas (in forms that Walls believed evolved from ancestors with the reverse complement) or which possessed intermediate photoreceptor cells. Walls was limited in testing his theory because the precise identity of visual pigments present in photoreceptors was then unknown. Subsequent molecular research has hitherto neglected this topic but presents new opportunities. We identify three visual opsin genes, rh1, sws1 and lws, in retinal mRNA of an ecologically and taxonomically diverse sample of snakes central to Walls' theory. We conclude that photoreceptors with superficially rod- or cone-like morphology are not limited to containing scotopic or photopic opsins, respectively. Walls' theory is essentially correct, and more research is needed to identify the patterns, processes and functional implications of transmutation. Future research will help to clarify the fundamental properties and physiology of photoreceptors adapted to function in different light levels.

  16. Multiple rod–cone and cone–rod photoreceptor transmutations in snakes: evidence from visual opsin gene expression

    PubMed Central

    Sampaio, Filipa L.; Loew, Ellis R.; Sanders, Kate L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.; Partridge, Julian C.

    2016-01-01

    In 1934, Gordon Walls forwarded his radical theory of retinal photoreceptor ‘transmutation’. This proposed that rods and cones used for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, were not fixed but could evolve into each other via a series of morphologically distinguishable intermediates. Walls' prime evidence came from series of diurnal and nocturnal geckos and snakes that appeared to have pure-cone or pure-rod retinas (in forms that Walls believed evolved from ancestors with the reverse complement) or which possessed intermediate photoreceptor cells. Walls was limited in testing his theory because the precise identity of visual pigments present in photoreceptors was then unknown. Subsequent molecular research has hitherto neglected this topic but presents new opportunities. We identify three visual opsin genes, rh1, sws1 and lws, in retinal mRNA of an ecologically and taxonomically diverse sample of snakes central to Walls' theory. We conclude that photoreceptors with superficially rod- or cone-like morphology are not limited to containing scotopic or photopic opsins, respectively. Walls' theory is essentially correct, and more research is needed to identify the patterns, processes and functional implications of transmutation. Future research will help to clarify the fundamental properties and physiology of photoreceptors adapted to function in different light levels. PMID:26817768

  17. Colocalization of retinal dystrophin and actin in postsynaptic dendrites of rod and cone photoreceptor synapses.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, F; Holbach, M; Drenckhahn, D

    1993-12-01

    In this paper we demonstrate immunostaining specific for dystrophin in photoreceptor synapses of human, bovine and rat retinas. Cryosections of retinas incubated with dystrophin-specific monoclonal antibodies displayed a punctuate staining pattern in the outer plexiform layer. This pattern resulted from binding of the antibodies to synaptic complexes of both rods and cones, shown by double-labelling with antibodies to either synaptophysin or actin. Confocal laser fluorescence microscopy demonstrated that dystrophin staining colocalized predominantly with actin, which is concentrated in the postsynaptic portions of the synaptic complex. No significant dystrophin immunolabel was seen in the presynaptic terminals labelled with antibodies to synaptophysin, a marker of synaptic vesicles. Immunoblot analysis confirmed the presence of approximately 420 kDa and approximately 360 kDa dystrophin-like polypeptide bands associated with membranes of the bovine retina. We speculate that retinal dystrophin is involved in the linkage of actin filaments to the postsynaptic plasma membrane. Such a linkage may be important for the generation of synaptic microdomains and for certain phenomena of synaptic plasticity. The absence of dystrophin in patients suffering from Duchenne's muscular dystrophy is accompanied by visual problems and abnormalities of the electroretinogram. Therefore it is likely that retinal dystrophin plays a role in certain stages of synaptic transmission between photoreceptors and the postsynaptic dendritic complex formed by horizontal and bipolar cells.

  18. Weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering supports sustained synaptic transmission by distinct mechanisms in rod and cone photoreceptors in salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2015-09-01

    Differences in synaptic transmission between rod and cone photoreceptors contribute to different response kinetics in rod- versus cone-dominated visual pathways. We examined Ca(2+) dynamics in synaptic terminals of tiger salamander photoreceptors under conditions that mimicked endogenous buffering to determine the influence on kinetically and mechanistically distinct components of synaptic transmission. Measurements of IC l(Ca) confirmed that endogenous Ca(2+) buffering is equivalent to ~0.05 mmol/L EGTA in rod and cone terminals. Confocal imaging showed that with such buffering, depolarization stimulated large, spatially unconstrained [Ca(2+)] increases that spread throughout photoreceptor terminals. We calculated immediately releasable pool (IRP) size and release efficiency in rods by deconvolving excitatory postsynaptic currents and presynaptic Ca(2+) currents. Peak efficiency of ~0.2 vesicles/channel was similar to that of cones (~0.3 vesicles/channel). Efficiency in both cell types was not significantly affected by using weak endogenous Ca(2+) buffering. However, weak Ca(2+) buffering speeded Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent replenishment of vesicles to ribbons in both rods and cones, thereby enhancing sustained release. In rods, weak Ca(2+) buffering also amplified sustained release by enhancing CICR and CICR-stimulated release of vesicles at nonribbon sites. By contrast, elevating [Ca(2+)] at nonribbon sites in cones with weak Ca(2+) buffering and by inhibiting Ca(2+) extrusion did not trigger additional release, consistent with the notion that exocytosis from cones occurs exclusively at ribbons. The presence of weak endogenous Ca(2+) buffering in rods and cones facilitates slow, sustained exocytosis by enhancing Ca(2+)/CaM-dependent replenishment of ribbons in both rods and cones and by stimulating nonribbon release triggered by CICR in rods.

  19. Weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering supports sustained synaptic transmission by distinct mechanisms in rod and cone photoreceptors in salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2015-01-01

    Differences in synaptic transmission between rod and cone photoreceptors contribute to different response kinetics in rod- versus cone-dominated visual pathways. We examined Ca2+ dynamics in synaptic terminals of tiger salamander photoreceptors under conditions that mimicked endogenous buffering to determine the influence on kinetically and mechanistically distinct components of synaptic transmission. Measurements of ICl(Ca) confirmed that endogenous Ca2+ buffering is equivalent to ˜0.05 mmol/L EGTA in rod and cone terminals. Confocal imaging showed that with such buffering, depolarization stimulated large, spatially unconstrained [Ca2+] increases that spread throughout photoreceptor terminals. We calculated immediately releasable pool (IRP) size and release efficiency in rods by deconvolving excitatory postsynaptic currents and presynaptic Ca2+ currents. Peak efficiency of ˜0.2 vesicles/channel was similar to that of cones (˜0.3 vesicles/channel). Efficiency in both cell types was not significantly affected by using weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering. However, weak Ca2+ buffering speeded Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent replenishment of vesicles to ribbons in both rods and cones, thereby enhancing sustained release. In rods, weak Ca2+ buffering also amplified sustained release by enhancing CICR and CICR-stimulated release of vesicles at nonribbon sites. By contrast, elevating [Ca2+] at nonribbon sites in cones with weak Ca2+ buffering and by inhibiting Ca2+ extrusion did not trigger additional release, consistent with the notion that exocytosis from cones occurs exclusively at ribbons. The presence of weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering in rods and cones facilitates slow, sustained exocytosis by enhancing Ca2+/CaM-dependent replenishment of ribbons in both rods and cones and by stimulating nonribbon release triggered by CICR in rods. PMID:26416977

  20. Retinal cone and rod photoreceptor cells exhibit differential susceptibility to light–induced damage

    PubMed Central

    Okano, Kiichiro; Maeda, Akiko; Chen, Yu; Chauhan, Vishal; Tang, Johnny; Palczewska, Grazyna; Sakai, Tsutomu; Tsuneoka, Hiroshi; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Maeda, Tadao

    2012-01-01

    All-trans-retinal and its condensation-products can cause retinal degeneration in a light–dependent manner and contribute to the pathogenesis of human macular diseases such as Stargardt’s disease and age–related macular degeneration (AMD). Although these toxic retinoid by–products originate from rod and cone photoreceptor cells, the contribution of each cell type to light–induced retinal degeneration is unknown. Here the primary objective was to learn whether rods or cones are more susceptible to light–induced, all–trans–retinal–mediated damage. Previously, we reported that mice lacking enzymes that clear all–trans–retinal from the retina, ATP–binding cassette transporter 4 (ABCA4) and retinol dehydrogenase 8 (RDH8), manifested light-induced retinal dystrophy. We first examined early-stage-AMD patients and found retinal degenerative changes in rod-rich rather than cone-rich regions of the macula. We then evaluated transgenic mice with rod–only and cone–like–only retinas in addition to progenies of such mice inbred with Rdh8−/− Abca4−/− mice. Of all these strains, Rdh8−/− Abca4−/− mice with a mixed rod–cone population showed the most severe retinal degeneration under regular cyclic light conditions. Intense light exposure induced acute retinal damage in Rdh8−/− Abca4−/− and rod–only mice but not cone–like–only mice. These findings suggest that progression of retinal degeneration in Rdh8-/- Abca4-/- mice is affected by differential vulnerability of rods and cones to light. PMID:22220722

  1. Developmentally Regulated Linker Histone H1c Promotes Heterochromatin Condensation and Mediates Structural Integrity of Rod Photoreceptors in Mouse Retina*

    PubMed Central

    Popova, Evgenya Y.; Grigoryev, Sergei A.; Fan, Yuhong; Skoultchi, Arthur I.; Zhang, Samuel S.; Barnstable, Colin J.

    2013-01-01

    Mature rod photoreceptor cells contain very small nuclei with tightly condensed heterochromatin. We observed that during mouse rod maturation, the nucleosomal repeat length increases from 190 bp at postnatal day 1 to 206 bp in the adult retina. At the same time, the total level of linker histone H1 increased reaching the ratio of 1.3 molecules of total H1 per nucleosome, mostly via a dramatic increase in H1c. Genetic elimination of the histone H1c gene is functionally compensated by other histone variants. However, retinas in H1c/H1e/H10 triple knock-outs have photoreceptors with bigger nuclei, decreased heterochromatin area, and notable morphological changes suggesting that the process of chromatin condensation and rod cell structural integrity are partly impaired. In triple knock-outs, nuclear chromatin exposed several epigenetic histone modification marks masked in the wild type chromatin. Dramatic changes in exposure of a repressive chromatin mark, H3K9me2, indicate that during development linker histone plays a role in establishing the facultative heterochromatin territory and architecture in the nucleus. During retina development, the H1c gene and its promoter acquired epigenetic patterns typical of rod-specific genes. Our data suggest that histone H1c gene expression is developmentally up-regulated to promote facultative heterochromatin in mature rod photoreceptors. PMID:23645681

  2. Induction of the unfolded protein response by constitutive G-protein signaling in rod photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed

    Wang, Tian; Chen, Jeannie

    2014-10-17

    Phototransduction is a G-protein signal transduction cascade that converts photon absorption to a change in current at the plasma membrane. Certain genetic mutations affecting the proteins in the phototransduction cascade cause blinding disorders in humans. Some of these mutations serve as a genetic source of "equivalent light" that activates the cascade, whereas other mutations lead to amplification of the light response. How constitutive phototransduction causes photoreceptor cell death is poorly understood. We showed that persistent G-protein signaling, which occurs in rod arrestin and rhodopsin kinase knock-out mice, caused a rapid and specific induction of the PERK pathway of the unfolded protein response. These changes were not observed in the cGMP-gated channel knock-out rods, an equivalent light condition that mimics light-stimulated channel closure. Thus transducin signaling, but not channel closure, triggers rapid cell death in light damage caused by constitutive phototransduction. Additionally, we show that in the albino light damage model cell death was not associated with increase in global protein ubiquitination or unfolded protein response induction. Taken together, these observations provide novel mechanistic insights into the cell death pathway caused by constitutive phototransduction and identify the unfolded protein response as a potential target for therapeutic intervention. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  3. Effect of hydroxylamine on photon-like events during dark adaptation in toad rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Leibrock, C S; Lamb, T D

    1997-01-01

    1. The suction pipette technique was used to investigate the recovery of toad rod photoreceptors following small bleaches of 0.2-3% of the rhodopsin. 2. The reduction in sensitivity and the increase in noise elicited by bleaches were measured, and from these measurements the underlying rate of occurrence of photon-like events was calculated as a function of time after the bleach. 3. Exposure to hydroxylamine solution was used to hasten the decomposition of the metarhodopsin photoproducts. The outer segment was exposed to 110 mM hydroxylamine in a low-Ca2+ Ringer solution for a period of 10-50 s beginning 10-17 min after the bleaching exposure. 4. By the time of the hydroxylamine exposure, the flash sensitivity and response kinetics had returned almost to normal, and were not significantly altered by the exposure. 5. Following hydroxylamine exposure, the rate of spontaneous photon-like events in the rods declined rapidly to near pre-bleach levels. 6. We conclude that hydroxylamine reduces the rate of occurrence of photon-like events induced by a bleach, and we postulate that this reduction results from the removal of metarhodopsin (most likely metarhodopsin II) from the outer segment. 7. Our results are consistent with a model in which photon-like events result from reversal of the reactions (phosphorylation and capping by arrestin) that lead to inactivation of the activated form of rhodopsin, Rh*. PMID:9174997

  4. Phenotypic characteristics including in vivo cone photoreceptor mosaic in KCNV2-related "cone dystrophy with supernormal rod electroretinogram".

    PubMed

    Vincent, Ajoy; Wright, Tom; Garcia-Sanchez, Yaiza; Kisilak, Marsha; Campbell, Melanie; Westall, Carol; Héon, Elise

    2013-01-30

    To report phenotypic characteristics including macular cone photoreceptor morphology in KCNV2-related "cone dystrophy with supernormal rod electroretinogram" (CDSR). Seven patients, aged 9 to 18 years at last visit, with characteristic full-field electroretinographic (ERG) features of CDSR were screened for mutations in the KCNV2 gene. All patients underwent detailed ophthalmological evaluation, which included distance and color vision testing, contrast sensitivity measurement, fundus photography, fundus autofluorescence (FAF) imaging, and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Follow-up visits were available in six cases. Rod photoreceptor function was assessed using a bright white flash ERG protocol (240 cd·s/m(2)). Macular cone photoreceptor morphology was assessed from 2° by 2° zonal images obtained using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) in six cases. Pathogenic mutations in KCNV2 were identified in all seven cases. Best corrected vision was 20/125 or worse in all cases at the latest visit (20/125-20/400). Vision loss was progressive in two cases. Color vision and contrast sensitivity was abnormal in all cases. Retinal exam revealed minimal pigment epithelial changes at the fovea in four cases. A peri- or parafoveal ring of hyperfluorescence was the most common FAF abnormality noted (five cases). The SD-OCT showed outer retinal abnormalities in all cases. The rod photoreceptor maximal response was reduced but rod sensitivity was normal. AOSLO showed markedly reduced cone density in all six patients tested. Central vision parameters progressively worsen in CDSR. Structural retinal and lipofuscin accumulation abnormalities are commonly present. Macular cone photoreceptor mosaic is markedly disrupted early in the disease.

  5. Phenotypic Characteristics Including In Vivo Cone Photoreceptor Mosaic in KCNV2-Related “Cone Dystrophy with Supernormal Rod Electroretinogram”

    PubMed Central

    Vincent, Ajoy; Wright, Tom; Garcia-Sanchez, Yaiza; Kisilak, Marsha; Campbell, Melanie; Westall, Carol; Héon, Elise

    2013-01-01

    Purpose To report phenotypic characteristics including macular cone photoreceptor morphology in KCNV2-related “cone dystrophy with supernormal rod electroretinogram” (CDSR). Methods Seven patients, aged 9 to 18 years at last visit, with characteristic full-field electroretinographic (ERG) features of CDSR were screened for mutations in the KCNV2 gene. All patients underwent detailed ophthalmological evaluation, which included distance and color vision testing, contrast sensitivity measurement, fundus photography, fundus auto-fluorescence (FAF) imaging, and spectral domain-optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). Follow-up visits were available in six cases. Rod photoreceptor function was assessed using a bright white flash ERG protocol (240 cd·s/m2). Macular cone photoreceptor morphology was assessed from 2° by 2° zonal images obtained using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) in six cases. Results Pathogenic mutations in KCNV2 were identified in all seven cases. Best corrected vision was 20/125 or worse in all cases at the latest visit (20/125–20/400). Vision loss was progressive in two cases. Color vision and contrast sensitivity was abnormal in all cases. Retinal exam revealed minimal pigment epithelial changes at the fovea in four cases. A peri- or parafoveal ring of hyperfluorescence was the most common FAF abnormality noted (five cases). The SD-OCT showed outer retinal abnormalities in all cases. The rod photoreceptor maximal response was reduced but rod sensitivity was normal. AOSLO showed markedly reduced cone density in all six patients tested. Conclusions Central vision parameters progressively worsen in CDSR. Structural retinal and lipofuscin accumulation abnormalities are commonly present. Macular cone photoreceptor mosaic is markedly disrupted early in the disease. PMID:23221069

  6. Visually-Driven Ocular Growth in Mice Requires Functional Rod Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Park, Han na; Jabbar, Seema B.; Tan, Christopher C.; Sidhu, Curran S.; Abey, Jane; Aseem, Fazila; Schmid, Gregor; Iuvone, P. Michael; Pardue, Machelle T.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Proper refractive eye growth depends on several features of the visual image and requisite retinal pathways. In this study, we determined the contribution of rod pathways to normal refractive development and form deprivation (FD) myopia by testing Gnat1−/− mice, which lack functional rods due to a mutation in rod transducin-α. Methods. Refractive development was measured in Gnat1−/− (n = 30–36) and wild-type (WT) mice (n = 5–9) from 4 to 12 weeks of age. FD was induced monocularly from 4 weeks of age using head-mounted diffuser goggles (Gnat1−/−, n = 9–10; WT, n = 7–8). Refractive state and ocular biometry were obtained weekly using a photorefractor, 1310 nm optical coherence tomography, and partial coherence interferometry. We measured retinal dopamine and its metabolite, DOPAC, using HPLC. Results. During normal development, the refractions of WT mice started at 5.36 ± 0.68 diopters (D) and became more hyperopic before plateauing at 7.78 ± 0.64 D. In contrast, refractions in Gnat1−/− mice were stable at 7.39 ± 1.22 D across all ages. Three weeks of FD induced a 2.54 ± 0.77 D myopic shift in WT mice, while Gnat1−/− mice did not respond to FD at any age. Axial lengths of Gnat1−/− and WT mice increased with age, but differences between genotypes or with goggling did not reach statistical significance and fell within the precision of the instruments. The DOPAC levels were significantly lower in Gnat1−/− mice from 2 to 12 weeks of age with DOPAC/dopamine ratio peaking earlier in Gnat1−/− compared to WT mice. No differences in dopamine were seen in response to FD or between genotypes. Conclusions. Functional rod photoreceptors are critical to normal refractive development and the response to FD in mice. Dopamine levels may not directly modulate the refractive state of the mouse eye, but tonic levels of dopamine during development may determine susceptibility to myopia. PMID:25183765

  7. Role of noncovalent binding of 11-cis-retinal to opsin in dark adaptation of rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Kefalov, V J; Crouch, R K; Cornwall, M C

    2001-03-01

    Regeneration of visual pigments of vertebrate rod and cone photoreceptors occurs by the initial noncovalent binding of 11-cis-retinal to opsin, followed by the formation of a covalent bond between the ligand and the protein. Here, we show that the noncovalent interaction between 11-cis-retinal and opsin affects the rate of dark adaptation. In rods, 11-cis-retinal produces a transient activation of the phototransduction cascade that precedes sensitivity recovery, thus slowing dark adaptation. In cones, 11-cis-retinal immediately deactivates phototransduction. Thus, the initial binding of the same ligand to two very similar G protein receptors, the rod and cone opsins, activates one and deactivates the other, contributing to the remarkable difference in the rates of rod and cone dark adaptation.

  8. Flash responses of mouse rod photoreceptors in the isolated retina and corneal electroretinogram: comparison of gain and kinetics.

    PubMed

    Heikkinen, Hanna; Vinberg, Frans; Pitkänen, Marja; Kommonen, Bertel; Koskelainen, Ari

    2012-08-17

    To examine the amplification and kinetics of murine rod photoresponses by recording ERG flash responses in vivo and ex vivo from the same retina. We also aimed to evaluate the two available methods for isolating the rod signal from the ERG flash response, that is, pharmacology and paired flash method on the isolated retina. Dark-adapted ERG responses to full-field flashes of green light were recorded from anesthetized (ketamine/xylazine) C57BL/6N mice. ERG flash responses to homogenous light stimuli arriving from the photoreceptor side were then recorded transretinally from the same retinas, isolated and perfused with Ringer's or Ames' solution at 37°C. The responses were analyzed to determine the a-wave kinetics as well as the estimated flash sensitivity and kinetics of the full rod responses derived with the paired flash protocol. The analysis was complemented with pharmacologic blockade of glutamatergic transmission in the isolated retina. The a-waves were of comparable size, sensitivity and kinetics in vivo and in the isolated retina, but the onset of the b-wave was delayed in the isolated retina. The Lamb-Pugh activation constants determined for the a-waves were similar in both preparations. The kinetics of the derived photoreceptor responses were similar in both conditions, although the responses were consistently slightly slower ex vivo. This was not explicable as a direct effect of ketamine or xylazine on the photoreceptors or as their indirect effect through hyperglycemia, as tested on the isolated retina. Through comparison to the corneal ERG, the transretinal ERG is a valuable tool for assaying the physiologic state of isolated retinal tissue. The rod photoreceptor responses of the intact isolated retina correspond well to those recorded in vivo. The origin of their faster kinetics compared to single cell recordings remains to be determined.

  9. A Pro23His mutation alters prenatal rod photoreceptor morphology in a transgenic swine model of retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Scott, Patrick A; Fernandez de Castro, Juan P; Kaplan, Henry J; McCall, Maureen A

    2014-04-28

    Functional studies have detected deficits in retinal signaling in asymptomatic children from families with inherited autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Whether retinal abnormalities are present earlier during gestation or shortly after birth in a subset of children with autosomal dominant RP is unknown and no appropriate animal RP model possessing visual function at birth has been available to examine this possibility. In a recently developed transgenic P23H (TgP23H) rhodopsin swine model of RP, we tracked changes in pre- and early postnatal retinal morphology, as well as early postnatal retinal function. Domestic swine inseminated with semen from a TgP23H miniswine founder produced TgP23H hybrid and wild type (Wt) littermates. Outer retinal morphology was assessed at light and electron microscopic levels between embryonic (E) and postnatal (P) day E85 to P3. Retinal function was evaluated using the full field electroretinogram at P3. Embryonic TgP23H rod photoreceptors are malformed and their rhodopsin expression pattern is abnormal. Consistent with morphological abnormalities, rod-driven function is absent at P3. In contrast, TgP23H and Wt cone photoreceptor morphology (E85-P3) and cone-driven retinal function (P3) are similar. Prenatal expression of mutant rhodopsin alters the normal morphological and functional development of rod photoreceptors in TgP23H swine embryos. Despite this significant change, cone photoreceptors are unaffected. Human infants with similarly aggressive RP might never have rod vision, although cone vision would be unaffected. Such aggressive forms of RP in preverbal children would require early intervention to delay or prevent functional blindness.

  10. Ca2+ modulation of the cGMP-gated channel of bullfrog retinal rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Nakatani, K; Koutalos, Y; Yau, K W

    1995-04-01

    1. The outer segment of an isolated rod photoreceptor from the bullfrog retina was drawn into a pipette containing choline solution for recording membrane current. The rest of the cell was sheared off with a glass probe to allow internal dialysis of the outer segment with a bath potassium solution ('truncated rod outer segment' preparation). The potential between the inside and the outside of the pipette was held at 0 mV. 2. Application of bath cGMP, in the presence of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX), gave rise to an outward membrane current. At saturating cGMP concentrations, this current was insensitive to intracellular Ca2+ at concentrations between 0 and 10 microM. At subsaturating cGMP concentrations, however, this current was inhibited by intracellular Ca2+. This sensitivity to Ca2+ declined after dialysis with a low-Ca2+ solution, suggesting the involvement of a soluble factor. 3. At low (nominally 0) Ca2+, the half-maximal activation constant and Hill coefficient for the activation of the cGMP-gated current by cGMP were 27 microM and 2.0, respectively. At high (ca 10 microM) Ca2+, the corresponding values were 40 microM cGMP and 2.4. 4. The inhibition of the current by Ca2+ was characterized at 20 microM cGMP. Ca2+ inhibited the current by up to 60%, with half-maximal inhibition at 48 nM Ca2+ and a Hill coefficient of 1.6.

  11. Oncostatin M protects rod and cone photoreceptors and promotes regeneration of cone outer segment in a rat model of retinal degeneration.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xin; Li, Yiwen; Huang, Deqiang; Wang, Zhengying; Luo, Lingyu; Song, Ying; Zhao, Lian; Wen, Rong

    2011-03-30

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of photoreceptor degenerative disorders that lead to loss of vision. Typically, rod photoreceptors degenerate first, resulting in loss of night and peripheral vision. Secondary cone degeneration eventually affects central vision, leading to total blindness. Previous studies have shown that photoreceptors could be protected from degeneration by exogenous neurotrophic factors, including ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), a member of the IL-6 family of cytokines. Using a transgenic rat model of retinal degeneration (the S334-ter rat), we investigated the effects of Oncostatin M (OSM), another member of the IL-6 family of cytokines, on photoreceptor protection. We found that exogenous OSM protects both rod and cone photoreceptors. In addition, OSM promotes regeneration of cone outer segments in early stages of cone degeneration. Further investigation showed that OSM treatment induces STAT3 phosphorylation in Müller cells but not in photoreceptors, suggesting that OSM not directly acts on photoreceptors and that the protective effects of OSM on photoreceptors are mediated by Müller cells. These findings support the therapeutic strategy using members of IL-6 family of cytokines for retinal degenerative disorders. They also provide evidence that activation of the STAT3 pathway in Müller cells promotes photoreceptor survival. Our work highlights the importance of Müller cell-photoreceptor interaction in the retina, which may serve as a model of glia-neuron interaction in general.

  12. Feedback Induction of a Photoreceptor-specific Isoform of Retinoid-related Orphan Nuclear Receptor β by the Rod Transcription Factor NRL*

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Yulong; Liu, Hong; Ng, Lily; Kim, Jung-Woong; Hao, Hong; Swaroop, Anand; Forrest, Douglas

    2014-01-01

    Vision requires the generation of cone and rod photoreceptors that function in daylight and dim light, respectively. The neural retina leucine zipper factor (NRL) transcription factor critically controls photoreceptor fates as it stimulates rod differentiation and suppresses cone differentiation. However, the controls over NRL induction that balance rod and cone fates remain unclear. We have reported previously that the retinoid-related orphan receptor β gene (Rorb) is required for Nrl expression and other retinal functions. We show that Rorb differentially expresses two isoforms: RORβ2 in photoreceptors and RORβ1 in photoreceptors, progenitor cells, and other cell types. Deletion of RORβ2 or RORβ1 increased the cone:rod ratio ∼2-fold, whereas deletion of both isoforms in Rorb−/− mice produced almost exclusively cone-like cells at the expense of rods, suggesting that both isoforms induce Nrl. Electroporation of either RORβ isoform into retinal explants from Rorb−/− neonates reactivated Nrl and rod genes but, in Nrl−/− explants, failed to reactivate rod genes, indicating that NRL is the effector for both RORβ isoforms in rod differentiation. Unexpectedly, RORβ2 expression was lost in Nrl−/− mice. Moreover, NRL activated the RORβ2-specific promoter of Rorb, indicating that NRL activates Rorb, its own inducer gene. We suggest that feedback activation between Nrl and Rorb genes reinforces the commitment to rod differentiation. PMID:25296752

  13. Feedback induction of a photoreceptor-specific isoform of retinoid-related orphan nuclear receptor β by the rod transcription factor NRL.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yulong; Liu, Hong; Ng, Lily; Kim, Jung-Woong; Hao, Hong; Swaroop, Anand; Forrest, Douglas

    2014-11-21

    Vision requires the generation of cone and rod photoreceptors that function in daylight and dim light, respectively. The neural retina leucine zipper factor (NRL) transcription factor critically controls photoreceptor fates as it stimulates rod differentiation and suppresses cone differentiation. However, the controls over NRL induction that balance rod and cone fates remain unclear. We have reported previously that the retinoid-related orphan receptor β gene (Rorb) is required for Nrl expression and other retinal functions. We show that Rorb differentially expresses two isoforms: RORβ2 in photoreceptors and RORβ1 in photoreceptors, progenitor cells, and other cell types. Deletion of RORβ2 or RORβ1 increased the cone:rod ratio ∼2-fold, whereas deletion of both isoforms in Rorb(-/-) mice produced almost exclusively cone-like cells at the expense of rods, suggesting that both isoforms induce Nrl. Electroporation of either RORβ isoform into retinal explants from Rorb(-/-) neonates reactivated Nrl and rod genes but, in Nrl(-/-) explants, failed to reactivate rod genes, indicating that NRL is the effector for both RORβ isoforms in rod differentiation. Unexpectedly, RORβ2 expression was lost in Nrl(-/-) mice. Moreover, NRL activated the RORβ2-specific promoter of Rorb, indicating that NRL activates Rorb, its own inducer gene. We suggest that feedback activation between Nrl and Rorb genes reinforces the commitment to rod differentiation. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  14. REEP6 mediates trafficking of a subset of Clathrin-coated vesicles and is critical for rod photoreceptor function and survival.

    PubMed

    Veleri, Shobi; Nellissery, Jacob; Mishra, Bibhudatta; Manjunath, Souparnika H; Brooks, Matthew J; Dong, Lijin; Nagashima, Kunio; Qian, Haohua; Gao, Chun; Sergeev, Yuri V; Huang, Xiu-Feng; Qu, Jia; Lu, Fan; Cideciyan, Artur V; Li, Tiansen; Jin, Zi-Bing; Fariss, Robert N; Ratnapriya, Rinki; Jacobson, Samuel G; Swaroop, Anand

    2017-03-23

    In retinal photoreceptors, vectorial transport of cargo is critical for transduction of visual signals, and defects in intracellular trafficking can lead to photoreceptor degeneration and vision impairment. Molecular signatures associated with routing of transport vesicles in photoreceptors are poorly understood. We previously reported the identification of a novel rod photoreceptor specific isoform of Receptor Expression Enhancing Protein (REEP) 6, which belongs to a family of proteins involved in intracellular transport of receptors to the plasma membrane. Here we show that loss of REEP6 in mice (Reep6-/-) results in progressive retinal degeneration. Rod photoreceptor dysfunction is observed in Reep6-/- mice as early as one month of age and associated with aberrant accumulation of vacuole-like structures at the apical inner segment and reduction in selected rod phototransduction proteins. We demonstrate that REEP6 is detected in a subset of Clathrin-coated vesicles and interacts with the t-SNARE, Syntaxin3. In concordance with the rod degeneration phenotype in Reep6-/- mice, whole exome sequencing identified homozygous REEP6-E75K mutation in two retinitis pigmentosa families of different ethnicities. Our studies suggest a critical function of REEP6 in trafficking of cargo via a subset of Clathrin-coated vesicles to selected membrane sites in retinal rod photoreceptors.

  15. A Highly Ca2+-Sensitive Pool of Vesicles Contributes to Linearity at the Rod Photoreceptor Ribbon Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Thoreson, Wallace B.; Rabl, Katalin; Townes-Anderson, Ellen; Heidelberger, Ruth

    2011-01-01

    Summary Studies of the properties of synaptic transmission have been carried out at only a few synapses. We analyzed exocytosis from rod photoreceptors with a combination of physiological and ultrastructural techniques. As at other ribbon synapses, we found that rods exhibited rapid kinetics of release, and the number of vesicles in the releasable pool is comparable to the number of vesicles tethered at ribbon-style active zones. However, unlike other previously studied neurons, we identified a highly Ca2+-sensitive pool of releasable vesicles with a relatively shallow relationship between the rate of exocytosis and [Ca2+]i that is nearly linear over a presumed physiological range of intra-terminal [Ca2+]. The low-order [Ca2+] dependence of release promotes a linear relationship between Ca2+ entry and exocytosis that permits rods to relay information about small changes in illumination with high fidelity at the first synapse in vision. PMID:15157421

  16. Multiple ion binding sites in Ih channels of rod photoreceptors from tiger salamanders.

    PubMed

    Wollmuth, L P

    1995-05-01

    The mechanism of ion permeation in K+/Na(+)-permeable Ih channels of tiger salamander rod photoreceptors was investigated using the whole-cell voltage-clamp technique. Ih channels showed features indicative of pores with multiple ion binding sites: in mixtures of K+ and thallium (T1+), the amplitude of the time-dependent current showed an anomalous mole fraction dependence, and K+ permeation was blocked by other permeant ions (with K0.5 values: T1+, 44 microM; Rb+, 220 microM and NH4+, 1100 microM) as well as by essentially impermeant ions (Cs+, 22 microM Ba2+, 9200 microM) which apparently block Ih by binding in the pore. In contrast, Na+ had little blocking action on K+ permeation. The block by all of these ions was sensitive to external K+ with the block by Cs+ being the least sensitive. Na+ was more effective than K+ in reducing the block by T1+, Rb+ and NH4+, but was less effective for the block by Cs+ and Ba2+. The blocking action of Cs+ and Ba2+ was non-competitive, suggesting that they block Ih channels at independent sites. Based on the efficacy of block by the different ions, the degree to which K+ and Na+ antagonize this block and the noncompetitive blocking action of Cs+ and Ba2+, the permeation pathway of Ih channels appears to contain at least three ion binding sites with at least two sites having a higher affinity for K+ over Na+ and another site with a higher affinity for Na+ over K+.

  17. Correlating Photoreceptor Mosaic Structure to Clinical Findings in Stargardt Disease

    PubMed Central

    Razeen, Moataz M.; Cooper, Robert F.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Goldberg, Mara R.; Wilk, Melissa A.; Han, Dennis P.; Connor, Thomas B.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Collison, Frederick T.; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Dubra, Alfredo; Carroll, Joseph; Stepien, Kimberly E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To demonstrate a method for correlating photoreceptor mosaic structure with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and microperimetry findings in patients with Stargardt disease. Methods A total of 14 patients with clinically diagnosed Stargardt disease were imaged using confocal and split-detection adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy. Cone photoreceptors were identified manually in a band along the temporal meridian. Resulting values were compared to a normative database (n = 9) to generate cone density deviation (CDD) maps. Manual measurement of outer nuclear layer plus Henle fiber layer (ONL+HFL) thickness was performed, in addition to determination of the presence of ellipsoid zone (EZ) and interdigitation zone (IZ) bands on OCT. These results, along with microperimetry data, were overlaid with the CDD maps. Results Wide variation in foveal structure and CDD maps was seen within this small group. Disruption of ONL+HFL and/or IZ band was seen in all patients, with EZ band preservation in regions with low cone density in 38% of locations analyzed. Normality of retinal lamellar structure on OCT corresponded with cone density and visual function at 50/78 locations analyzed. Outer retinal tubulations containing photoreceptor-like structures were observed in 3 patients. Conclusions The use of CDD color-coded maps enables direct comparison of cone mosaic local density with other measures of retinal structure and function. Larger normative datasets and improved tools for automation of image alignment are needed. Translational Relevance The approach described facilitates comparison of complex multimodal data sets from patients with inherited retinal degeneration, and can be expanded to incorporate other structural imaging or functional testing. PMID:26981328

  18. Effect of G Protein–Coupled Receptor Kinase 1 (Grk1) Overexpression on Rod Photoreceptor Cell Viability

    PubMed Central

    Whitcomb, Tiffany; Sakurai, Keisuke; Brown, Bruce M.; Young, Joyce E.; Sheflin, Lowell; Dlugos, Cynthia; Craft, Cheryl M.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose. Photoreceptor rhodopsin kinase (Rk, G protein–dependent receptor kinase 1 [Grk1]) phosphorylates light-activated opsins and channels them into an inactive complex with visual arrestins. Grk1 deficiency leads to human retinopathy and heightened susceptibility to light-induced photoreceptor cell death in the mouse. The goal of this study was to determine whether excess Grk1 activity is protective against photoreceptor cell death. Methods. Grk1-overexpressing transgenic mice (Grk1+) were generated by using a bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) construct containing mouse Grk1, along with its flanking sequences. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, immunoblot analysis, immunostaining, and activity assays were combined with electrophysiology and morphometric analysis, to evaluate Grk1 overexpression and its effect on physiologic and morphologic retinal integrity. Morphometry and nucleosome release assays measured differences in resistance to photoreceptor cell loss between control and transgenic mice exposed to intense light. Results. Compared with control animals, the Grk1+ transgenic line had approximately a threefold increase in Grk1 transcript and immunoreactive protein. Phosphorylated opsin immunochemical staining and in vitro phosphorylation assays confirmed proportionately higher Grk1 enzyme activity. Grk1+ mice retained normal rod function, normal retinal appearance, and lacked evidence of spontaneous apoptosis when reared in cyclic light. In intense light, Grk1+ mice showed photoreceptor damage, and their susceptibility was more pronounced than that of control mice with prolonged exposure times. Conclusions. Enhancing visual pigment deactivation does not appear to protect against apoptosis; however, excess flow of opsin into the deactivation pathway may actually increase susceptibility to stress-induced cell death similar to some forms of retinal degeneration. PMID:19834036

  19. FIZ1 is expressed during photoreceptor maturation, and synergizes with NRL and CRX at rod-specific promoters in vitro.

    PubMed

    Mali, Raghuveer S; Zhang, Xiao; Hoerauf, Widmann; Doyle, Danielle; Devitt, Jeffrey; Loffreda-Wren, Janice; Mitton, Kenneth P

    2007-02-01

    FIZ1 (Flt-3 Interacting Zinc-finger) interacts and co-purifies with the rod-specific transcription factor NRL (Neural Retina Leucine zipper). We hypothesize that FIZ1 is part of an interface between cell-specific factors, like NRL, and more ubiquitous regulatory networks that vary the absolute expression levels of some rod-specific genes (i.e. Rhodopsin). As part of an ongoing exploration of FIZ1's role in neural retina, in vivo, we have taken the first look at FIZ1 expression in the developing mouse retina during the retinal maturation period. Using the normal C57B6 mouse as a model, multiple approaches were used including: immunoblotting, immunohistochemistry, and quantitative real-time PCR. Functional implications of FIZ1/NRL interaction, on NRL- and CRX-mediated activation of the Rhodopsin (Rho) and cGMP-phosphodiesterase beta-subunit gene (PDE6B) promoters, were examined by co-transfection assays. Immunoblot analysis revealed that FIZ1 protein levels were lowest in immature mouse neural retina (P0). FIZ1 concentration increased at least ten-fold as the neural retina matured to the adult state (P21 and later). Immunohistochemical comparison of immature post-natal and mature adult retina revealed increasing FIZ1 protein in photoreceptors, the inner plexiform layer, and the ganglion cell layer. Total retinal Fiz1 mRNA content increased as the neural retina matured. The expected increase in Rho mRNA level was also monitored as a genetic marker of photoreceptor maturation. In transient co-transfection assays of CV1 cells, FIZ1 synergized with NRL to activate transcription from the Rho and PDE6B gene promoters with some differences. In the case of the Rho promoter, FIZ1 synergized when both NRL and CRX were present. With the PDE6B promoter, FIZ1 synergized with NRL alone, and the inclusion of CRX decreased this synergy. These findings support previous evidence that FIZ1 is present in rod-photoreceptors (co-immunoprecipitation from nuclear-protein extracts with rod

  20. The GTP binding protein-dependent activation and deactivation of cGMP phosphodiesterase in rod photoreceptors

    SciTech Connect

    Yamazaki, Akio.

    1989-01-01

    Cyclic GMP (cGMP) has a crucial role in visual transduction. Recent electrophysiological studies clearly indicate the existence of cGMP-activated conductance in photoreceptor plasma membranes. In darkness, Na{sup +}, Ca{sup ++}, and Mg{sup ++} enter rod outer segments (ROS) through cGMP-activated channels while light closes channels by lowering cGMP concentrations through activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE). Many excellent reviews reference the mechanism of PDE activation in photoreceptors. However, recent progress in understanding the mechanisms regulating cGMP hydrolysis has raised an important question in the PDE-regulation: how does the three-dimensional movement of a subunit of transducin (retinal G protein) relate to the PDE activation Associated with that question, the mechanism of PDE regulation appears to vary at different stages of evolution, for example, frog and bovine photoreceptors. This review examines recent progress of the cGMP hydrolysis mechanism by focusing on the subunit interactions between transducin and PDE. 36 refs., 2 figs.

  1. Rod and cone photoreceptor cells produce ROS in response to stress in a live retinal explant system.

    PubMed

    Bhatt, Lavinia; Groeger, Gillian; McDermott, Kieran; Cotter, Thomas G

    2010-02-23

    The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can lead to oxidative stress, which is a strong contributory factor to many ocular diseases. In this study, the removal of trophic factors is used as a model system to investigate the effects of stress in the retina. The aims were to determine if both rod and cone photoreceptor cells produce ROS when they are deprived of trophic factor support and to demonstrate if the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (Nox) enzymes are responsible for this ROS production. Retinas were explanted from mice aged between postnatal days 8-10 and cultured overnight. The following morning, confocal microscopy combined with various fluorescent probes was used to detect the production of ROS. Each time peanut agglutinin (PNA), a cone photoreceptor marker, was used to facilitate orientation of the retina. Dihydroethidium and dihydrorhodamine 123 (DHR123) were used to determine which cells produce ROS. Subsequently, western blots of retinal serial sections were used to detect the presence of Noxs in the different retinal layers. The Nox inhibitor apocynin was then tested to determine if it altered the production of ROS within these cells. Live retinal explants, viewed at high magnifications using confocal microscopy, displayed an increase in the fluorescent products of dihydroethidium and DHR123 upon serum removal when compared to controls. DHR123 fluorescence, once oxidized, localized to mitochondria and was found in the same focal plane as the PNA staining. This showed that cones and rods produced ROS when stressed. Retinal serial sectioning established that the photoreceptor layer expressed Nox4, dual oxidase (Duox) 1, and Duox2 at varying levels. Finally, the Nox inhibitor apocynin decreased the burst stimulated by the stress of serum removal. Confocal microscopy and PNA staining allowed differentiation of cell types within the outermost layers of the retina, demonstrating that both rods and cones generated ROS in

  2. Rod and cone photoreceptor cells produce ROS in response to stress in a live retinal explant system

    PubMed Central

    Bhatt, Lavinia; Groeger, Gillian; McDermott, Kieran

    2010-01-01

    Purpose The production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) can lead to oxidative stress, which is a strong contributory factor to many ocular diseases. In this study, the removal of trophic factors is used as a model system to investigate the effects of stress in the retina. The aims were to determine if both rod and cone photoreceptor cells produce ROS when they are deprived of trophic factor support and to demonstrate if the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase (Nox) enzymes are responsible for this ROS production. Methods Retinas were explanted from mice aged between postnatal days 8–10 and cultured overnight. The following morning, confocal microscopy combined with various fluorescent probes was used to detect the production of ROS. Each time peanut agglutinin (PNA), a cone photoreceptor marker, was used to facilitate orientation of the retina. Dihydroethidium and dihydrorhodamine 123 (DHR123) were used to determine which cells produce ROS. Subsequently, western blots of retinal serial sections were used to detect the presence of Noxs in the different retinal layers. The Nox inhibitor apocynin was then tested to determine if it altered the production of ROS within these cells. Results Live retinal explants, viewed at high magnifications using confocal microscopy, displayed an increase in the fluorescent products of dihydroethidium and DHR123 upon serum removal when compared to controls. DHR123 fluorescence, once oxidized, localized to mitochondria and was found in the same focal plane as the PNA staining. This showed that cones and rods produced ROS when stressed. Retinal serial sectioning established that the photoreceptor layer expressed Nox4, dual oxidase (Duox) 1, and Duox2 at varying levels. Finally, the Nox inhibitor apocynin decreased the burst stimulated by the stress of serum removal. Conclusions Confocal microscopy and PNA staining allowed differentiation of cell types within the outermost layers of the retina, demonstrating that

  3. Physiological properties of rod photoreceptor electrical coupling in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2005-05-01

    Using dual whole-cell voltage and current clamp recording techniques, we investigated the gap junctional conductance and the coupling coefficient between neighbouring rods in live salamander retinal slices. The application of sinusoidal stimuli over a wide range of temporal frequencies allowed us to characterize the band-pass filtering properties of the rod network. We found that the electrical coupling of all neighbouring rods exhibited reciprocal and symmetrical conductivities. On average, the junctional conductance between paired rods was 500 pS and the coupling coefficient (the ratio of voltage responses of the follower cell to those of the driver cell), or K-value, was 0.07. Our experimental results also demonstrated that the rod network behaved like a band-pass filter with a peak frequency of about 2-5 Hz. However, the gap junctions between adjacent rods exhibited linearity and voltage independency within the physiological range of rods. These gap junctions did not contribute to the filtering mechanisms of the rod network. Combined with the computational modelling, our data suggest that the filtering of higher frequency rod signals by the network is largely mediated by the passive resistive and capacitive (RC) properties of rod plasma membranes. Furthermore, we found several attributes of rod electrical coupling resembling the physiological properties of gene-encoded Cx35/36 gap junctions examined in other in vitro studies. This indicates that the previously found Cx35/36 expression in the salamander rod network may be functionally involved in rod-rod electrical coupling.

  4. Role of the sigma-1 receptor chaperone in rod and cone photoreceptor degenerations in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Yang, Huan; Fu, Yingmei; Liu, Xinying; Shahi, Pawan K; Mavlyutov, Timur A; Li, Jun; Yao, Annie; Guo, Steven Z-W; Pattnaik, Bikash R; Guo, Lian-Wang

    2017-09-19

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is the most common inherited retinal degenerative disease yet with no effective treatment available. The sigma-1 receptor (S1R), a ligand-regulated chaperone, emerges as a potential retina-protective therapeutic target. In particular, pharmacological activation of S1R was recently shown to rescue cones in the rd10 mouse, a rod Pde6b mutant that recapitulates the RP pathology of autonomous rod degeneration followed by secondary death of cones. The mechanisms underlying the S1R protection for cones are not understood in detail. By rearing rd10/S1R(-/-) and rd10/S1R(+/+) mice in dim light to decelerate rapid rod/cone degeneration, we were able to compare their retinal biochemistry, histology and functions throughout postnatal 3-6 weeks (3 W-6 W). The receptor-interacting protein kinases (RIP1/RIP3) and their interaction (proximity ligation) dramatically up-regulated after 5 W in rd10/S1R(-/-) (versus rd10/S1R(+/+)) retinas, indicative of intensified necroptosis activation, which was accompanied by exacerbated loss of cones. Greater rod loss in rd10/S1R(-/-) versus rd10/S1R(+/+) retinas was evidenced by more cleaved Caspase3 (4 W) and lower rod electro-retinographic a-waves (4 W-6 W), concomitant with reduced LC3-II and CHOP (4 W-6 W), markers of autophagy and endoplasmic reticulum stress response, respectively. However, the opposite occurred at 3 W. This study reveals previously uncharacterized S1R-associated mechanisms during rd10 photoreceptor degeneration, including S1R's influences on necroptosis and autophagy as well as its biphasic role in rod degeneration upstream of cone death.

  5. Physiological properties of rod photoreceptor electrical coupling in the tiger salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2005-01-01

    Using dual whole-cell voltage and current clamp recording techniques, we investigated the gap junctional conductance and the coupling coefficient between neighbouring rods in live salamander retinal slices. The application of sinusoidal stimuli over a wide range of temporal frequencies allowed us to characterize the band-pass filtering properties of the rod network. We found that the electrical coupling of all neighbouring rods exhibited reciprocal and symmetrical conductivities. On average, the junctional conductance between paired rods was 500 pS and the coupling coefficient (the ratio of voltage responses of the follower cell to those of the driver cell), or K-value, was 0.07. Our experimental results also demonstrated that the rod network behaved like a band-pass filter with a peak frequency of about 2–5 Hz. However, the gap junctions between adjacent rods exhibited linearity and voltage independency within the physiological range of rods. These gap junctions did not contribute to the filtering mechanisms of the rod network. Combined with the computational modelling, our data suggest that the filtering of higher frequency rod signals by the network is largely mediated by the passive resistive and capacitive (RC) properties of rod plasma membranes. Furthermore, we found several attributes of rod electrical coupling resembling the physiological properties of gene-encoded Cx35/36 gap junctions examined in other in vitro studies. This indicates that the previously found Cx35/36 expression in the salamander rod network may be functionally involved in rod–rod electrical coupling. PMID:15746168

  6. Rapid kinetics of endocytosis at rod photoreceptor synapses depends upon endocytic load and calcium.

    PubMed

    Cork, Karlene M; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2014-05-01

    Release from rods is triggered by the opening of L-type Ca2+ channels that lie beneath synaptic ribbons. After exocytosis, vesicles are retrieved by compensatory endocytosis. Previous work showed that endocytosis is dynamin-dependent in rods but dynamin-independent in cones. We hypothesized that fast endocytosis in rods may also differ from cones in its dependence upon the amount of Ca2+ influx and/or endocytic load. We measured exocytosis and endocytosis from membrane capacitance (C m) changes evoked by depolarizing steps in voltage clamped rods from tiger salamander retinal slices. Similar to cones, the time constant for endocytosis in rods was quite fast, averaging <200 ms. We manipulated Ca2+ influx and the amount of vesicle release by altering the duration and voltage of depolarizing steps. Unlike cones, endocytosis kinetics in rods slowed after increasing Ca2+ channel activation with longer step durations or more strongly depolarized voltage steps. Endocytosis kinetics also slowed as Ca2+ buffering was decreased by replacing BAPTA (10 or 1 mM) with the slower Ca2+ buffer EGTA (5 or 0.5 mM) in the pipette solution. These data provide further evidence that endocytosis mechanisms differ in rods and cones and suggest that endocytosis in rods is regulated by both endocytic load and local Ca2+ levels.

  7. Rapid kinetics of endocytosis at rod photoreceptor synapses depends upon endocytic load and calcium

    PubMed Central

    CORK, KARLENE M.; THORESON, WALLACE B.

    2015-01-01

    Release from rods is triggered by the opening of L-type Ca2+ channels that lie beneath synaptic ribbons. After exocytosis, vesicles are retrieved by compensatory endocytosis. Previous work showed that endocytosis is dynamin-dependent in rods but dynamin-independent in cones. We hypothesized that fast endocytosis in rods may also differ from cones in its dependence upon the amount of Ca2+ influx and/or endocytic load. We measured exocytosis and endocytosis from membrane capacitance (Cm) changes evoked by depolarizing steps in voltage clamped rods from tiger salamander retinal slices. Similar to cones, the time constant for endocytosis in rods was quite fast, averaging <200 ms. We manipulated Ca2+ influx and the amount of vesicle release by altering the duration and voltage of depolarizing steps. Unlike cones, endocytosis kinetics in rods slowed after increasing Ca2+ channel activation with longer step durations or more strongly depolarized voltage steps. Endocytosis kinetics also slowed as Ca2+ buffering was decreased by replacing BAPTA (10 or 1 mM) with the slower Ca2+ buffer EGTA (5 or 0.5 mM) in the pipette solution. These data provide further evidence that endocytosis mechanisms differ in rods and cones and suggest that endocytosis in rods is regulated by both endocytic load and local Ca2+ levels. PMID:24735554

  8. The Function of Guanylate Cyclase 1 and Guanylate Cyclase 2 in Rod and Cone Photoreceptors*S

    PubMed Central

    Baehr, Wolfgang; Karan, Sukanya; Maeda, Tadao; Luo, Dong-Gen; Li, Sha; Darin Bronson, J.; Watt, Carl B.; Yau, King-Wai; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2007-01-01

    Retinal guanylate cyclases 1 and 2 (GC1 and GC2) are responsible for synthesis of cyclic GMP in rods and cones, but their individual contributions to phototransduction are unknown. We report here that the deletion of both GC1 and GC2 rendered rod and cone photoreceptors nonfunctional and unstable. In the rod outer segments of GC double knock-out mice, guanylate cyclase-activating proteins 1 and 2, and cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase were undetectable, although rhodopsin and transducin α-subunit were mostly unaffected. Outer segment membranes of GC1−/− and GC double knock-out cones were destabilized and devoid of cone transducin (α- and γ-subunits), cone phosphodiesterase, and G protein-coupled receptor kinase 1, whereas cone pigments were present at reduced levels. Real time reverse transcription-PCR analyses demonstrated normal RNA transcript levels for the down-regulated proteins, indicating that down-regulation is posttranslational. We interpret these results to demonstrate an intrinsic requirement of GCs for stability and/or transport of a set of membrane-associated phototransduction proteins. PMID:17255100

  9. The disruption of the rod-derived cone viability gene leads to photoreceptor dysfunction and susceptibility to oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Cronin, Thérèse; Raffelsberger, Wolfgang; Lee-Rivera, Irene; Jaillard, Céline; Niepon, Marie-Laure; Kinzel, Bernd; Clérin, Emmanuelle; Petrosian, Andranik; Picaud, Serge; Poch, Olivier; Sahel, José-Alain; Léveillard, Thierry

    2010-01-01

    Rod-derived Cone Viability Factor is a thioredoxin-like protein which has therapeutic potential for rod-cone dystrophies such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Cone loss in rodent models of RP is effectively reduced by RdCVF treatment. Here we investigate the physiological role of RdCVF in the retina by analyzing the phenotype of the mouse lacking the RdCVF gene, Nxnl1. While the mice do not show an obvious developmental defect, an age-related reduction of both cone and rod function and a delay in the dark-adaptation of the retina are recorded by electroretinogram (ERG). This functional change is accompanied by a 17 % reduction in cone density and a 20 % reduction in thickness of the outer nuclear layer. The transcriptome of the retina reveals early changes in the expression of genes involved in programmed cell death, stress-response and redox-signaling which is followed by a generalized injury response with increased microglial activation, GFAP, FGF2 and lipid peroxidation levels. Furthermore cones of the mice lacking Nxnl1 are more sensitive to oxidative stress with a reduction of 65 % in the cone flicker ERG amplitude measured under hyperoxic conditions. We demonstrate here that the RdCVF gene, in addition to therapeutic properties, has an essential role in photoreceptor maintenance and resistance to retinal oxidative stress. PMID:20139892

  10. Rod differentiation factor NRL activates the expression of nuclear receptor NR2E3 to suppress the development of cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Oh, Edwin C. T.; Cheng, Hong; Hao, Hong; Jia, Lin; Khan, Naheed Wali; Swaroop, Anand

    2008-01-01

    Neural developmental programs require a high level of coordination between the decision to exit cell cycle and acquisition of cell fate. The Maf-family transcription factor NRL is essential for rod photoreceptor specification in the mammalian retina as its loss of function converts rod precursors to functional cones. Ectopic expression of NRL or a photoreceptor-specific orphan nuclear receptor NR2E3 completely suppresses cone development while concurrently directing the post-mitotic photoreceptor precursors towards rod cell fate. Given that NRL and NR2E3 have overlapping functions and NR2E3 expression is abolished in the Nrl−/− retina, we wanted to clarify the distinct roles of NRL and NR2E3 during retinal differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that NRL binds to a sequence element in the Nr2e3 promoter and enhances its activity synergistically with the homeodomain protein CRX. Using transgenic mice, we show that NRL can only partially suppress cone development in the absence of NR2E3. Gene profiling of retinas from transgenic mice that ectopically express NR2E3 or NRL in cone precursors reveals overlapping and unique targets of these two transcription factors. Together with previous reports, our findings establish the hierarchy of transcriptional regulators in determining rod versus cone cell fate in photoreceptor precursors during the development of mammalian retina. PMID:18294621

  11. Rod differentiation factor NRL activates the expression of nuclear receptor NR2E3 to suppress the development of cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Oh, Edwin C T; Cheng, Hong; Hao, Hong; Jia, Lin; Khan, Naheed Wali; Swaroop, Anand

    2008-10-21

    Neural developmental programs require a high level of coordination between the decision to exit cell cycle and acquisition of cell fate. The Maf-family transcription factor NRL is essential for rod photoreceptor specification in the mammalian retina as its loss of function converts rod precursors to functional cones. Ectopic expression of NRL or a photoreceptor-specific orphan nuclear receptor NR2E3 completely suppresses cone development while concurrently directing the post-mitotic photoreceptor precursors towards rod cell fate. Given that NRL and NR2E3 have overlapping functions and NR2E3 expression is abolished in the Nrl(-/-) retina, we wanted to clarify the distinct roles of NRL and NR2E3 during retinal differentiation. Here, we demonstrate that NRL binds to a sequence element in the Nr2e3 promoter and enhances its activity synergistically with the homeodomain protein CRX. Using transgenic mice, we show that NRL can only partially suppress cone development in the absence of NR2E3. Gene profiling of retinas from transgenic mice that ectopically express NR2E3 or NRL in cone precursors reveals overlapping and unique targets of these two transcription factors. Together with previous reports, our findings establish the hierarchy of transcriptional regulators in determining rod versus cone cell fate in photoreceptor precursors during the development of mammalian retina.

  12. rab8 in retinal photoreceptors may participate in rhodopsin transport and in rod outer segment disk morphogenesis.

    PubMed

    Deretic, D; Huber, L A; Ransom, N; Mancini, M; Simons, K; Papermaster, D S

    1995-01-01

    Small GTP-binding protein rab8 regulates transport from the TGN to the basolateral plasma membrane in epithelial cells and to the dendritic plasma membrane in cultured hippocampal neurons. In our approach to identify proteins involved in rhodopsin transport and sorting in retinal photoreceptors, we have found, using [32P]GTP overlays of 2D gel blots, that six small GTP-binding proteins are tightly bound to the post-Golgi membranes immunoisolated with a mAb to the cytoplasmic domain of frog rhodopsin. We report here that one of these proteins is rab8. About 50% of photoreceptor rab8 is membrane associated and approximately 13% is tightly bound to the post-Golgi vesicles. By confocal microscopy, antibody to rab8 specifically labels calycal processes and the actin bundles of the photoreceptor inner segment that extend inward to the junctional complexes that comprise the outer limiting membrane. Anti-rab8 shows a striking periodicity of high density labeling at 1 +/- 0.12 microns intervals along the actin bundles. Rhodopsin-bearing post-Golgi membranes cluster around the base of the cilium where rab8 and actin are also co-localized, as revealed by confocal microscopy of retinal sections double labeled with anti-rab8 and phalloidin. Microfilaments have been implicated in rod outer segment (ROS) disk morphogenesis. Our data suggest that rab6, which we have previously localized to the post-Golgi compartment, and rab8 associate with the post-Golgi membranes sequentially at different stages of transport. rab8 may mediate later steps that involve interaction of transport membranes with actin filaments and may participate in microfilament-dependent ROS disk morphogenesis.

  13. Human amniotic fluid promotes retinal pigmented epithelial cells' trans-differentiation into rod photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed

    Ghaderi, Shima; Soheili, Zahra-Soheila; Ahmadieh, Hamid; Davari, Maliheh; Jahromi, Fatemeh Sanie; Samie, Shahram; Rezaie-Kanavi, Mozhgan; Pakravesh, Jalil; Deezagi, Abdolkhalegh

    2011-09-01

    To evaluate the effect of human amniotic fluid (HAF) on retinal pigmented epithelial cells growth and trans-differentiation into retinal neurons, retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) cells were isolated from neonatal human cadaver eye globes and cultured in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium-F12 supplemented with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS). Confluent monolayer cultures were trypsinized and passaged using FBS-containing or HAF-containing media. Amniotic fluid samples were received from pregnant women in the first trimester of gestation. Cell proliferation and death enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays were performed to assess the effect of HAF on RPE cell growth. Trans-differentiation into rod photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells was also studied using immunocytochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction techniques. Primary cultures of RPE cells were successfully established under FBS-containing or HAF-containing media leading to rapid cell growth and proliferation. When RPE cells were moved to in vitro culture system, they began to lose their differentiation markers such as pigmentation and RPE65 marker and trans-differentiated neural-like cells followed by spheroid colonies pertaining to stem/progenitor cells were morphologically detected. Immunocytochemistry (ICC) analysis of HAF-treated cultures showed a considerable expression of Rhodopsin gene (30% Rhodopsin-positive cells) indicating trans-differentiation of RPE cells to rod photoreceptors. Real-time polymerase chain reaction revealed an HAF-dose-dependant expression of Thy-1 gene (RGC marker) and significant promoting effect of HAF on RGCs generation. The data presented here suggest that HAF possesses invaluable stimulatory effect on RPE cells growth and trans-differentiation into retinal neurons. It can be regarded as a newly introduced enriched supplement in serum-free kinds of media used in neuro-retinal regeneration studies.

  14. Nrl-Cre transgenic mouse mediates loxP recombination in developing rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Brightman, Diana S.; Razafsky, David; Potter, Chloe; Hodzic, Didier; Chen, Shiming

    2016-01-01

    The developing mouse retina is a tractable model for studying neurogenesis and differentiation. Although transgenic Cre mouse lines exist to mediate conditional genetic manipulations in developing mouse retinas, none of them act specifically in early developing rods. For conditional genetic manipulations of developing retinas, we created a Nrl-Cre mouse line in which the Nrl promoter drives expression of Cre in rod precursors. Our results show that Nrl-Cre expression is specific to the retina where it drives rod-specific recombination with a temporal pattern similar to endogenous Nrl expression during retinal development. This Nrl-Cre transgene does not negatively impact retinal structure and function. Taken together, our data suggest that the Nrl-Cre mouse line is a valuable tool to drive Cre-mediated recombination specifically in developing rods. PMID:26789558

  15. Nrl-Cre transgenic mouse mediates loxP recombination in developing rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Brightman, Diana S; Razafsky, David; Potter, Chloe; Hodzic, Didier; Chen, Shiming

    2016-03-01

    The developing mouse retina is a tractable model for studying neurogenesis and differentiation. Although transgenic Cre mouse lines exist to mediate conditional genetic manipulations in developing mouse retinas, none of them act specifically in early developing rods. For conditional genetic manipulations of developing retinas, a Nrl-Cre mouse line in which the Nrl promoter drives expression of Cre in rod precursors was created. The results showed that Nrl-Cre expression was specific to the retina where it drives rod-specific recombination with a temporal pattern similar to endogenous Nrl expression during retinal development. This Nrl-Cre transgene does not negatively impact retinal structure and function. Taken together, the data suggested that the Nrl-Cre mouse line was a valuable tool to drive Cre-mediated recombination specifically in developing rods. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  16. Properties of ribbon and non-ribbon release from rod photoreceptors revealed by visualizing individual synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Chen, Minghui; Van Hook, Matthew J; Zenisek, David; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2013-01-30

    Vesicle release from rod photoreceptors is regulated by Ca(2+) entry through L-type channels located near synaptic ribbons. We characterized sites and kinetics of vesicle release in salamander rods by using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to visualize fusion of individual synaptic vesicles. A small number of vesicles were loaded by brief incubation with FM1-43 or a dextran-conjugated, pH-sensitive form of rhodamine, pHrodo. Labeled organelles matched the diffraction-limited size of fluorescent microspheres and disappeared rapidly during stimulation. Consistent with fusion, depolarization-evoked vesicle disappearance paralleled electrophysiological release kinetics and was blocked by inhibiting Ca(2+) influx. Rods maintained tonic release at resting membrane potentials near those in darkness, causing depletion of membrane-associated vesicles unless Ca(2+) entry was inhibited. This depletion of release sites implies that sustained release may be rate limited by vesicle delivery. During depolarizing stimulation, newly appearing vesicles approached the membrane at ∼800 nm/s, where they paused for ∼60 ms before fusion. With fusion, vesicles advanced ∼18 nm closer to the membrane. Release events were concentrated near ribbons, but lengthy depolarization also triggered release from more distant non-ribbon sites. Consistent with greater contributions from non-ribbon sites during lengthier depolarization, damaging the ribbon by fluorophore-assisted laser inactivation (FALI) of Ribeye caused only weak inhibition of exocytotic capacitance increases evoked by 200-ms depolarizing test steps, whereas FALI more strongly inhibited capacitance increases evoked by 25 ms steps. Amplifying release by use of non-ribbon sites when rods are depolarized in darkness may improve detection of decrements in release when they hyperpolarize to light.

  17. Properties of Ribbon and Non-Ribbon Release from Rod Photoreceptors Revealed by Visualizing Individual Synaptic Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Minghui; Van Hook, Matthew J.; Zenisek, David

    2013-01-01

    Vesicle release from rod photoreceptors is regulated by Ca2+ entry through L-type channels located near synaptic ribbons. We characterized sites and kinetics of vesicle release in salamander rods by using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to visualize fusion of individual synaptic vesicles. A small number of vesicles were loaded by brief incubation with FM1–43 or a dextran-conjugated, pH-sensitive form of rhodamine, pHrodo. Labeled organelles matched the diffraction-limited size of fluorescent microspheres and disappeared rapidly during stimulation. Consistent with fusion, depolarization-evoked vesicle disappearance paralleled electrophysiological release kinetics and was blocked by inhibiting Ca2+ influx. Rods maintained tonic release at resting membrane potentials near those in darkness, causing depletion of membrane-associated vesicles unless Ca2+ entry was inhibited. This depletion of release sites implies that sustained release may be rate limited by vesicle delivery. During depolarizing stimulation, newly appearing vesicles approached the membrane at ∼800 nm/s, where they paused for ∼60 ms before fusion. With fusion, vesicles advanced ∼18 nm closer to the membrane. Release events were concentrated near ribbons, but lengthy depolarization also triggered release from more distant non-ribbon sites. Consistent with greater contributions from non-ribbon sites during lengthier depolarization, damaging the ribbon by fluorophore-assisted laser inactivation (FALI) of Ribeye caused only weak inhibition of exocytotic capacitance increases evoked by 200-ms depolarizing test steps, whereas FALI more strongly inhibited capacitance increases evoked by 25 ms steps. Amplifying release by use of non-ribbon sites when rods are depolarized in darkness may improve detection of decrements in release when they hyperpolarize to light. PMID:23365244

  18. Cone and rod photoreceptor transplantation in models of the childhood retinopathy Leber congenital amaurosis using flow-sorted Crx-positive donor cells.

    PubMed

    Lakowski, J; Baron, M; Bainbridge, J; Barber, A C; Pearson, R A; Ali, R R; Sowden, J C

    2010-12-01

    Retinal degenerative disease causing loss of photoreceptor cells is the leading cause of untreatable blindness in the developed world, with inherited degeneration affecting 1 in 3000 people. Visual acuity deteriorates rapidly once the cone photoreceptors die, as these cells provide daylight and colour vision. Here, in proof-of-principle experiments, we demonstrate the feasibility of cone photoreceptor transplantation into the wild-type and degenerating retina of two genetic models of Leber congenital amaurosis, the Crb1(rd8/rd8) and Gucy2e(-/-) mouse. Crx-expressing cells were flow-sorted from the developing retina of CrxGFP transgenic mice and transplanted into adult recipient retinae; CrxGFP is a marker of cone and rod photoreceptor commitment. Only the embryonic-stage Crx-positive donor cells integrated within the outer nuclear layer of the recipient and differentiated into new cones, whereas postnatal cells generated a 10-fold higher number of rods compared with embryonic-stage donors. New cone photoreceptors displayed unambiguous morphological cone features and expressed mature cone markers. Importantly, we found that the adult environment influences the number of integrating cones and favours rod integration. New cones and rods were observed in ratios similar to that of the host retina (1:35) even when the transplanted population consisted primarily of cone precursors. Cone integration efficiency was highest in the cone-deficient Gucy2e(-/-) retina suggesting that cone depletion creates a more optimal environment for cone transplantation. This is the first comprehensive study demonstrating the feasibility of cone transplantation into the adult retina. We conclude that flow-sorted embryonic-stage Crx-positive donor cells have the potential to replace lost cones, as well as rods, an important requirement for retinal disease therapy.

  19. Cone and rod photoreceptor transplantation in models of the childhood retinopathy Leber congenital amaurosis using flow-sorted Crx-positive donor cells

    PubMed Central

    Lakowski, J.; Baron, M.; Bainbridge, J.; Barber, A.C.; Pearson, R.A.; Ali, R.R.; Sowden, J.C.

    2010-01-01

    Retinal degenerative disease causing loss of photoreceptor cells is the leading cause of untreatable blindness in the developed world, with inherited degeneration affecting 1 in 3000 people. Visual acuity deteriorates rapidly once the cone photoreceptors die, as these cells provide daylight and colour vision. Here, in proof-of-principle experiments, we demonstrate the feasibility of cone photoreceptor transplantation into the wild-type and degenerating retina of two genetic models of Leber congenital amaurosis, the Crb1rd8/rd8 and Gucy2e−/− mouse. Crx-expressing cells were flow-sorted from the developing retina of CrxGFP transgenic mice and transplanted into adult recipient retinae; CrxGFP is a marker of cone and rod photoreceptor commitment. Only the embryonic-stage Crx-positive donor cells integrated within the outer nuclear layer of the recipient and differentiated into new cones, whereas postnatal cells generated a 10-fold higher number of rods compared with embryonic-stage donors. New cone photoreceptors displayed unambiguous morphological cone features and expressed mature cone markers. Importantly, we found that the adult environment influences the number of integrating cones and favours rod integration. New cones and rods were observed in ratios similar to that of the host retina (1:35) even when the transplanted population consisted primarily of cone precursors. Cone integration efficiency was highest in the cone-deficient Gucy2e−/− retina suggesting that cone depletion creates a more optimal environment for cone transplantation. This is the first comprehensive study demonstrating the feasibility of cone transplantation into the adult retina. We conclude that flow-sorted embryonic-stage Crx-positive donor cells have the potential to replace lost cones, as well as rods, an important requirement for retinal disease therapy. PMID:20858907

  20. Intracellular calcium stores drive slow non-ribbon vesicle release from rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Minghui; Križaj, David; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2014-01-01

    Rods are capable of greater slow release than cones contributing to overall slower release kinetics. Slow release in rods involves Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR). By impairing release from ribbons, we found that unlike cones where release occurs entirely at ribbon-style active zones, slow release from rods occurs mostly at ectopic, non-ribbon sites. To investigate the role of CICR in ribbon and non-ribbon release from rods, we used total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy as a tool for visualizing terminals of isolated rods loaded with fluorescent Ca2+ indicator dyes and synaptic vesicles loaded with dextran-conjugated pH-sensitive rhodamine. We found that rather than simply facilitating release, activation of CICR by ryanodine triggered release directly in rods, independent of plasma membrane Ca2+ channel activation. Ryanodine-evoked release occurred mostly at non-ribbon sites and release evoked by sustained depolarization at non-ribbon sites was mostly due to CICR. Unlike release at ribbon-style active zones, non-ribbon release did not occur at fixed locations. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-tracker dye in rod terminals showed that ER extends continuously from synapse to soma. Release of Ca2+ from terminal ER by lengthy depolarization did not significantly deplete Ca2+ from ER in the perikaryon. Collectively, these results indicate that CICR-triggered release at non-ribbon sites is a major mechanism for maintaining vesicle release from rods and that CICR in terminals may be sustained by diffusion of Ca2+ through ER from other parts of the cell. PMID:24550779

  1. Bcl-xL overexpression blocks bax-mediated mitochondrial contact site formation and apoptosis in rod photoreceptors of lead-exposed mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Lihua; Perkins, Guy A.; Poblenz, Ann T.; Harris, Jeffrey B.; Hung, Michael; Ellisman, Mark H.; Fox, Donald A.

    2003-02-01

    Photoreceptor apoptosis and resultant visual deficits occur in humans and animals with inherited and disease-, injury-, and chemical-induced retinal degeneration. A clinically relevant mouse model of progressive rod photoreceptor-selective apoptosis was produced by low-level developmental lead exposure and studied in combination with transgenic mice overexpressing Bcl-xL only in the photoreceptors. A multiparametric analysis of rod apoptosis and mitochondrial structure-function was performed. Mitochondrial cristae topography and connectivity, matrix volume, and contact sites were examined by using 3D electron tomography. Lead-induced rod-selective apoptosis was accompanied by rod Ca2+ overload, rhodopsin loss, translocation of Bax from the cytosol to the mitochondria, decreased rod mitochondrial respiration and membrane potential, mitochondrial cytochrome c release, caspase-3 activation, and an increase in the number of mitochondrial contact sites. These effects occurred without mitochondrial matrix swelling, outer membrane rupture, caspase-8 activation, or Bid cleavage. Bcl-xL overexpression completely blocked all apoptotic events, except Ca2+ overload, and maintained normal rod mitochondrial function throughout adulthood. This study presents images of mitochondrial contact sites in an in vivo apoptosis model and shows that Bcl-xL overexpression blocks increased contact sites and apoptosis. These findings extend our in vitro retinal studies with Pb2+ and Ca2+ and suggest that developmental lead exposure produced rod-selective apoptosis without mitochondrial swelling by translocating cytosolic Bax to the mitochondria, which likely sensitized the Pb2+ and Ca2+ overloaded rod mitochondria to release cytochrome c. These results have relevance for therapies in a wide variety of progressive retinal and neuronal degenerations where Ca2+ overload, lead exposure, and/or mitochondrial dysfunction occur.

  2. Phosducin-like protein 1 is essential for G protein assembly and signaling in retinal rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Chun Wan J.; Kolesnikov, Alexander V.; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Blake, Devon R.; Jiang, Li; Stewart, Jubal S.; Chen, Ching-Kang; Barrow, Jeffery R.; Baehr, Wolfgang; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Willardson, Barry M.

    2013-01-01

    G protein β subunits perform essential neuronal functions as part of G protein βγ and Gβ5-RGS (Regulators of G protein Signaling) complexes. Both Gβγ and Gβ5-RGS are obligate dimers that are thought to require the assistance of the cytosolic chaperonin CCT and a co-chaperone, phosducin-like protein 1 (PhLP1) for dimer formation. To test this hypothesis in vivo, we deleted the Phlp1 gene in mouse (Mus musculus) retinal rod photoreceptor cells and measured the effects on G protein biogenesis and visual signal transduction. In the PhLP1-depleted rods, Gβγ dimer formation was decreased 50-fold, resulting in a more than 10-fold decrease in light sensitivity. Moreover, a 20-fold reduction in Gβ5 and RGS9-1 expression was also observed, causing a 15-fold delay in the shutoff of light responses. These findings conclusively demonstrate in vivo that PhLP1 is required for the folding and assembly of both Gβγ and Gβ5-RGS9. PMID:23637185

  3. Receptor interacting protein kinase-mediated necrosis contributes to cone and rod photoreceptor degeneration in the retina lacking interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein.

    PubMed

    Sato, Kota; Li, Songhua; Gordon, William C; He, Jibao; Liou, Gregory I; Hill, James M; Travis, Gabriel H; Bazan, Nicolas G; Jin, Minghao

    2013-10-30

    Interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) secreted by photoreceptors plays a pivotal role in photoreceptor survival with an unknown mechanism. A mutation in the human IRBP has been linked to retinitis pigmentosa, a progressive retinal degenerative disease. Mice lacking IRBP display severe early and progressive photoreceptor degeneration. However, the signaling pathway(s) leading to photoreceptor death in IRBP-deficient mice remains poorly understood. Here, we show that amounts of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the interphotoreceptor matrix and retinas of Irbp(-/-) mice were increased more than 10-fold and fivefold, respectively, compared with those in wild-type mice. Moreover, TNF-α receptor 1, an important membrane death receptor that mediates both programmed apoptosis and necrosis, was also significantly increased in Irbp(-/-) retina, and was colocalized with peanut agglutinin to the Irbp(-/-) cone outer segments. Although these death signaling proteins were increased, the caspase-dependent and independent apoptotic pathways were mildly activated in the Irbp(-/-) retinas, suggesting that other cell death mechanism(s) also contributes to the extensive photoreceptor degeneration in Irbp(-/-) retina. We found that receptor interacting protein 1 and 3 (RIP1 and RIP3) kinases, the intracellular key mediators of TNF-induced cellular necrosis, were elevated at least threefold in the Irbp(-/-) retinas. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of RIP1 kinase significantly prevented cone and rod photoreceptor degeneration in Irbp(-/-) mice. These results reveal that RIP kinase-mediated necrosis strongly contributes to cone and rod degeneration in Irbp(-/-) mice, implicating the TNF-RIP pathway as a potential therapeutic target to prevent or delay photoreceptor degeneration in patients with retinitis pigmentosa caused by IRBP mutation.

  4. Presynaptic localization of GluK5 in rod photoreceptors suggests a novel function of high affinity glutamate receptors in the mammalian retina

    PubMed Central

    Frotscher, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Kainate receptors mediate glutamatergic signaling through both pre- and presynaptic receptors. Here, we studied the expression of the high affinity kainate receptor GluK5 in the mouse retina. Double-immunofluoresence labeling and electron microscopic analysis revealed a presynaptic localization of GluK5 in the outer plexiform layer. Unexpectedly, we found GluK5 almost exclusively localized to the presynaptic ribbon of photoreceptor terminals. Moreover, in GluK5-deficient mutant mice the structural integrity of synaptic ribbons was severely altered pointing to a novel function of GluK5 in organizing synaptic ribbons in the presynaptic terminals of rod photoreceptors. PMID:28235022

  5. Viral-mediated RdCVF and RdCVFL expression protects cone and rod photoreceptors in retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Byrne, Leah C.; Dalkara, Deniz; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K.; Clérin, Emmanuelle; Sahel, Jose-Alain; Léveillard, Thierry; Flannery, John G.

    2014-01-01

    Alternative splicing of nucleoredoxin-like 1 (Nxnl1) results in 2 isoforms of the rod-derived cone viability factor. The truncated form (RdCVF) is a thioredoxin-like protein secreted by rods that promotes cone survival, while the full-length isoform (RdCVFL), which contains a thioredoxin fold, is involved in oxidative signaling and protection against hyperoxia. Here, we evaluated the effects of these different isoforms in 2 murine models of rod-cone dystrophy. We used adeno-associated virus (AAV) to express these isoforms in mice and found that both systemic and intravitreal injection of engineered AAV vectors resulted in RdCVF and RdCVFL expression in the eye. Systemic delivery of AAV92YF vectors in neonates resulted in earlier onset of RdCVF and RdCVFL expression compared with that observed with intraocular injection using the same vectors at P14. We also evaluated the efficacy of intravitreal injection using a recently developed photoreceptor-transducing AAV variant (7m8) at P14. Systemic administration of AAV92YF-RdCVF improved cone function and delayed cone loss, while AAV92YF-RdCVFL increased rhodopsin mRNA and reduced oxidative stress by-products. Intravitreal 7m8-RdCVF slowed the rate of cone cell death and increased the amplitude of the photopic electroretinogram. Together, these results indicate different functions for Nxnl1 isoforms in the retina and suggest that RdCVF gene therapy has potential for treating retinal degenerative disease. PMID:25415434

  6. Photoreceptor rescue.

    PubMed

    Luthert, P J; Chong, N H

    1998-01-01

    Photoreceptor cell death is the final, irreversible event in many blinding diseases including retinitis pigmentosa, age-related macular disease and retinal detachment. This paper examines the potential strategies for preventing photoreceptor cell death in the context of current understanding of the mechanisms of cell death. There is evidence to suggest that photoreceptor cells are inherently vulnerable, apoptosis is the final common pathway of photoreceptor cell loss, and other retinal cells play an important role in the survival of rods and cones. Furthermore, the rationale of using neurotrophic factors as therapeutic agents in retinal degeneration is discussed in detail. Photoreceptor rescue by manipulation of genes involved in apoptosis and some pharmacological agents is also described.

  7. Regulation of a novel isoform of Receptor Expression Enhancing Protein REEP6 in rod photoreceptors by bZIP transcription factor NRL

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Hong; Veleri, Shobi; Sun, Bo; Kim, Douglas S.; Keeley, Patrick W.; Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Yadav, Sharda P.; Manjunath, Souparnika H.; Sood, Raman; Liu, Paul; Reese, Benjamin E.; Swaroop, Anand

    2014-01-01

    The Maf-family leucine zipper transcription factor NRL is essential for rod photoreceptor development and functional maintenance in the mammalian retina. Mutations in NRL are associated with human retinopathies, and loss of Nrl in mice leads to a cone-only retina with the complete absence of rods. Among the highly down-regulated genes in the Nrl−/− retina, we identified receptor expression enhancing protein 6 (Reep6), which encodes a member of a family of proteins involved in shaping of membrane tubules and transport of G-protein coupled receptors. Here, we demonstrate the expression of a novel Reep6 isoform (termed Reep6.1) in the retina by exon-specific Taqman assay and rapid analysis of complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) ends (5′-RACE). The REEP6.1 protein includes 27 additional amino acids encoded by exon 5 and is specifically expressed in rod photoreceptors of developing and mature retina. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay identified NRL binding within the Reep6 intron 1. Reporter assays in cultured cells and transfections in retinal explants mapped an intronic enhancer sequence that mediated NRL-directed Reep6.1 expression. We also demonstrate that knockdown of Reep6 in mouse and zebrafish resulted in death of retinal cells. Our studies implicate REEP6.1 as a key functional target of NRL-centered transcriptional regulatory network in rod photoreceptors. PMID:24691551

  8. Rhodopsin-Regulated Insulin Receptor Signaling Pathway in Rod Photoreceptor Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Rajala, Raju V.S.; Anderson, Robert E.

    2010-01-01

    The retina is an integral part of the central nervous system and retinal cells are known to express insulin receptors (IR), although their function is not known. This article describes recent studies that link the photoactivation of rhodopsin to tyrosine phosphorylation of the IR and subsequent activation of phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K), a neuron survival factor. Our studies suggest that the physiological role of this process is to provide neuroprotection of the retina against light-damage by activating proteins that protect against stress-induced apoptosis. We focus mainly on our recently identified regulation of the IR pathway through the G-protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin. Various mutant and knockout proteins of phototransduction cascade have been used to study the light-induced activation of the retinal IR. Our studies suggest that rhodopsin may have additional previously uncharacterized signaling functions in photoreceptors. PMID:20407846

  9. Calcium-sensitive downregulation of the transduction chain in rod photoreceptors of the rat retina.

    PubMed

    Knopp, Andreas; Rüppel, Hartmann

    2006-08-01

    In vertebrate rod outer segments phototransduction is suggested to be modulated by intracellular Ca. We aimed at verifying this hypothesis by recording saturated photosignals in the rat retina after single and double flashes of light and determining the time t(c) to the beginning of the signal recovery. The time course of Ca(i) after a flash was calculated from a change of the spatial Ca(2+) concentration profile recorded in the space between the rods. After single flashes t(c) increased linearly with the logarithm of flash intensity, confirming the assumption that t(c) is determined by deactivation of a single species X* in the phototransduction cascade. The photoresponse was shortened up to 45% if the test flash was preceded by a conditioning preflash. The shortening depended on the reduction of Ca(i) induced by the preflash. The data suggest that the phototransduction gain determining the amount of activated X* is regulated by a Ca(i)-dependent mechanism in a short time period (<800 ms) after the test flash. Lowering of Ca(i) by a preflash reduced the gain up to 20% compared to its value in a dark-adapted rod. The relation between phototransduction gain and Ca(i) revealed a K(1/2) value close to the dark level of Ca(i).

  10. Rapid degeneration of rod photoreceptors expressing self-association-deficient arrestin-1 mutant

    PubMed Central

    Song, Xiufeng; Seo, Jungwon; Baameur, Faiza; Vishnivetskiy, Sergey A.; Chen, Qiuyan; Kook, Seunghyi; Kim, Miyeon; Brooks, Evan K.; Altenbach, Christian; Hong, Yuan; Hanson, Susan M.; Palazzo, Maria C.; Chen, Jeannie; Hubbell, Wayne L.; Gurevich, Eugenia V.; Gurevich, Vsevolod V.

    2013-01-01

    Arrestin-1 binds light-activated phosphorhodopsin and ensures timely signal shutoff. We show that high transgenic expression of an arrestin-1 mutant with enhanced rhodopsin binding and impaired oligomerization causes apoptotic rod death in mice. Dark rearing does not prevent mutant-induced cell death, ruling out the role of arrestin complexes with light-activated rhodopsin. Similar expression of WT arrestin-1 that robustly oligomerizes, which leads to only modest increase in the monomer concentration, does not affect rod survival. Moreover, WT arrestin-1 co-expressed with the mutant delays retinal degeneration. Thus, arrestin-1 mutant directly affects cell survival via binding partner(s) other than light-activated rhodopsin. Due to impaired self-association of the mutant its high expression dramatically increases the concentration of the monomer. The data suggest that monomeric arrestin-1 is cytotoxic and WT arrestin-1 protects rods by forming mixed oligomers with the mutant and/or competing with it for the binding to non-receptor partners. Thus, arrestin-1 self-association likely serves to keep low concentration of the toxic monomer. The reduction of the concentration of harmful monomer is an earlier unappreciated biological function of protein oligomerization. PMID:24012956

  11. Light adaptation and dark adaptation of human rod photoreceptors measured from the a-wave of the electroretinogram

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, M M; Lamb, T D

    1999-01-01

    We recorded the a-wave of the human electroretinogram from subjects with normal vision, using a corneal electrode and ganzfeld (full-field) light stimulation. From analysis of the rising phase of rod-isolated flash responses we determined the maximum size (amax) of the a-wave, a measure of the massed circulating current of the rods, and the amplification constant (A) of transduction within the rod photoreceptors.During light adaptation by steady backgrounds the maximal response was reduced, as reported previously. amax declined approximately as I0/(I0+IB), where IB is retinal illuminance and I0 is a constant. In different subjects I0 ranged from 40 to 100 trolands, with a mean of 70 trolands, corresponding to about 600 photoisomerizations s−1 per rod. (1 troland is the retinal illuminance that results when a surface luminance of 1 cd m−2 is viewed through a pupil area of 1 mm2.) The amplification constant A decreased only slightly in the presence of steady backgrounds.Following a full bleach amax recovered along an S-shaped curve over a period of 30 min. There was no detectable response for the first 5 min, and half-maximal recovery took 13-17 min.The apparent amplification constant decreased at early times after large bleaches. However, upon correction for reduced light absorption due to loss of pigment, with regeneration of rhodopsin occurring with a time constant of 9-15 min in different subjects, it appeared that the true value of A was probably unchanged by bleaching.The recovery of amax following a bleach could be converted into recovery of equivalent background intensity, using a ‘Crawford transformation’ derived from the light adaptation results. Following bleaches ranging from 10 to > 99 %, the equivalent background intensity decayed approximately exponentially, with a time constant of about 3 min.The time taken for amax to recover to a fixed proportion of its original level increased approximately linearly (rather than logarithmically) with

  12. Transcriptome Dynamics of Developing Photoreceptors in Three-Dimensional Retina Cultures Recapitulates Temporal Sequence of Human Cone and Rod Differentiation Revealing Cell Surface Markers and Gene Networks.

    PubMed

    Kaewkhaw, Rossukon; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Brooks, Matthew; Homma, Kohei; Zou, Jizhong; Chaitankar, Vijender; Rao, Mahendra; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-12-01

    The derivation of three-dimensional (3D) stratified neural retina from pluripotent stem cells has permitted investigations of human photoreceptors. We have generated a H9 human embryonic stem cell subclone that carries a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter under the control of the promoter of cone-rod homeobox (CRX), an established marker of postmitotic photoreceptor precursors. The CRXp-GFP reporter replicates endogenous CRX expression in vitro when the H9 subclone is induced to form self-organizing 3D retina-like tissue. At day 37, CRX+ photoreceptors appear in the basal or middle part of neural retina and migrate to apical side by day 67. Temporal and spatial patterns of retinal cell type markers recapitulate the predicted sequence of development. Cone gene expression is concomitant with CRX, whereas rod differentiation factor neural retina leucine zipper protein (NRL) is first observed at day 67. At day 90, robust expression of NRL and its target nuclear receptor NR2E3 is evident in many CRX+ cells, while minimal S-opsin and no rhodopsin or L/M-opsin is present. The transcriptome profile, by RNA-seq, of developing human photoreceptors is remarkably concordant with mRNA and immunohistochemistry data available for human fetal retina although many targets of CRX, including phototransduction genes, exhibit a significant delay in expression. We report on temporal changes in gene signatures, including expression of cell surface markers and transcription factors; these expression changes should assist in isolation of photoreceptors at distinct stages of differentiation and in delineating coexpression networks. Our studies establish the first global expression database of developing human photoreceptors, providing a reference map for functional studies in retinal cultures.

  13. The Glutamic Acid-rich Protein-2 (GARP2) Is a High Affinity Rod Photoreceptor Phosphodiesterase (PDE6)-binding Protein That Modulates Its Catalytic Properties*

    PubMed Central

    Pentia, Dana C.; Hosier, Suzanne; Cote, Rick H.

    2010-01-01

    The glutamic acid-rich protein-2 (GARP2) is a splice variant of the β-subunit of the cGMP-gated ion channel of rod photoreceptors. GARP2 is believed to interact with several membrane-associated phototransduction proteins in rod photoreceptors. In this study, we demonstrated that GARP2 is a high affinity PDE6-binding protein and that PDE6 co-purifies with GARP2 during several stages of chromatographic purification. We found that hydrophobic interaction chromatography succeeds in quantitatively separating GARP2 from the PDE6 holoenzyme. Furthermore, the 17-kDa prenyl-binding protein, abundant in retinal cells, selectively released PDE6 (but not GARP2) from rod outer segment membranes, demonstrating the specificity of the interaction between GARP2 and PDE6. Purified GARP2 was able to suppress 80% of the basal activity of the nonactivated, membrane-bound PDE6 holoenzyme at concentrations equivalent to its endogenous concentration in rod outer segment membranes. However, GARP2 was unable to reverse the transducin activation of PDE6 (in contrast to a previous study) nor did it significantly alter catalysis of the fully activated PDE6 catalytic dimer. The high binding affinity of GARP2 for PDE6 and its ability to regulate PDE6 activity in its dark-adapted state suggest a novel role for GARP2 as a regulator of spontaneous activation of rod PDE6, thereby serving to lower rod photoreceptor “dark noise” and allowing these sensory cells to operate at the single photon detection limit. PMID:16407240

  14. Fraction of the dark current carried by Ca(2+) through cGMP-gated ion channels of intact rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Ohyama, T; Hackos, D H; Frings, S; Hagen, V; Kaupp, U B; Korenbrot, J I

    2000-12-01

    The selectivity for Ca(2+) over Na(+), PCa/PNa, is higher in cGMP-gated (CNG) ion channels of retinal cone photoreceptors than in those of rods. To ascertain the physiological significance of this fact, we determined the fraction of the cyclic nucleotide-gated current specifically carried by Ca(2+) in intact rods and cones. We activated CNG channels by suddenly (<5 ms) increasing free 8Br-cGMP in the cytoplasm of rods or cones loaded with a caged ester of the cyclic nucleotide. Simultaneous with the uncaging flash, we measured the cyclic nucleotide-dependent changes in membrane current and fluorescence of the Ca(2+)-binding dye, Fura-2, also loaded into the cells. The ratio of changes in fura-2 fluorescence and the integral of the membrane current, under a restricted set of experimental conditions, is a direct measure of the fractional Ca(2+) flux. Under normal physiological salt concentrations, the fractional Ca(2+) flux is higher in CNG channels of cones than in those of rods, but it differs little among cones (or rods) of different species. Under normal physiological conditions and for membrane currents rod outer segments of tiger salamander was 21 +/- 1%, and 14 +/- 1% in catfish rods. Fractional Ca(2+) flux increases as extracellular Ca(2+) rises, with a dependence well described by the Michaelis-Menten equation. KCa, the concentration at which Ca(2+) fractional flux is 50% was 1.98 mM in bass cones and 4.96 mM in tiger salamander rods. Because Ca(2+) fractional flux is higher in cones than in rods, light flashes that generate equal photocurrents will cause a larger change in cytoplasmic Ca(2+) in cones than in rods.

  15. Fraction of the Dark Current Carried by Ca2+ through Cgmp-Gated Ion Channels of Intact Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Ohyama, Tsuyoshi; Hackos, David H.; Frings, Stephan; Hagen, Volker; Kaupp, U. Benjamin; Korenbrot, Juan I.

    2000-01-01

    The selectivity for Ca2+ over Na+, PCa/PNa, is higher in cGMP-gated (CNG) ion channels of retinal cone photoreceptors than in those of rods. To ascertain the physiological significance of this fact, we determined the fraction of the cyclic nucleotide–gated current specifically carried by Ca2+ in intact rods and cones. We activated CNG channels by suddenly (<5 ms) increasing free 8Br-cGMP in the cytoplasm of rods or cones loaded with a caged ester of the cyclic nucleotide. Simultaneous with the uncaging flash, we measured the cyclic nucleotide–dependent changes in membrane current and fluorescence of the Ca2+-binding dye, Fura-2, also loaded into the cells. The ratio of changes in fura-2 fluorescence and the integral of the membrane current, under a restricted set of experimental conditions, is a direct measure of the fractional Ca2+ flux. Under normal physiological salt concentrations, the fractional Ca2+ flux is higher in CNG channels of cones than in those of rods, but it differs little among cones (or rods) of different species. Under normal physiological conditions and for membrane currents ≤200 pA, the Ca2+ fractional flux in single cones of striped bass was 33 ± 2%, and 34 ± 6% in catfish cones. Under comparable conditions, the Ca2+ fractional flux in rod outer segments of tiger salamander was 21 ± 1%, and 14 ± 1% in catfish rods. Fractional Ca2+ flux increases as extracellular Ca2+ rises, with a dependence well described by the Michaelis-Menten equation. KCa, the concentration at which Ca2+ fractional flux is 50% was 1.98 mM in bass cones and 4.96 mM in tiger salamander rods. Because Ca2+ fractional flux is higher in cones than in rods, light flashes that generate equal photocurrents will cause a larger change in cytoplasmic Ca2+ in cones than in rods. PMID:11099344

  16. Regulation of a novel isoform of Receptor Expression Enhancing Protein REEP6 in rod photoreceptors by bZIP transcription factor NRL.

    PubMed

    Hao, Hong; Veleri, Shobi; Sun, Bo; Kim, Douglas S; Keeley, Patrick W; Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Yadav, Sharda P; Manjunath, Souparnika H; Sood, Raman; Liu, Paul; Reese, Benjamin E; Swaroop, Anand

    2014-08-15

    The Maf-family leucine zipper transcription factor NRL is essential for rod photoreceptor development and functional maintenance in the mammalian retina. Mutations in NRL are associated with human retinopathies, and loss of Nrl in mice leads to a cone-only retina with the complete absence of rods. Among the highly down-regulated genes in the Nrl(-/-) retina, we identified receptor expression enhancing protein 6 (Reep6), which encodes a member of a family of proteins involved in shaping of membrane tubules and transport of G-protein coupled receptors. Here, we demonstrate the expression of a novel Reep6 isoform (termed Reep6.1) in the retina by exon-specific Taqman assay and rapid analysis of complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) ends (5'-RACE). The REEP6.1 protein includes 27 additional amino acids encoded by exon 5 and is specifically expressed in rod photoreceptors of developing and mature retina. Chromatin immunoprecipitation assay identified NRL binding within the Reep6 intron 1. Reporter assays in cultured cells and transfections in retinal explants mapped an intronic enhancer sequence that mediated NRL-directed Reep6.1 expression. We also demonstrate that knockdown of Reep6 in mouse and zebrafish resulted in death of retinal cells. Our studies implicate REEP6.1 as a key functional target of NRL-centered transcriptional regulatory network in rod photoreceptors. Published by Oxford University Press 2014. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US.

  17. In-vivo imaging of the photoreceptor mosaic in retinal dystrophies and correlations with visual function

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, S; Doble, N; Hardy, J; Jones, S; Keltner, J; Olivier, S; Werner, J S

    2005-10-26

    To relate in-vivo microscopic retinal changes to visual function assessed with clinical tests in patients with various forms of retinal dystrophies. The UC Davis Adaptive Optics (AO) Fundus Camera was used to acquire in-vivo retinal images at the cellular level. Visual function tests, consisting of visual field analysis, multifocal electroretinography (mfERG), contrast sensitivity and color vision measures, were performed on all subjects. Five patients with different forms of retinal dystrophies and three control subjects were recruited. Cone densities were quantified for all retinal images. In all images of diseased retinas, there were extensive areas of dark space between groups of photoreceptors, where no cone photoreceptors were evident. These irregular features were not seen in healthy retinas, but were characteristic features in fundi with retinal dystrophies. There was a correlation between functional vision loss and the extent to which the irregularities occurred in retinal images. Cone densities were found to decrease with an associated decrease in retinal function. AO fundus photography is a reliable technique for assessing and quantifying the changes in the photoreceptor layer as disease progresses. Furthermore, this technique can be useful in cases where visual function tests give borderline or ambiguous results, as it allows visualization of individual photoreceptors.

  18. In Vivo Imaging of the Photoreceptor Mosaic in Retinal Dystrophies and Correlations with Visual Function

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Stacey S.; Doble, Nathan; Hardy, Joseph L.; Jones, Steven M.; Keltner, John L.; Olivier, Scot S.; Werner, John S.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose To relate in vivo microscopic retinal changes to visual function in patients who have various forms of retinal dystrophy. Methods The UC Davis Adaptive Optics (AO) fundus camera was used to acquire in vivo retinal images at the cellular level. Visual function tests consisting of visual fields, multifocal electroretinography (mfERG), and contrast sensitivity were measured in all subjects by using stimuli that were coincident with areas imaged. Five patients with different forms of retinal dystrophy and three control subjects were recruited. Cone densities were quantified for all retinal images. Results In all images of diseased retinas, there were extensive areas of dark space between groups of photoreceptors, where no cone photoreceptors were evident. These irregular features were not seen in healthy retinas, but were apparent in patients with retinal dystrophy. There were significant correlations between functional vision losses and the extent to which these irregularities, quantified by cone density, occurred in retinal images. Conclusions AO fundus imaging is a reliable technique for assessing and quantifying the changes in the photoreceptor layer as disease progresses. Furthermore, this technique can be useful in cases where visual function tests provide borderline or ambiguous results, as it allows visualization of individual photoreceptors. PMID:16639019

  19. Nanocerium oxide increases the survival of adult rod and cone photoreceptor in culture by abrogating hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Bhargava, Neelima; Shanmugaiah, Vellasamy; Saxena, Manav; Sharma, Manish; Sethy, Niroj Kumar; Singh, Sushil Kumar; Balakrishnan, Karuppiah; Bhargava, Kalpana; Das, Mainak

    2016-09-16

    In vitro cell culture system for adult rod and cone photoreceptor (PR) is an effective and economical model for screening drug candidates against all kinds of age related retinal blindness. Interestingly, adult PR cells have a limited survival in the culture system, thus preventing full exploitation of this in vitro approach for drug screening applications. The limited survival of the adult PR cells in culture is due to their inherently high oxidative stress and photic injury. Mixed valence-state ceria nanoparticles have the ability to scavenge free radicals and reduce oxidative stress. Here, ceria nanoparticles of 5-10 nm dimensions have been synthesized, possessing dual oxidation state (+3 and +4) as evident from x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and exhibiting real time reduction of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as quantified by absorbance spectroscopy and cyclic voltammogram analysis. Using flow cytometry and cell culture assay, it has been shown that, upon one time addition of 10 nM of nanoceria in the PR culture of the 18 months old adult common carp (Cyprinus carpio) at the time of plating the cells, the oxidative stress caused due to hydrogen peroxide assault could be abrogated. A further single application of nanoceria significantly increases the survival of these fragile cells in the culture, thus paving way for developing a more robust photoreceptor culture model to study the aging photoreceptor cells in a defined condition.

  20. Fatty Acid Transport Protein 4 (FATP4) Prevents Light-Induced Degeneration of Cone and Rod Photoreceptors by Inhibiting RPE65 Isomerase

    PubMed Central

    Li, Songhua; Lee, Jungsoo; Zhou, Yongdong; Gordon, William C.; Hill, James M.; Bazan, Nicolas G.; Miner, Jeffrey H.; Jin, Minghao

    2013-01-01

    While Rhodopsin is essential for sensing light for vision, it also mediates light-induced apoptosis of photoreceptors in mouse. RPE65, which catalyzes isomerization of all-trans retinyl fatty acid esters to 11-cis retinol (11cROL) in the visual cycle, controls the rhodopsin regeneration rate and photoreceptor susceptibility to light-induced degeneration. Mutations in RPE65 have been linked to blindness in affected children. Despite such importance, the mechanism that regulates RPE65 function remains unclear. Through unbiased expression screening of a bovine retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cDNA library, we have identified elongation of very long-chain fatty acids-like 1 (ELOVL1) and fatty acid transport protein 4 (FATP4), which each have very long-chain fatty acid acyl-CoA synthetase (VLCFA-ACS) activity, as negative regulators of RPE65. We found that the VLCFA derivative lignoceroyl (C24:0)-CoA inhibited synthesis of 11cROL, whereas palmitoyl (C16:0)-CoA promoted synthesis of 11cROL. We further found that competition of FATP4 with RPE65 for the substrate of RPE65 was also involved in the mechanisms by which FATP4 inhibits synthesis of 11cROL. FATP4 was predominantly expressed in RPE, and the FATP4-deficient RPE showed significantly higher isomerase activity. Consistent with these results, the regeneration rate of 11-cis retinaldehyde and the recovery rate for rod light sensitivity were faster in FATP4-deficient mice than wild-type mice. Moreover, FATP4-deficient mice displayed increased accumulation of the cytotoxic all-trans retinaldehyde and hyper susceptibility to light-induced photoreceptor degeneration. Our findings demonstrate that ELOVL1, FATP4, and their products comprise the regulatory elements of RPE65 and play important roles in protecting photoreceptors from degeneration induced by light damage. PMID:23407971

  1. Correlation of fundus autofluorescence with photoreceptor morphology and functional changes in eyes with retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Wakabayashi, Taku; Sawa, Miki; Gomi, Fumi; Tsujikawa, Motokazu

    2010-08-01

    To assess and correlate fundus autofluorescence (FAF) characteristics with photoreceptor morphology and functional features in eyes with retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Thirty-four eyes of 17 patients with RP were examined. We compared FAF images obtained by confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy with Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) and retinal function assessed by microperimetry. Normal FAF surrounded by a ring of increased FAF at the macular area was detected in 32 (94%) eyes. The diameter of the normal FAF was correlated significantly with the preserved area of the photoreceptor inner segment and outer segment (IS/OS) junction on SD-OCT (R=0.939, p<0.001). The area outside the ring was associated with loss of IS/OS junction and external limiting membrane (ELM). The ring of increased FAF demarcated the border between the central retina with preservation of the IS/OS junction and ELM, and the adjacent eccentric retina with loss of these bands. In two eyes of one patient, there was no preservation of normal FAF at the macula and the photoreceptor IS/OS junction was not detected on SD-OCT. The mean retinal sensitivity derived from microperimetry was correlated significantly with the area of normal FAF (R=0.929, p=0.007) and the preserved area of the IS/OS junction (R=0.851, p=0.032). Ten eyes had progressive reduction in size of the normal FAF inside the ring accompanied by decreased area of preserved IS/OS during 3.1 years. FAF appears to reflect the integrity of the photoreceptor layer. It may serve as a secondary outcome measure for novel therapeutic strategies for RP.

  2. Horizontal cell feedback regulates calcium currents and intracellular calcium levels in rod photoreceptors of salamander and mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    Babai, Norbert; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2009-01-01

    We tested whether horizontal cells (HCs) provide feedback that regulates the Ca2+ current (ICa) of rods in salamander and mouse retinas. In both species, hyperpolarizing HCs by puffing a glutamate antagonist, 6,7-dinitro-quinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX), onto HC processes caused a negative shift in the voltage dependence of rod ICa and increased its peak amplitude. Conversely, depolarizing HCs by puffing kainic acid (KA) into the outer plexiform layer (OPL) caused a positive voltage shift and decreased rod ICa. Experiments on salamander retina showed that these effects were blocked by addition of the pH buffer, Hepes. Intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) was examined in rods by confocal microscopy after loading salamander and mouse retinal slices with Fluo-4. Rods were depolarized to near the dark resting potential by bath application of high K+ solutions. Hyperpolarizing HCs with 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulphamoylbenzo[f]quinoxaline (NBQX) enhanced high K+-evoked Ca2+ increases whereas depolarizing HCs with KA inhibited Ca2+ increases. In both species these effects of NBQX and KA were blocked by addition of Hepes. Thus, like HC feedback in cones, changes in HC membrane potential modulate rod ICa thereby regulating rod [Ca2+]i at physiological voltages, in both mouse and salamander retinas. By countering the reduced synaptic output that accompanies hyperpolarization of rods to light, HC feedback will subtract spatially averaged luminance levels from the responses of individual rods to local changes. The finding that HC to rod feedback is present in both amphibian and mammalian species shows that this mechanism is highly conserved across vertebrate retinas. PMID:19332495

  3. Horizontal cell feedback regulates calcium currents and intracellular calcium levels in rod photoreceptors of salamander and mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Babai, Norbert; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2009-05-15

    We tested whether horizontal cells (HCs) provide feedback that regulates the Ca(2+) current (I(Ca)) of rods in salamander and mouse retinas. In both species, hyperpolarizing HCs by puffing a glutamate antagonist, 6,7-dinitro-quinoxaline-2,3-dione (DNQX), onto HC processes caused a negative shift in the voltage dependence of rod I(Ca) and increased its peak amplitude. Conversely, depolarizing HCs by puffing kainic acid (KA) into the outer plexiform layer (OPL) caused a positive voltage shift and decreased rod I(Ca.) Experiments on salamander retina showed that these effects were blocked by addition of the pH buffer, Hepes. Intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)) was examined in rods by confocal microscopy after loading salamander and mouse retinal slices with Fluo-4. Rods were depolarized to near the dark resting potential by bath application of high K(+) solutions. Hyperpolarizing HCs with 2,3-dihydroxy-6-nitro-7-sulphamoylbenzo[f]quinoxaline (NBQX) enhanced high K(+)-evoked Ca(2+) increases whereas depolarizing HCs with KA inhibited Ca(2+) increases. In both species these effects of NBQX and KA were blocked by addition of Hepes. Thus, like HC feedback in cones, changes in HC membrane potential modulate rod I(Ca) thereby regulating rod [Ca(2+)](i) at physiological voltages, in both mouse and salamander retinas. By countering the reduced synaptic output that accompanies hyperpolarization of rods to light, HC feedback will subtract spatially averaged luminance levels from the responses of individual rods to local changes. The finding that HC to rod feedback is present in both amphibian and mammalian species shows that this mechanism is highly conserved across vertebrate retinas.

  4. Cone photoreceptor contributions to noise and correlations in the retinal output.

    PubMed

    Ala-Laurila, Petri; Greschner, Martin; Chichilnisky, E J; Rieke, Fred

    2011-09-18

    Transduction and synaptic noise generated in retinal cone photoreceptors determine the fidelity with which light inputs are encoded, and the readout of cone signals by downstream circuits determines whether this fidelity is used for vision. We examined the effect of cone noise on visual signals by measuring its contribution to correlated noise in primate retinal ganglion cells. Correlated noise was strong in the responses of dissimilar cell types with shared cone inputs. The dynamics of cone noise could account for rapid correlations in ganglion cell activity, and the extent of shared cone input could explain correlation strength. Furthermore, correlated noise limited the fidelity with which visual signals were encoded by populations of ganglion cells. Thus, a simple picture emerges: cone noise, traversing the retina through diverse pathways, accounts for most of the noise and correlations in the retinal output and constrains how higher centers exploit signals carried by parallel visual pathways. © 2011 Nature America, Inc. All rights reserved.

  5. Mouse Ganglion-Cell Photoreceptors Are Driven by the Most Sensitive Rod Pathway and by Both Types of Cones

    PubMed Central

    Weng, Shijun; Estevez, Maureen E.; Berson, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are depolarized by light by two mechanisms: directly, through activation of their photopigment melanopsin; and indirectly through synaptic circuits driven by rods and cones. To learn more about the rod and cone circuits driving ipRGCs, we made multielectrode array (MEA) and patch-clamp recordings in wildtype and genetically modified mice. Rod-driven ON inputs to ipRGCs proved to be as sensitive as any reaching the conventional ganglion cells. These signals presumably pass in part through the primary rod pathway, involving rod bipolar cells and AII amacrine cells coupled to ON cone bipolar cells through gap junctions. Consistent with this interpretation, the sensitive rod ON input to ipRGCs was eliminated by pharmacological or genetic disruption of gap junctions, as previously reported for conventional ganglion cells. A presumptive cone input was also detectable as a brisk, synaptically mediated ON response that persisted after disruption of rod ON pathways. This was roughly three log units less sensitive than the rod input. Spectral analysis revealed that both types of cones, the M- and S-cones, contribute to this response and that both cone types drive ON responses. This contrasts with the blue-OFF, yellow-ON chromatic opponency reported in primate ipRGCs. The cone-mediated response was surprisingly persistent during steady illumination, echoing the tonic nature of both the rod input to ipRGCs and their intrinsic, melanopsin-based phototransduction. These synaptic inputs greatly expand the dynamic range and spectral bandpass of the non-image-forming visual functions for which ipRGCs provide the principal retinal input. PMID:23762490

  6. Observation of cone and rod photoreceptors in normal subjects and patients using a new generation adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope

    PubMed Central

    Merino, David; Duncan, Jacque L.; Tiruveedhula, Pavan; Roorda, Austin

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate the capability of a new generation adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) to resolve cones and rods in normal subjects, and confirm our findings by comparing cone and rod spacing with published histology measurements. Cone and rod spacing measurements are also performed on AOSLO images from two different diseased eyes, one affected by achromatopsia and the other by acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR). The potential of AOSLO technology in the study of these and other retinal diseases is illustrated. PMID:21833357

  7. Submembrane Assembly and Renewal of Rod Photoreceptor cGMP-Gated Channel: Insight into the Actin-Dependent Process of Outer Segment Morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Nemet, Ina; Tian, Guilian

    2014-01-01

    The photoreceptor outer segment (OS) is comprised of two compartments: plasma membrane (PM) and disk membranes. It is unknown how the PM renewal is coordinated with that of the disk membranes. Here we visualized the localization and trafficking process of rod cyclic nucleotide-gated channel α-subunit (CNGA1), a PM component essential for phototransduction. The localization was visualized by fusing CNGA1 to a fluorescent protein Dendra2 and expressing in Xenopus laevis rod photoreceptors. Dendra2 allowed us to label CNGA1 in a spatiotemporal manner and therefore discriminate between old and newly trafficked CNGA1-Dendra2 in the OS PM. Newly synthesized CNGA1 was preferentially trafficked to the basal region of the lateral OS PM where newly formed and matured disks are also added. Unique trafficking pattern and diffusion barrier excluded CNGA1 from the PM domains, which are the proposed site of disk membrane maturation. Such distinct compartmentalization allows the confinement of cyclic nucleotide-gated channel in the PM, while preventing the disk membrane incorporation. Cytochalasin D and latrunculin A treatments, which are known to disrupt F-actin-dependent disk membrane morphogenesis, prevented the entrance of newly synthesized CNGA1 to the OS PM, but did not prevent the entrance of rhodopsin and peripherin/rds to the membrane evaginations believed to be disk membrane precursors. Uptake of rhodopsin and peripherin/rds coincided with the overgrowth of the evaginations at the base of the OS. Thus F-actin is essential for the trafficking of CNGA1 to the ciliary PM, and coordinates the formations of disk membrane rim region and OS PM. PMID:24920621

  8. Determining consequences of retinal membrane guanylyl cyclase (RetGC1) deficiency in human Leber congenital amaurosis en route to therapy: residual cone-photoreceptor vision correlates with biochemical properties of the mutants

    PubMed Central

    Jacobson, Samuel G.; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Peshenko, Igor V.; Sumaroka, Alexander; Olshevskaya, Elena V.; Cao, Lihui; Schwartz, Sharon B.; Roman, Alejandro J.; Olivares, Melani B.; Sadigh, Sam; Yau, King-Wai; Heon, Elise; Stone, Edwin M.; Dizhoor, Alexander M.

    2013-01-01

    The GUCY2D gene encodes retinal membrane guanylyl cyclase (RetGC1), a key component of the phototransduction machinery in photoreceptors. Mutations in GUCY2D cause Leber congenital amaurosis type 1 (LCA1), an autosomal recessive human retinal blinding disease. The effects of RetGC1 deficiency on human rod and cone photoreceptor structure and function are currently unknown. To move LCA1 closer to clinical trials, we characterized a cohort of patients (ages 6 months—37 years) with GUCY2D mutations. In vivo analyses of retinal architecture indicated intact rod photoreceptors in all patients but abnormalities in foveal cones. By functional phenotype, there were patients with and those without detectable cone vision. Rod vision could be retained and did not correlate with the extent of cone vision or age. In patients without cone vision, rod vision functioned unsaturated under bright ambient illumination. In vitro analyses of the mutant alleles showed that in addition to the major truncation of the essential catalytic domain in RetGC1, some missense mutations in LCA1 patients result in a severe loss of function by inactivating its catalytic activity and/or ability to interact with the activator proteins, GCAPs. The differences in rod sensitivities among patients were not explained by the biochemical properties of the mutants. However, the RetGC1 mutant alleles with remaining biochemical activity in vitro were associated with retained cone vision in vivo. We postulate a relationship between the level of RetGC1 activity and the degree of cone vision abnormality, and argue for cone function being the efficacy outcome in clinical trials of gene augmentation therapy in LCA1. PMID:23035049

  9. Determining consequences of retinal membrane guanylyl cyclase (RetGC1) deficiency in human Leber congenital amaurosis en route to therapy: residual cone-photoreceptor vision correlates with biochemical properties of the mutants.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Samuel G; Cideciyan, Artur V; Peshenko, Igor V; Sumaroka, Alexander; Olshevskaya, Elena V; Cao, Lihui; Schwartz, Sharon B; Roman, Alejandro J; Olivares, Melani B; Sadigh, Sam; Yau, King-Wai; Heon, Elise; Stone, Edwin M; Dizhoor, Alexander M

    2013-01-01

    The GUCY2D gene encodes retinal membrane guanylyl cyclase (RetGC1), a key component of the phototransduction machinery in photoreceptors. Mutations in GUCY2D cause Leber congenital amaurosis type 1 (LCA1), an autosomal recessive human retinal blinding disease. The effects of RetGC1 deficiency on human rod and cone photoreceptor structure and function are currently unknown. To move LCA1 closer to clinical trials, we characterized a cohort of patients (ages 6 months-37 years) with GUCY2D mutations. In vivo analyses of retinal architecture indicated intact rod photoreceptors in all patients but abnormalities in foveal cones. By functional phenotype, there were patients with and those without detectable cone vision. Rod vision could be retained and did not correlate with the extent of cone vision or age. In patients without cone vision, rod vision functioned unsaturated under bright ambient illumination. In vitro analyses of the mutant alleles showed that in addition to the major truncation of the essential catalytic domain in RetGC1, some missense mutations in LCA1 patients result in a severe loss of function by inactivating its catalytic activity and/or ability to interact with the activator proteins, GCAPs. The differences in rod sensitivities among patients were not explained by the biochemical properties of the mutants. However, the RetGC1 mutant alleles with remaining biochemical activity in vitro were associated with retained cone vision in vivo. We postulate a relationship between the level of RetGC1 activity and the degree of cone vision abnormality, and argue for cone function being the efficacy outcome in clinical trials of gene augmentation therapy in LCA1.

  10. Comparative Quantification in Three-Dimensional Cultures reveals Epigenetic Memory and Higher Efficiency Retinogenesis in iPSCs Derived from Differentiated Rod Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hiler, Daniel; Chen, Xiang; Hazen, Jennifer; Kupriyanov, Sergey; Carroll, Patrick A.; Qu, Chunxu; Xu, Beisi; Johnson, Dianna; Griffiths, Lyra; Frase, Sharon; Rodriguez, Alberto R.; Martin, Greg; Zhang, Jiakun; Jeon, Jongrye; Fan, Yiping; Finkelstein, David; Eisenman, Robert N.; Baldwin, Kristin; Dyer, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Cell-based therapies to treat retinal degeneration are now being tested in clinical trials. However, it is not known if the source of stem cells is important for the production of differentiated cells suitable for transplantation. To test this, we generated iPSCs murine rod photoreceptors (r-iPSCs) and scored their ability to make retina using a standardized quantitative protocol called STEM-RET. We discovered that r-iPSCs were more efficient at producing differentiated retina than embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or fibroblast-derived iPSCs (f-iPSCs). Retinae derived from f-iPSCs had a reduction in amacrine cells and other inner nuclear layer cells. Integrated epigenetic analysis showed that DNA methylation contributes to the defects in f-iPSC retinogenesis and that rod specific CTCF insulator protein binding sites may promote retinogenes in r-iPSCs. Taken together, our data suggest that the source of stem cells are important for producing retinal neurons in 3D organ cultures. PMID:26140606

  11. Control of the light-regulated current in rod photoreceptors by cyclic GMP, calcium, and l-cis-diltiazem.

    PubMed Central

    Stern, J H; Kaupp, U B; MacLeish, P R

    1986-01-01

    The effect of calcium ions on the cGMP-activated current of outer segment membrane was examined by the excised-patch technique. Changes in the extracellular calcium concentration had marked effects on the cGMP-activated current, while changes in intracellular calcium concentration were ineffective. Changes in calcium concentration in the absence of cGMP had little, if any, effect on membrane conductance. These results suggest that both intracellular cGMP and extracellular calcium can directly affect the conductance underlying the light response in rod cells. The pharmacological agent l-cis-diltiazem reversibly inhibited the cGMP-activated current when applied to the intracellular side of an excised patch. When superfused over intact rod cells, l-cis-diltiazem reversibly blocked much of the normal light response. The isomer, d-cis-diltiazem, did not significantly affect either patches or intact rod cells. Thus, the light-regulated conductance has binding sites for both calcium and cGMP that may interact during the normal light response in rod cells and a site specific for l-cis-diltiazem that can be used to identify and further study the conductance mechanism. PMID:3006029

  12. Control of the light-regulated current in rod photoreceptors by cyclic GMP, calcium, and l-cis-diltiazem.

    PubMed

    Stern, J H; Kaupp, U B; MacLeish, P R

    1986-02-01

    The effect of calcium ions on the cGMP-activated current of outer segment membrane was examined by the excised-patch technique. Changes in the extracellular calcium concentration had marked effects on the cGMP-activated current, while changes in intracellular calcium concentration were ineffective. Changes in calcium concentration in the absence of cGMP had little, if any, effect on membrane conductance. These results suggest that both intracellular cGMP and extracellular calcium can directly affect the conductance underlying the light response in rod cells. The pharmacological agent l-cis-diltiazem reversibly inhibited the cGMP-activated current when applied to the intracellular side of an excised patch. When superfused over intact rod cells, l-cis-diltiazem reversibly blocked much of the normal light response. The isomer, d-cis-diltiazem, did not significantly affect either patches or intact rod cells. Thus, the light-regulated conductance has binding sites for both calcium and cGMP that may interact during the normal light response in rod cells and a site specific for l-cis-diltiazem that can be used to identify and further study the conductance mechanism.

  13. Sign-preserving and sign-inverting synaptic interactions between rod and cone photoreceptors in the dark-adapted retina

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Fan; Pang, Ji-Jie; Wu, Samuel M

    2013-01-01

    We show that various types of rods and cones in the dark-adapted salamander retina are electrically coupled with linear and symmetrical junctional conductances Gj (40–223 pS) and a rank order: RodC–large single cone, rod–large single cone, rod–small single cone, rod–accessory double cone and rod–principal double cone. By systematically comparing the transjunctional current–voltage (Ij–Vj) relations and average Gj values of the five types of rod–cone pairs recorded at day and night times, our results suggest that the differences in Gj values among various types of rod–cone pairs are not caused by circadian differences, and the circadian-dependent changes in rod–cone coupling observed in the fish and rodent retinas are not present in the tiger salamander. In addition to rod–cone coupling, there is a sign-inverting, unidirectional rod→cone current IRC, and the IRC–VCone relations are linear, with a reversal potential near the chloride reversal potential ECl. IRC can be observed in rods and cones separated by at least 260 μm, and its waveform resembles that of the rod-elicited horizontal cell (HC) response IHC. A glutamate transporter-associated chloride channel blocker TBOA suppresses IRC but not IHC. These results suggest that IRC is largely mediated by HCs via a sign-inverting feedback chemical synapse associated with a chloride channel. IRC significantly reduced rod→cone coupling in the frequency range below 15 Hz, allowing better separation of rod and cone signals in the dark-adapted retina. PMID:24000179

  14. Characterisation of the canine rod-cone dysplasia type one gene (rod photoreceptor cGMP phosphodiesterase beta subunit (PDEB)) - a model for human retinitis pigmentosa

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, P.J.M.; Gregory, C.Y.; Petersen-Jones, S.M.

    1994-09-01

    Rod-cone dysplasia type one (rod-1) is an early onset, autosomal recessive retinal dystrophy segregating in the Irish setter breed. It is a model for certain forms of human autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP) caused by mutations in the same gene, PDEB. We confirmed the codon 807 Trp to Stop mutation and were the first to show cosegregation of the mutant allele with disease in a pedigree. We believe that this currently represents the best animal model available for some aspects of arRP, since canine tissues are relatively easy to access compared to human and yet the canine eye is of comparable size, unlike that of the rd mouse. This facilitates therapeutic intervention particularly at the subretinal level. In order to more fully investigate this model we have been characterizing the PDEB gene in the normal dog. Using PCR we have partially mapped the intron/exon structure, demonstrating a very high degree of evolutionary conservation with the mouse and human genes. RT-PCR has been used to reveal expression in a variety of neural and non-neural tissues. A PCR product spanning exons 19 to 22 (which also contains the site for the rcd-1 mutation) is detected in retina but also in tissues such as visual cortex, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, lateral geniculate nucleus, adrenal gland, lung, kidney and ovary. All of these tissues gave a negative result with primers for rds/peripherin, a gene which is expressed in rods and cones. This raises interesting questions about the regulation of PDEB transcripts which is initially being investigated by Northern analysis. In addition, anchored PCR techniques have generated upstream genomic sequences and we are currently mapping the 5{prime} extent of the mRNA transcript in the retina. This will facilitate the analysis of potential upstream promoter elements involved in directing expression.

  15. Differences in calcium homeostasis between retinal rod and cone photoreceptors revealed by the effects of voltage on the cGMP-gated conductance in intact cells

    PubMed Central

    1994-01-01

    We measured currents under voltage clamp in intact retinal rod photoreceptors with tight seal electrodes in the perforated patch mode. In the dark, membrane depolarization to voltages > or = +20 mV activates a time- and voltage-dependent outward current in the outer segment. This dark voltage-activated current (DVAC) increases in amplitude with a sigmoidal time course that is voltage dependent. DVAC reaches its maximum enhancement of approximately 30% in 4-6 s at +60 mV. DVAC is entirely suppressed by light and its current-voltage curve and reversal potential are the same as those of the photocurrent. Therefore, DVAC arises from the opening in darkness of the cGMP-gated channels of the outer segment. DVAC is blocked by BAPTA loaded into the cell's cytoplasm and is enhanced by lowering extracellular Ca2+ concentration. Because the cGMP-gated channels are not directly gated by voltage and because BAPTA blocks DVAC, we suggest this signal arises from a voltage-dependent decrease in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration that, in turn, activates guanylyl cyclase and causes cGMP synthesis. In rods loaded with high cytoplasmic Na+, membrane depolarization in darkness to voltages > or = +20 mV inactivates the outward current in the outer segment with an exponential time course. We call this DVIC (dark, voltage-inactivated current). DVIC reflects voltage-dependent closing of the cGMP-gated channel in the dark. DVIC, too, is blocked by cytoplasmic BAPTA, and it arises from a voltage-dependent rise in cytoplasmic Ca2+ in darkness, which occurs only if cytoplasmic Na is high. We develop a quantitative model to calculate the rate and extent of the voltage-dependent change in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration in a normal rod. We assume that this concentration is controlled by the balance between Ca2+ influx through the cGMP-gated channels and its efflux through a Na+/Ca2+, K+ exchanger. Lowered cytoplasmic Ca2+ is linked to guanylyl cyclase activation with characteristics determined from

  16. Delayed loss of cone and remaining rod photoreceptor cells due to impairment of choroidal circulation after acute light exposure in rats.

    PubMed

    Tanito, Masaki; Kaidzu, Sachiko; Anderson, Robert E

    2007-04-01

    . Impaired choroidal circulation is likely to be involved in the mechanism of delayed photoreceptor cell death after light exposure. Preserving choroidal circulation may provide a novel target for preserving the cone and the remaining rod cells in patients with retinal degeneration such as retinitis pigmentosa.

  17. Repair of the degenerate retina by photoreceptor transplantation.

    PubMed

    Barber, Amanda C; Hippert, Claire; Duran, Yanai; West, Emma L; Bainbridge, James W B; Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Luhmann, Ulrich F O; Lakowski, Jorn; Sowden, Jane C; Ali, Robin R; Pearson, Rachael A

    2013-01-02

    Despite different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, the loss of photoreceptors. There are few treatments and none reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. Recently, we demonstrated restoration of vision following rod-photoreceptor transplantation into a mouse model of stationary night-blindness, raising the critical question of whether photoreceptor replacement is equally effective in different types and stages of degeneration. We present a comprehensive assessment of rod-photoreceptor transplantation across six murine models of inherited photoreceptor degeneration. Transplantation is feasible in all models examined but disease type has a major impact on outcome, as assessed both by the morphology and number of integrated rod-photoreceptors. Integration can increase (Prph2(+/Δ307)), decrease (Crb1(rd8/rd8), Gnat1(-/-), Rho(-/-)), or remain constant (PDE6β(rd1/rd1), Prph2(rd2/rd2)) with disease progression, depending upon the gene defect, with no correlation with severity. Robust integration is possible even in late-stage disease. Glial scarring and outer limiting membrane integrity, features that change with degeneration, significantly affect transplanted photoreceptor integration. Combined breakdown of these barriers markedly increases integration in a model with an intact outer limiting membrane, strong gliotic response, and otherwise poor transplantation outcome (Rho(-/-)), leading to an eightfold increase in integration and restoration of visual function. Thus, it is possible to achieve robust integration across a broad range of inherited retinopathies. Moreover, transplantation outcome can be improved by administering appropriate, tailored manipulations of the recipient environment.

  18. Measurement of Photon Statistics with Live Photoreceptor Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sim, Nigel; Cheng, Mei Fun; Bessarab, Dmitri; Jones, C. Michael; Krivitsky, Leonid A.

    2012-09-01

    We analyzed the electrophysiological response of an isolated rod photoreceptor of Xenopus laevis under stimulation by coherent and pseudothermal light sources. Using the suction-electrode technique for single cell recordings and a fiber optics setup for light delivery allowed measurements of the major statistical characteristics of the rod response. The results indicate differences in average responses of rod cells to coherent and pseudothermal light of the same intensity and also differences in signal-to-noise ratios and second-order intensity correlation functions. These findings should be relevant for interdisciplinary studies seeking applications of quantum optics in biology.

  19. Migration, integration and maturation of photoreceptor precursors following transplantation in the mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Barber, Amanda C; Sowden, Jane C; Ali, Robin R; Pearson, Rachael A

    2014-05-01

    Retinal degeneration leading to loss of photoreceptors is a major cause of untreatable blindness. Recent research has yielded definitive evidence for restoration of vision following the transplantation of rod photoreceptors in murine models of blindness, while advances in stem cell biology have enabled the generation of transplantable photoreceptors from embryonic stem cells. Importantly, the amount of visual function restored is dependent upon the number of photoreceptors that migrate correctly into the recipient retina. The developmental stage of the donor cells is important for their ability to migrate; they must be immature photoreceptor precursors. Little is known about how and when donor cell migration, integration, and maturation occurs. Here, we have performed a comprehensive histological analysis of the 6-week period following rod transplantation in mice. Donor cells migrate predominately as single entities during the first week undergoing a stereotyped sequence of morphological changes in their translocation from the site of transplantation, through the interphotoreceptor matrix and into the recipient retina. This includes initial polarization toward the outer nuclear layer (ONL), followed by formation of an apical attachment and rudimentary segment during migration into the ONL. Strikingly, acquisition of a nuclear architecture typical of mature rods was accelerated compared with normal development and a feature of migrating cells. Once within the ONL, precursors formed synaptic-like structures and outer segments in accordance with normal maturation. The restoration of visual function mediated by transplanted photoreceptors correlated with the later expression of rod α-transducin, achieving maximal function by 5 weeks.

  20. Positive correlations between presence of gram negative enteric rods and Porphyromonas gingivalis in subgingival plaque.

    PubMed

    Ardila, Carlos M; López, Mayra A; Guzmán, Isabel C

    2011-01-01

    The association between Gram negative enteric rods and Porphyromonas gingivalis in periodontal diseases has received little attention in the literature. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the associations between Gram negative enteric rods, Porphyromonas gingivalis and clinical parameters of periodontal disease. The prevalence of Gram-negative enteric rods and P. gingivalis were examined in patients with chronic periodontitis. Chi-square and Mann-Whitney tests were used to determine differences in clinical variables versus the presence or absence of both microorganisms. Correlations of both organisms and clinical data were determined using Spearman rank correlation coefficient. Gram-negative enteric rods and P. gingivalis were detected in 20 (26.3%) and 51 (67.1%) subjects, respectively. A total 17 (22.4%) individuals harbored both microorganisms studied. There were significantly positive correlations between enteric rods and presence of P. gingivalis (r=0.531, P<.0001). Both microorganisms were significantly and positively correlated with probing depth, clinical attachment level and bleeding on probing (P<0.0001). The mean probing depth (mm) of the sampled sites was significantly deeper in patients with presence of P. gingivalis and Gram-negative enteric rods. This study suggests that the presence of Gram negative enteric rods and P. gingivalis is related to adverse periodontal conditions. These results could have an impact on periodontal treatment and should be taken into account in the mechanical and antimicrobial treatment of periodontal disease in some populations.

  1. cGMP-dependent cone photoreceptor degeneration in the cpfl1 mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Trifunović, Dragana; Dengler, Katja; Michalakis, Stylianos; Zrenner, Eberhart; Wissinger, Bernd; Paquet-Durand, François

    2010-09-01

    Inherited retinal degeneration affecting both rod and cone photoreceptors constitutes one of the leading causes of blindness in the developed world. Such degeneration is at present untreatable, and the underlying neurodegenerative mechanisms are unknown, even though certain genetic causes have been established. The rd1 mouse is one of the best characterized animal models for rod photoreceptor degeneration, whereas the cpfl1 mouse is a recently discovered model for cone cell death. Because both animal models are affected by functionally similar mutations in the rod and cone phosphodiesterase 6 genes, respectively, we asked whether the mechanisms of photoreceptor degeneration in these two mouse lines share common pathways. In the present study, we followed the temporal progression of photoreceptor degeneration in the cpfl1 retina, correlated it with specific metabolic markers, and compared it with the wild-type and the rd1 situation. Similar to corresponding rd1 observations, cpfl1 cone photoreceptor cell death was associated with an accumulation of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), activity of calpains, and phosphorylation of vasodilator-stimulated protein (VASP). Cone degeneration progressed rapidly, with a peak in cell death around postnatal day 24. Furthermore, cpfl1 cone photoreceptor migration during early postnatal development was delayed significantly compared with the corresponding wild-type retina. The finding that rod and cone photoreceptor degeneration was associated with the same metabolic markers suggests that in both cell types similar degenerative mechanisms are active. This raises the possibility that equivalent neuroprotective strategies may be used to prevent both rod and cone photoreceptor degeneration.

  2. Epigenomic landscapes of retinal rods and cones

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Alisa; Luo, Chongyuan; Davis, Fred P; Mukamel, Eran A; Henry, Gilbert L; Nery, Joseph R; Urich, Mark A; Picard, Serge; Lister, Ryan; Eddy, Sean R; Beer, Michael A; Ecker, Joseph R; Nathans, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptors are highly similar in many respects but they have important functional and molecular differences. Here, we investigate genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation and chromatin accessibility in mouse rods and cones and correlate differences in these features with gene expression, histone marks, transcription factor binding, and DNA sequence motifs. Loss of NR2E3 in rods shifts their epigenomes to a more cone-like state. The data further reveal wide differences in DNA methylation between retinal photoreceptors and brain neurons. Surprisingly, we also find a substantial fraction of DNA hypo-methylated regions in adult rods that are not in active chromatin. Many of these regions exhibit hallmarks of regulatory regions that were active earlier in neuronal development, suggesting that these regions could remain undermethylated due to the highly compact chromatin in mature rods. This work defines the epigenomic landscapes of rods and cones, revealing features relevant to photoreceptor development and function. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11613.001 PMID:26949250

  3. Correlation between Depth Perception by Three-Rods Test and Stereoacuity by Distance Randot Stereotest

    PubMed Central

    Negayama, Ryo; Sakata, Hiroyuki; Hasebe, Kayoko

    2014-01-01

    Background The examination of depth perception with three-rods test, in addition to visual acuity testing, is required to obtain motor vehicle license to drive taxies and trucks, according to the Road Traffic Act in Japan. The aim of this study was to examine whether the results of the three-rods test would correlate with the results of static stereopsis tests, used in ophthalmic practice. Methods This study involved 54 normal subjects, 9 women and 45 men, with ages ranging from 18 to 25 (mean, 20.8) years. All had visual acuity of 0.8 or better with or without glasses or contact lenses correction and had no strabismus at the distant (5 m) or near (0.3 m) fixation. TNO Stereotest and Titmus Stereotest were examined at 40 cm while Distance Randot Stereotest was at 3 m. At three-rods test, a central rod was moved at the speed of 50 mm/sec forward and backward automatically against two laterally located fixed rods, placed inside the illuminated box. An examinee at the distance of 2.5 m observed the rods inside the box from a small viewing window and pushed a button to stop the central rod in alignment with the fixed rods. Erred distance (mm) of the central rod from the fixed rods as a mean of 4 measurements was correlated with stereoacuity in second of arc, measured by three kinds of the stereopsis tests. Results The erred distance of three-rods test was positively correlated with static stereoacuity at distance measured with Distance Randot Stereotest (ρ = 0.418, p = 0.0023, Spearman rank correlation test) and also with the other stereopsis tests at near fixation. The stereoacuity at near fixation, measured by TNO Stereotest and Titmus Stereotest, was positively correlated with each other (ρ = 0.431, p = 0.0017). Conclusion Three-rods test, examining depth perception, together with the response by eye-hand coordination, gave consistent results with distant static stereoacuity when measured with Distance Randot Stereotest. PMID:25058604

  4. Correlation between depth perception by three-rods test and stereoacuity by distance Randot Stereotest.

    PubMed

    Matsuo, Toshihiko; Negayama, Ryo; Sakata, Hiroyuki; Hasebe, Kayoko

    2014-09-01

    The examination of depth perception with three-rods test, in addition to visual acuity testing, is required to obtain motor vehicle license to drive taxies and trucks, according to the Road Traffic Act in Japan. The aim of this study was to examine whether the results of the three-rods test would correlate with the results of static stereopsis tests, used in ophthalmic practice. This study involved 54 normal subjects, 9 women and 45 men, with ages ranging from 18 to 25 (mean, 20.8) years. All had visual acuity of 0.8 or better with or without glasses or contact lenses correction and had no strabismus at the distant (5 m) or near (0.3 m) fixation. TNO Stereotest and Titmus Stereotest were examined at 40 cm while Distance Randot Stereotest was at 3 m. At three-rods test, a central rod was moved at the speed of 50 mm/sec forward and backward automatically against two laterally located fixed rods, placed inside the illuminated box. An examinee at the distance of 2.5 m observed the rods inside the box from a small viewing window and pushed a button to stop the central rod in alignment with the fixed rods. Erred distance (mm) of the central rod from the fixed rods as a mean of 4 measurements was correlated with stereoacuity in second of arc, measured by three kinds of the stereopsis tests. The erred distance of three-rods test was positively correlated with static stereoacuity at distance measured with Distance Randot Stereotest (ρ=0.418, p=0.0023, Spearman rank correlation test) and also with the other stereopsis tests at near fixation. The stereoacuity at near fixation, measured by TNO Stereotest and Titmus Stereotest, was positively correlated with each other (ρ=0.431, p=0.0017). Three-rods test, examining depth perception, together with the response by eye-hand coordination, gave consistent results with distant static stereoacuity when measured with Distance Randot Stereotest.

  5. CAPILLARY NONPERFUSION AND PHOTORECEPTOR LOSS IN BRANCH RETINAL VEIN OCCLUSION: Spatial Correlation and Morphologic Characteristics.

    PubMed

    Kanakis, Menelaos G; Giannouli, Konstantina; Andreanos, Konstantinos; Papaconstantinou, Dimitrios; Koutsandrea, Chrysanthi; Ladas, Ioannis; Georgalas, Ilias; Petrou, Petros; Kotsolis, Athanasios I

    2017-09-01

    To evaluate the photoreceptor layer in eyes with branch retinal vein occlusion associated with macular ischemia, using a method of en face optical coherence tomography (OCT) representation of the ellipsoid zone. Customized macular OCT scans of 9 patients (10 eyes) with branch retinal vein occlusion and macular ischemia were exported and subsequently postprocessed (removal of vascular and cystic spaces' shadows, segmentation, and alignment to the retinal pigment epithelium). The ellipsoid band was then isolated, aligned, and used to produce an en face OCT image. Areas with photoreceptor loss (hyporeflective ellipsoid) were compared with ischemic areas as identified in an early-phase fluorescein angiography. The areas of capillary nonperfusion (as detected in fluorescein angiography) were closely associated with disruption of the ellipsoid zone (depicted as areas of low reflectance in the en face reconstruction of the OCT images). The ellipsoid zone disruption had a patchy appearance and either sharp or fuzzy borders, depending on the grade of the loss of reflectance. En face OCT reconstruction and subsequent representation of ellipsoid zone revealed a close association between capillary nonperfusion and photoreceptor disruption in eyes with branch retinal vein occlusion. It seems that the deep capillary plexus plays an important role on the metabolic demands of outer retina and, consequently, an ischemia at the level of deep capillary plexus has significant impact on the integrity of the photoreceptors.

  6. Characterization of Multiple Light Damage Paradigms Reveals Regional Differences in Photoreceptor Loss

    PubMed Central

    Thomas, Jennifer L.; Nelson, Craig M.; Luo, Xixia; Hyde, David R.; Thummel, Ryan

    2012-01-01

    Zebrafish provide an attractive model to study the retinal response to photoreceptor apoptosis due to its remarkable ability to spontaneously regenerate retinal neurons following damage. There are currently two widely used light-induced retinal degeneration models to damage photoreceptors in the adult zebrafish. One model uses constant bright light, whereas the other uses a short exposure to extremely intense ultraviolet light. Although both models are currently used, it is unclear whether they differ in regard to the extent of photoreceptor damage or the subsequent regeneration response. Here we report a thorough analysis of the photoreceptor damage and subsequent proliferation response elicited by each individual treatment, as well as by the concomitant use of both treatments. We show a differential loss of rod and cone photoreceptors with each treatment. Additionally, we show that the extent of proliferation observed in the retina directly correlates with the severity of photoreceptor loss. We also demonstrate that both the ventral and posterior regions of the retina are partially protected from light damage. Finally, we show that combining a short ultraviolet exposure followed by a constant bright light treatment largely eliminates the neuroprotected regions, resulting in widespread loss of rod and cone photoreceptors and a robust regenerative response throughout the retina. PMID:22425727

  7. Regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation by adenosine in zebrafish retina

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z.; O’Brien, John

    2014-01-01

    Electrical coupling of photoreceptors through gap junctions suppresses voltage noise, routes rod signals into cone pathways, expands the dynamic range of rod photoreceptors in high scotopic and mesopic illumination, and improves detection of contrast and small stimuli. In essentially all vertebrates, connexin 35/36 (gene homologues Cx36 in mammals, Cx35 in other vertebrates) is the major gap junction protein observed in photoreceptors, mediating rod-cone, cone-cone, and possibly rod-rod communication. Photoreceptor coupling is dynamically controlled by the day/night cycle and light/dark adaptation, and is directly correlated with phosphorylation of Cx35/36 at two sites, serine110 and serine 276/293 (homologous sites in teleost fish and mammals respectively). Activity of protein kinase A (PKA) plays a key role during this process. Previous studies have shown that activation of dopamine D4 receptors on photoreceptors inhibits adenylyl cyclase, down-regulates cAMP and PKA activity, and leads to photoreceptor uncoupling, imposing the daytime/light condition. In this study we explored the role of adenosine, a nighttime signal with a high extracellular concentration at night and a low concentration in the day, in regulating photoreceptor coupling by examining photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina. Adenosine enhanced photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in daytime, but with a complex dose-response curve. Selective pharmacological manipulations revealed that adenosine A2a receptors provide a potent positive drive to phosphorylate photoreceptor Cx35 under the influence of endogenous adenosine at night. A2a receptors can be activated in the daytime as well by micromolar exogenous adenosine. However, the higher affinity adenosine A1 receptors are also present and have an antagonistic though less potent effect. Thus the nighttime/darkness signal adenosine provides a net positive drive on Cx35 phosphorylation at night, working in opposition to dopamine to

  8. Photoreceptor Processing Speed and Input Resistance Changes during Light Adaptation Correlate with Spectral Class in the Bumblebee, Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Skorupski, Peter; Chittka, Lars

    2011-01-01

    Colour vision depends on comparison of signals from photoreceptors with different spectral sensitivities. However, response properties of photoreceptor cells may differ in ways other than spectral tuning. In insects, for example, broadband photoreceptors, with a major sensitivity peak in the green region of the spectrum (>500 nm), drive fast visual processes, which are largely blind to chromatic signals from more narrowly-tuned photoreceptors with peak sensitivities in the blue and UV regions of the spectrum. In addition, electrophysiological properties of the photoreceptor membrane may result in differences in response dynamics of photoreceptors of similar spectral class between species, and different spectral classes within a species. We used intracellular electrophysiological techniques to investigate response dynamics of the three spectral classes of photoreceptor underlying trichromatic colour vision in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, and we compare these with previously published data from a related species, Bombus terrestris. In both species, we found significantly faster responses in green, compared with blue- or UV-sensitive photoreceptors, although all 3 photoreceptor types are slower in B. impatiens than in B. terrestris. Integration times for light-adapted B. impatiens photoreceptors (estimated from impulse response half-width) were 11.3±1.6 ms for green photoreceptors compared with 18.6±4.4 ms and 15.6±4.4 for blue and UV, respectively. We also measured photoreceptor input resistance in dark- and light-adapted conditions. All photoreceptors showed a decrease in input resistance during light adaptation, but this decrease was considerably larger (declining to about 22% of the dark value) in green photoreceptors, compared to blue and UV (41% and 49%, respectively). Our results suggest that the conductances associated with light adaptation are largest in green photoreceptors, contributing to their greater temporal processing speed. We suggest that the

  9. Changes in the photoreceptor mosaic of P23H-1 rats during retinal degeneration: implications for rod-cone dependent survival.

    PubMed

    García-Ayuso, Diego; Ortín-Martínez, Arturo; Jiménez-López, Manuel; Galindo-Romero, Caridad; Cuenca, Nicolás; Pinilla, Isabel; Vidal-Sanz, Manuel; Agudo-Barriuso, Marta; Villegas-Pérez, María P

    2013-08-28

    To investigate the spatiotemporal relationship between rod and cone degeneration in the P23H-1 rat. Control Sprague-Dawley (SD) and P23H-1 rats of ages ranging from P30 to P365 were used. Retinas were processed for whole mounts or cross sections and rods and cones were immunodetected. We used newly developed image analysis techniques to quantify the total population of L/M cones (the most abundant cones in the rat) and analyzed the rings of rod-cone degeneration. In P23H-1 rats, rod degeneration occurs rapidly: first the rod outer segment shortens, at P30 there is extensive rod loss, and by P180 rod loss is almost complete except for the most peripheral retina. The numbers of L/M cones are, at all postnatal ages, lower in P23H-1 rats than in control SD rats, and decrease significantly with age (by P180). Rod and cone degeneration is spatiotemporally related and occurs in rings that appear already at P90 and spread throughout the entire retina. At P180, the rings of rod-cone degeneration are more abundant in the equatorial retina and are larger in the dorsal retina. This work describes for the first time that in the P23H-1 rat, rod and cone degeneration is spatiotemporally related and occurs in rings. Cone loss follows rod loss and starts very soon, even before P30, the first age analyzed here. The characteristics of the rings suggest that secondary cone degeneration is influenced by retinal position and/or other intrinsic or extrinsic factors.

  10. Mouse retinal adaptive response to proton irradiation: Correlation with DNA repair and photoreceptor cell death

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tronov, V. A.; Vinogradova, Yu. V.; Poplinskaya, V. A.; Nekrasova, E. I.; Ostrovsky, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    Emerging body of data indicate protecting effect of low level of stress (preconditioning) on retina. Our previous study revealed non-linear dose-response relationship for cytotoxicity of both ionizing radiation and N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) on mouse retina. Moreover, non cytotoxic dose of MNU increased tolerance of retina to following challenge dose of MNU. This result displays protection of retina through mechanism of recovery. In present study we used the mouse model for MNU-induced retinal degeneration to evaluate adaptive response of retina to proton irradiation and implication in it of glial Muller cells. The data showed that the recovery of retina after genotoxic agents has been associated with increased efficacy of DNA damage repair and lowered death of retinal photoreceptor cells.

  11. Photoreceptor engineering

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, Thea; Möglich, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Sensory photoreceptors not only control diverse adaptive responses in Nature, but as light-regulated actuators they also provide the foundation for optogenetics, the non-invasive and spatiotemporally precise manipulation of cellular events by light. Novel photoreceptors have been engineered that establish control by light over manifold biological processes previously inaccessible to optogenetic intervention. Recently, photoreceptor engineering has witnessed a rapid development, and light-regulated actuators for the perturbation of a plethora of cellular events are now available. Here, we review fundamental principles of photoreceptors and light-regulated allostery. Photoreceptors dichotomize into associating receptors that alter their oligomeric state as part of light-regulated allostery and non-associating receptors that do not. A survey of engineered photoreceptors pinpoints light-regulated association reactions and order-disorder transitions as particularly powerful and versatile design principles. Photochromic photoreceptors that are bidirectionally toggled by two light colors augur enhanced spatiotemporal resolution and use as photoactivatable fluorophores. By identifying desirable traits in engineered photoreceptors, we provide pointers for the design of future, light-regulated actuators. PMID:26137467

  12. A truncated form of rod photoreceptor PDE6 β-subunit causes autosomal dominant congenital stationary night blindness by interfering with the inhibitory activity of the γ-subunit.

    PubMed

    Manes, Gaël; Cheguru, Pallavi; Majumder, Anurima; Bocquet, Béatrice; Sénéchal, Audrey; Artemyev, Nikolai O; Hamel, Christian P; Brabet, Philippe

    2014-01-01

    Autosomal dominant congenital stationary night blindness (adCSNB) is caused by mutations in three genes of the rod phototransduction cascade, rhodopsin (RHO), transducin α-subunit (GNAT1), and cGMP phosphodiesterase type 6 β-subunit (PDE6B). In most cases, the constitutive activation of the phototransduction cascade is a prerequisite to cause adCSNB. The unique adCSNB-associated PDE6B mutation found in the Rambusch pedigree, the substitution p.His258Asn, leads to rod photoreceptors desensitization. Here, we report a three-generation French family with adCSNB harboring a novel PDE6B mutation, the duplication, c.928-9_940dup resulting in a tyrosine to cysteine substitution at codon 314, a frameshift, and a premature termination (p.Tyr314Cysfs*50). To understand the mechanism of the PDE6β1-314fs*50 mutant, we examined the properties of its PDE6-specific portion, PDE6β1-313. We found that PDE6β1-313 maintains the ability to bind noncatalytic cGMP and the inhibitory γ-subunit (Pγ), and interferes with the inhibition of normal PDE6αβ catalytic subunits by Pγ. Moreover, both truncated forms of the PDE6β protein, PDE6β1-313 and PDE6β1-314fs*50 expressed in rods of transgenic X. laevis are targeted to the phototransduction compartment. We hypothesize that in affected family members the p.Tyr314Cysfs*50 change results in the production of the truncated protein, which binds Pγ and causes constitutive activation of the phototransduction thus leading to the absence of rod adaptation.

  13. Photoreceptor-targeted gene delivery using intravitreally administered AAV vectors in dogs

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, RF; Sledge, DG; Boye, SL; Boye, SE; Hauswirth, WW; Komáromy, AM; Petersen-Jones, SM; Bartoe, JT

    2016-01-01

    Delivery of therapeutic transgenes to retinal photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors has traditionally required subretinal injection. Recently, photoreceptor transduction efficiency following intravitreal injection (IVT) has improved in rodent models through use of capsid-mutant AAV vectors; but remains limited in large animal models. Thickness of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in large animals is thought to impair retinal penetration by AAV. Our study compared two newly developed AAV vectors containing multiple capsid amino acid substitutions following IVT in dogs. The ability of two promoter constructs to restrict reporter transgene expression to photoreceptors was also evaluated. AAV vectors containing the interphotoreceptor-binding protein (IRBP) promoter drove expression exclusively in rod and cone photoreceptors, with transduction efficiencies of ~ 4% of cones and 2% of rods. Notably, in the central region containing the cone-rich visual streak, 15.6% of cones were transduced. Significant regional variation existed, with lower transduction efficiencies in the temporal regions of all eyes. This variation did not correlate with ILM thickness. Vectors carrying a cone-specific promoter failed to transduce a quantifiable percentage of cone photoreceptors. The newly developed AAV vectors containing the IRBP promoter were capable of producing photoreceptor-specific transgene expression following IVT in the dog. PMID:26467396

  14. Photoreceptor-targeted gene delivery using intravitreally administered AAV vectors in dogs.

    PubMed

    Boyd, R F; Sledge, D G; Boye, S L; Boye, S E; Hauswirth, W W; Komáromy, A M; Petersen-Jones, S M; Bartoe, J T

    2016-02-01

    Delivery of therapeutic transgenes to retinal photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors has traditionally required subretinal injection. Recently, photoreceptor transduction efficiency following intravitreal injection (IVT) has improved in rodent models through use of capsid-mutant AAV vectors; but remains limited in large animal models. Thickness of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in large animals is thought to impair retinal penetration by AAV. Our study compared two newly developed AAV vectors containing multiple capsid amino acid substitutions following IVT in dogs. The ability of two promoter constructs to restrict reporter transgene expression to photoreceptors was also evaluated. AAV vectors containing the interphotoreceptor-binding protein (IRBP) promoter drove expression exclusively in rod and cone photoreceptors, with transduction efficiencies of ~4% of cones and 2% of rods. Notably, in the central region containing the cone-rich visual streak, 15.6% of cones were transduced. Significant regional variation existed, with lower transduction efficiencies in the temporal regions of all eyes. This variation did not correlate with ILM thickness. Vectors carrying a cone-specific promoter failed to transduce a quantifiable percentage of cone photoreceptors. The newly developed AAV vectors containing the IRBP promoter were capable of producing photoreceptor-specific transgene expression following IVT in the dog.

  15. Correlation of normal and superconducting transport properties on textured Bi-2212 ceramic thin rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natividad, E.; Castro, M.; Burriel, R.; Angurel, L. A.; Díez, J. C.; Navarro, R.

    2002-07-01

    The electric and thermal properties well above and below Tc of Bi-2212 textured ceramics have been correlated through a careful analysis of the microstructure and the transport measurements. Thin rods with the same Bi-2122 stoichiometry and textured by a laser floating zone technique have been studied with that aim. By changing the growth parameters, it has been possible to produce strong changes in microstructure and critical current density, Jc, with small variations in the thermal conductivity. The existence of phase and composition gradients across the thin rods, which explains the variations of Tc, makes the relation difficult between the normal state resistivity and Jc (77 K). A simple qualitative analysis that takes into account the observed microstructure has been developed to correlate the electric transport properties in the normal and in the superconducting states.

  16. Direct cell fate conversion of human somatic stem cells into cone and rod photoreceptor-like cells by inhibition of microRNA-203.

    PubMed

    Choi, Soon Won; Shin, Ji-Hee; Kim, Jae-Jun; Shin, Tae-Hoon; Seo, Yoojin; Kim, Hyung-Sik; Kang, Kyung-Sun

    2016-07-05

    Stem cell-based photoreceptor differentiation strategies have been the recent focus of therapies for retinal degenerative diseases. Previous studies utilized embryonic stem (ES) cells and neural retina differentiation cocktails, including DKK1 and Noggin. Here, we show a novel microRNA-mediated strategy of retina differentiation from somatic stem cells, which are potential allogeneic cell sources. Human amniotic epithelial stem cells (AESCs) and umbilical cord blood-derived mesenchymal stem cells (UCB-MSCs) treated with a retina differentiation cocktail induced gene expressions of retina development-relevant genes. Furthermore, microRNA-203 (miR-203) is abundantly expressed in human AESCs and human UCB-MSCs. This miR-203 is predicted to target multiple retina development-relevant genes, particularly DKK1, CRX, RORβ, NEUROD1, NRL and THRB. The inhibition of miR-203 induced a retina differentiation of AESCs and UCB-MSCs. Moreover, successive treatments of anti-miR-203 led to the expression of both mature photoreceptor (PR) markers, rhodopsin and opsin. In addition, we determined that CRX, NRL and DKK1 are direct targets of miR-203 using a luciferase assay. Thus, the work presented here suggests that somatic stem cells can potentially differentiate into neural retina cell types when treated with anti-miR-203. They may prove to be a source of both PR subtypes for future allogeneic stem cell-based therapies of non-regenerative retina diseases.

  17. All-trans-retinal shuts down rod cyclic nucleotide-gated ion channels: A novel role for photoreceptor retinoids in the response to bright light?

    PubMed Central

    Dean, Dylan M.; Nguitragool, Wang; Miri, Andrew; McCabe, Sarah L.; Zimmerman, Anita L.

    2002-01-01

    In retinal rods, light-induced isomerization of 11-cis-retinal to all-trans-retinal within rhodopsin triggers an enzyme cascade that lowers the concentration of cGMP. Consequently, cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) ion channels close, generating the first electrical response to light. After isomerization, all-trans-retinal dissociates from rhodopsin. We now show that all-trans-retinal directly and markedly inhibits cloned rod CNG channels in excised patches. 11-cis-retinal and all-trans-retinol also inhibited the channels, but at somewhat higher concentrations. Single-channel analysis suggests that all-trans-retinal reduces average open probability of rod CNG channels by inactivating channels for seconds at a time. At physiological cGMP levels, all-trans-retinal inhibited in the nanomolar range. Our results suggest that all-trans-retinal may be a potent regulator of the channel in rods during the response to bright light, when there is a large surge in the concentration of all-trans-retinal. PMID:12034887

  18. Multidestructive pathways triggered in photoreceptor cell death of the rd mouse as determined through gene expression profiling.

    PubMed

    Rohrer, Baerbel; Pinto, Francisco R; Hulse, Kathryn E; Lohr, Heather R; Zhang, Li; Almeida, Jonas S

    2004-10-01

    In the rd/rd mouse, photoreceptor degeneration is due to a mutation of the rod-specific enzyme cGMP phosphodiesterase, resulting in permanently opened cGMP-gated cation channels in the rod outer segment membrane that allow Na(+) and Ca(2+) ions to enter the cell, resulting in possibly toxic levels of Ca(2+). To identify pathways involved in cell death of the rd/rd rods, we evaluated gene expression in the rd/rd and wild type (wt) mouse retina (U74A oligonucleotide arrays (Affymetrix)) over the known time course of photoreceptor degeneration. 181 genes passed the selection criteria (low standard deviation and high correlation between replicates), falling into six clusters. For any given pair of genes, an expression profile correlation distance and a semantic distance (one for each class of gene ontology terms) were established using newly designed software. Gene expression in rd/rd started to deviate from wt by postnatal day 10. The reduction in photoreceptor-specific genes followed the known time course of photoreceptor degeneration. Likewise the increase in transcription factors and apoptosis- and neuroinflammation-specific genes followed the kinetics of the rise in intracellular cGMP in the rod photoreceptors. In addition, genes coding for calcium-binding proteins and those implicated in tissue and vessel remodeling were increased. These results suggest that photoreceptor degeneration in the rd/rd mouse is a process starting with Ca(2+) toxicity followed by secondary insults involving multidestructive pathways such as apoptosis and neuroinflammation, presumably boosting morphological changes. All of these components need to be addressed if rods are to be successfully protected.

  19. Analysis of the Fluorescence Correlation Function of Quantum Rods with Different Lengths.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaeran; Kim, Sok Won

    2015-11-01

    We built a polarization fluorescence correlation spectroscopy system to analyze the variation of the correlation function in rotational diffusion based on the length of rod-like fluorescent particles. Because the rotational diffusion of particles in liquid depends on the relative polarization states of the laser source and particle fluorescence, we compared the amplitudes of the rotational diffusion using the autocorrelation function in different polarization states. For experiments that depend on the length of the fluorescent particles, we prepared three kinds of quantum rod samples with a width of 6.5 ± 0.5 nm and lengths of 17 ± 3, 40 ± 3, and 46 ± 3 nm. Through the experiment, we obtained the hydrodynamic radii of each particle using the rotational diffusion coefficient: 10.7 ± 0.8, 13.4 ± 0.7, and 14.1 ± 0.4 nm with the length of the particles. All the obtained values for radii are 3 nm larger than the calculated equivalent radii of spheres with the same volume as the rod samples. Through a fraction analysis by polarization state, we confirmed that the ratio of rotational fraction for polarization increases with the aspect ratio of the actual particle.

  20. Xenopus laevis tadpoles can regenerate neural retina lost after physical excision but cannot regenerate photoreceptors lost through targeted ablation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Damian C; Hamm, Lisa M; Moritz, Orson L

    2013-03-13

    To determine whether the Xenopus laevis retina is capable of regenerating photoreceptor cells lost through apoptotic cell death in an inducible transgenic X. laevis model of retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Acute rod photoreceptor apoptosis was induced in transgenic X. laevis expressing drug-inducible caspase 9. We subsequently monitored the ability of the retina to regenerate lost photoreceptors in the absence of drug, and in combination with physical injury or ectopic supplementation of basic fibroblast growth factor (FGF2). Direct activation of caspase 9 in rod photoreceptors resulted in the initiation of apoptosis and complete removal of rod photoreceptors within 4 days. Photoreceptors lost by apoptosis were not replaced over a 4-week recovery time frame. In contrast, physical disruption of rod-ablated retina was repaired by the end of a 3-week time frame, but did not result in rod photoreceptor regeneration other than at the site of injury. Furthermore, ectopic supplementation of FGF2 did not stimulate regeneration of photoreceptors lost by apoptosis. However, FGF2 supplementation increased the rate of regeneration of retina (including rod photoreceptors) in eyes from which retinal tissue was surgically removed. In the X. laevis retina, rod photoreceptors that undergo drug-induced caspase-9-mediated apoptosis are permanently lost and do not regenerate. In contrast, the neural retina (including rod photoreceptors) can regenerate in injured or retinectomized eyes, and this regeneration is promoted by supplementation with FGF2. However, FGF2 does not promote regeneration of rod photoreceptors that are selectively lost by apoptosis.

  1. Photovoltage of Rods and Cones in the Macaque Retina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneeweis, David M.; Schnapf, Julie L.

    1995-05-01

    The kinetics, gain, and reliability of light responses of rod and cone photoreceptors are important determinants of overall visual sensitivity. In voltage recordings from photoreceptors in an intact primate retina, rods were found to be functionally isolated from each other, unlike the tightly coupled rods of cold-blooded vertebrates. Cones were observed to receive excitatory input from rods, which indicates that the cone pathway also processes rod signals. This input might be expected to degrade the spatial resolution of mesopic vision.

  2. Cone Photoreceptor Sensitivities and Unique Hue Chromatic Responses: Correlation and Causation Imply the Physiological Basis of Unique Hues

    PubMed Central

    Pridmore, Ralph W.

    2013-01-01

    This paper relates major functions at the start and end of the color vision process. The process starts with three cone photoreceptors transducing light into electrical responses. Cone sensitivities were once expected to be Red Green Blue color matching functions (to mix colors) but microspectrometry proved otherwise: they instead peak in yellowish, greenish, and blueish hues. These physiological functions are an enigma, unmatched with any set of psychophysical (behavioral) functions. The end-result of the visual process is color sensation, whose essential percepts are unique (or pure) hues red, yellow, green, blue. Unique hues cannot be described by other hues, but can describe all other hues, e.g., that hue is reddish-blue. They are carried by four opponent chromatic response curves but the literature does not specify whether each curve represents a range of hues or only one hue (a unique) over its wavelength range. Here the latter is demonstrated, confirming that opponent chromatic responses define, and may be termed, unique hue chromatic responses. These psychophysical functions also are an enigma, unmatched with any physiological functions or basis. Here both enigmas are solved by demonstrating the three cone sensitivity curves and the three spectral chromatic response curves are almost identical sets (Pearson correlation coefficients r from 0.95–1.0) in peak wavelengths, curve shapes, math functions, and curve crossover wavelengths, though previously unrecognized due to presentation of curves in different formats, e.g., log, linear. (Red chromatic response curve is largely nonspectral and thus derives from two cones.) Close correlation combined with deterministic causation implies cones are the physiological basis of unique hues. This match of three physiological and three psychophysical functions is unique in color vision. PMID:24204755

  3. Active opsin loci adopt intrachromosomal loops that depend on the photoreceptor transcription factor network

    PubMed Central

    Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming

    2011-01-01

    Rod and cone opsin genes are expressed in a mutually exclusive manner in their respective photoreceptor subtypes in the mammalian retina. Previous transgenic mouse studies showed that functional interactions between the distal enhancer and proximal promoter of rhodopsin and long/medium-wavelength (L/M) opsin genes are essential for regulating their cell-type–specific transcription. We have used chromosomal conformation capture assays in mouse retinas to investigate the molecular mechanism responsible for this interaction. Here we show that each opsin gene forms intrachromosomal loops in the appropriate photoreceptor subtype, while maintaining a linear configuration in other cell types where it is silent. The enhancer forms physical contacts not only with the promoter but also with the coding regions of each opsin locus. ChIP assays showed that cell-type–specific target binding by three key photoreceptor transcription factors—cone–rod homeobox (CRX), neural retina leucine zipper (NRL), and nuclear receptor subfamily 2, group E, member 3 (NR2E3)—is required for the appropriate local chromosomal organization and transcription of rod and cone opsins. Similar correlations between chromosomal loops and active transcription of opsin genes were also observed in human photoreceptors. Furthermore, quantitative chromosomal conformation capture on human retinas from two male donors showed that the L/M enhancer locus control region (LCR) loops with either the L or M promoter in a near 3:1 ratio, supporting distance-dependent competition between L and M for LCR. Altogether, our results suggest that the photoreceptor transcription factor network cooperatively regulates the chromosomal organization of target genes to precisely control photoreceptor subtype-specific gene expression. PMID:22006320

  4. Phototransduction and the Evolution of Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Fain, Gordon L.; Hardie, Roger; Laughlin, Simon B.

    2010-01-01

    Photoreceptors in metazoans can be grouped into two classes, with their photoreceptive membrane derived either from cilia or microvilli. Both classes use some form of the visual pigment protein opsin, which together with 11-cis retinaldehyde absorbs light and activates a G-protein cascade, resulting in the opening or closing of ion channels. Considerable attention has recently been given to the molecular evolution of the opsins and other photoreceptor proteins; much is also known about transduction in the various photoreceptor types. Here we combine this knowledge in an attempt to understand why certain photoreceptors might have conferred particular selective advantages during evolution. We suggest that microvillar photoreceptors became predominant in most invertebrate species because of their single-photon sensitivity, high temporal resolution, and large dynamic range, and that rods and a duplex retina provided primitive chordates and vertebrates with similar sensitivity and dynamic range, but with a smaller expenditure of ATP. PMID:20144772

  5. DNA repair in photoreceptor survival.

    PubMed

    Cortina, M Soledad; Gordon, William C; Lukiw, Walter J; Bazan, Nicolas G

    2003-10-01

    Light triggers a sequence of events that damage photoreceptor cells within the superior central portion of the retina, resulting in apoptotic cell death. This damage is mediated by energy absorbed by rhodopsin and the intermediates of the rhodopsin-bleaching process. Furthermore, inhibition of the visual cycle and the re-isomerization of all-trans retinol preserve photoreceptors. We have recently shown light-induced DNA fragmentation to occur only within photoreceptors, and, in time-courses following light treatment, these cells exhibit two peaks of damage, approx 24 h apart. This was also observed by quantification of nucleosome-length DNA fragments and their multimers (DNA ladders) as well as by highly repetitive short interspersed nuclear element (SINE) analysis. This bimodal pattern of photoreceptor DNA fragmentation suggests two populations of cells, and each of these were affected by light at a different rate or time. However, the rat retina is composed of 500 nm-sensitive rods, and approx 2% cones, suggesting that a two-cell-type hypothesis is incorrect. Thus, there is a possibility that light-induced DNA fragmentation is triggered and that some photoreceptors are able to initiate a repair mechanism, resulting in a temporary decrease in DNA damage followed by another wave of fragmentation that ultimately leads to cell death. Subsequently, we observed that the repair enzyme DNA polymerase beta was upregulated following light treatment, again suggesting the presence of a repair mechanism. Our results suggest that a DNA-repair mechanism exists within photoreceptors, and indicate that manipulation of this process may provide additional protection and/or recovery from events that trigger DNA fragmentation and apoptotic cell death in photoreceptors.

  6. Rod Contributions to Color Perception: Linear with Rod Contrast

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Dingcai; Pokorny, Joel; Smith, Vivianne C.; Zele, Andrew J.

    2008-01-01

    At mesopic light levels, an incremental change in rod activation causes changes in color appearance. In this study, we investigated how rod mediated changes in color perception varied as a function of the magnitude of the rod contrast. Rod-mediated changes in color appearance were assessed by matching them with cone-mediated color changes. A two-channel four-primary colorimeter allowed independent control of the rods and each of the L-, M- and S-cone photoreceptor types. At all light levels, rod contributions to inferred PC, KC and MC pathway mediated vision were linearly related to the rod incremental contrast. This linear relationship could be described by a model based on primate ganglion cell responses with the assumption that rod signals were conveyed via rod-cone gap junctions at mesopic light levels. PMID:18561973

  7. The Leber congenital amaurosis protein, AIPL1, is needed for the viability and functioning of cone photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed

    Kirschman, Lindsay T; Kolandaivelu, Saravanan; Frederick, Jeanne M; Dang, Loan; Goldberg, Andrew F X; Baehr, Wolfgang; Ramamurthy, Visvanathan

    2010-03-15

    Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) caused by mutations in Aryl hydrocarbon receptor interacting protein like-1 (Aipl1) is a severe form of childhood blindness. At 4 weeks of age, a mouse model of LCA lacking AIPL1 exhibits complete degeneration of both rod and cone photoreceptors. Rod cell death occurs due to rapid destabilization of rod phosphodiesterase, an enzyme essential for rod survival and function. However, little is understood regarding the role of AIPL1 in cone photoreceptors. Cone degeneration observed in the absence of AIPL1 could be due to an indirect 'bystander effect' caused by rod photoreceptor death or a direct role for AIPL1 in cones. To understand the importance of AIPL1 in cone photoreceptor cells, we transgenically expressed hAIPL1 exclusively in the rod photoreceptors of the Aipl1(-/-) mouse. Transgenic expression of hAIPL1 restored rod morphology and the rod-derived electroretinogram response, but cone photoreceptors were non-functional in the absence of AIPL1. In addition, the cone photoreceptors degenerate, but at a slower rate compared with Aipl1(-/-) mice. This degeneration is linked to the highly reduced levels of cone PDE6 observed in the hAIPL1 transgenic mice. Our studies demonstrate that AIPL1 is needed for the proper functioning and survival of cone photoreceptors. However, rod photoreceptors also provide support that partially preserves cone photoreceptors from rapid death in the absence of AIPL1.

  8. Biomimetic photoreceptor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merticaru, Andreea R.

    1999-03-01

    This is an artificial photoreceptor based on an organic polymer photocell. This organic polymer is bacteriorhodopsin (bR) derived from the purple membrane of Halobacterium Halobium. Also the retina itself uses this dye, rhodopsin, for the light-to-electricity conversion. When the light strikes the film, the dye molecules respond by changing shape. This change creates a displacement of charge, which generates an electrical signal through the electrode. Because the protein relaxes back to its original shape when the light hitting it remains constant, the protein delivers just a quick pulse of current to the electrode and then sends nothing more until the light intensity changes again. Parallel computation based on neurobiological principles is presently a great interest in terms of both advancing our knowledge on the fundamental basis of how the brain works and developing devices that can emulate neural networks. This study focuses on image detecting like that processing in the human eye. We also enlighten the possibility to simulate the visual perception by choosing the right design for our photoreceptor, in this view we imagine an original cell-like architecture to hold the bR purple membrane.

  9. Differentiation of photoreceptor cells and morphogenetic function of biomembranes.

    PubMed

    Vinnikov, Y A

    1974-01-01

    Photoreceptor cells of eyes in vertebrate animals have been chosen as an example to illustrate the morphogenetic function of biomembranes in differentiation of the eye outer segments -- rods and cones. Morphogenetic function of biomembranes in photoreceptor cells involves an insertion of the heterogeneous molecule of visual pigment into the original plasma membrane. Depending on some features of visual pigment in one case cones may be produced or rods as more complicated structures may be differentiated in the other one. Some evolution aspects of photoreceptor cell differentiation have also been under discussion.

  10. Low aqueous solubility of 11-cis-retinal limits the rate of pigment formation and dark adaptation in salamander rods.

    PubMed

    Frederiksen, Rikard; Boyer, Nicholas P; Nickle, Benjamin; Chakrabarti, Kalyan S; Koutalos, Yiannis; Crouch, Rosalie K; Oprian, Daniel; Cornwall, M Carter

    2012-06-01

    We report experiments designed to test the hypothesis that the aqueous solubility of 11-cis-retinoids plays a significant role in the rate of visual pigment regeneration. Therefore, we have compared the aqueous solubility and the partition coefficients in photoreceptor membranes of native 11-cis-retinal and an analogue retinoid, 11-cis 4-OH retinal, which has a significantly higher solubility in aqueous medium. We have then correlated these parameters with the rates of pigment regeneration and sensitivity recovery that are observed when bleached intact salamander rod photoreceptors are treated with physiological solutions containing these retinoids. We report the following results: (a) 11-cis 4-OH retinal is more soluble in aqueous buffer than 11-cis-retinal. (b) Both 11-cis-retinal and 11-cis 4-OH retinal have extremely high partition coefficients in photoreceptor membranes, though the partition coefficient of 11-cis-retinal is roughly 50-fold greater than that of 11-cis 4-OH retinal. (c) Intact bleached isolated rods treated with solutions containing equimolar amounts of 11-cis-retinal or 11-cis 4-OH retinal form functional visual pigments that promote full recovery of dark current, sensitivity, and response kinetics. However, rods treated with 11-cis 4-OH retinal regenerated on average fivefold faster than rods treated with 11-cis-retinal. (d) Pigment regeneration from recombinant and wild-type opsin in solution is slower when treated with 11-cis 4-OH retinal than with 11-cis-retinal. Based on these observations, we propose a model in which aqueous solubility of cis-retinoids within the photoreceptor cytosol can place a limit on the rate of visual pigment regeneration in vertebrate photoreceptors. We conclude that the cytosolic gap between the plasma membrane and the disk membranes presents a bottleneck for retinoid flux that results in slowed pigment regeneration and dark adaptation in rod photoreceptors.

  11. Low aqueous solubility of 11-cis-retinal limits the rate of pigment formation and dark adaptation in salamander rods

    PubMed Central

    Boyer, Nicholas P.; Nickle, Benjamin; Chakrabarti, Kalyan S.; Koutalos, Yiannis; Crouch, Rosalie K.; Oprian, Daniel; Cornwall, M. Carter

    2012-01-01

    We report experiments designed to test the hypothesis that the aqueous solubility of 11-cis-retinoids plays a significant role in the rate of visual pigment regeneration. Therefore, we have compared the aqueous solubility and the partition coefficients in photoreceptor membranes of native 11-cis-retinal and an analogue retinoid, 11-cis 4-OH retinal, which has a significantly higher solubility in aqueous medium. We have then correlated these parameters with the rates of pigment regeneration and sensitivity recovery that are observed when bleached intact salamander rod photoreceptors are treated with physiological solutions containing these retinoids. We report the following results: (a) 11-cis 4-OH retinal is more soluble in aqueous buffer than 11-cis-retinal. (b) Both 11-cis-retinal and 11-cis 4-OH retinal have extremely high partition coefficients in photoreceptor membranes, though the partition coefficient of 11-cis-retinal is roughly 50-fold greater than that of 11-cis 4-OH retinal. (c) Intact bleached isolated rods treated with solutions containing equimolar amounts of 11-cis-retinal or 11-cis 4-OH retinal form functional visual pigments that promote full recovery of dark current, sensitivity, and response kinetics. However, rods treated with 11-cis 4-OH retinal regenerated on average fivefold faster than rods treated with 11-cis-retinal. (d) Pigment regeneration from recombinant and wild-type opsin in solution is slower when treated with 11-cis 4-OH retinal than with 11-cis-retinal. Based on these observations, we propose a model in which aqueous solubility of cis-retinoids within the photoreceptor cytosol can place a limit on the rate of visual pigment regeneration in vertebrate photoreceptors. We conclude that the cytosolic gap between the plasma membrane and the disk membranes presents a bottleneck for retinoid flux that results in slowed pigment regeneration and dark adaptation in rod photoreceptors. PMID:22641642

  12. The Role of Mislocalized Phototransduction in Photoreceptor Cell Death of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Nakao, Takeshi; Tsujikawa, Motokazu; Notomi, Shoji; Ikeda, Yasuhiro; Nishida, Kohji

    2012-01-01

    Most of inherited retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) cause photoreceptor cell death resulting in blindness. RP is a large family of diseases in which the photoreceptor cell death can be caused by a number of pathways. Among them, light exposure has been reported to induce photoreceptor cell death. However, the detailed mechanism by which photoreceptor cell death is caused by light exposure is unclear. In this study, we have shown that even a mild light exposure can induce ectopic phototransduction and result in the acceleration of rod photoreceptor cell death in some vertebrate models. In ovl, a zebrafish model of outer segment deficiency, photoreceptor cell death is associated with light exposure. The ovl larvae show ectopic accumulation of rhodopsin and knockdown of ectopic rhodopsin and transducin rescue rod photoreceptor cell death. However, knockdown of phosphodiesterase, the enzyme that mediates the next step of phototransduction, does not. So, ectopic phototransduction activated by light exposure, which leads to rod photoreceptor cell death, is through the action of transducin. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that forced activation of adenylyl cyclase in the inner segment leads to rod photoreceptor cell death. For further confirmation, we have also generated a transgenic fish which possesses a human rhodopsin mutation, Q344X. This fish and rd10 model mice show photoreceptor cell death caused by adenylyl cyclase. In short, our study indicates that in some RP, adenylyl cyclase is involved in photoreceptor cell death pathway; its inhibition is potentially a logical approach for a novel RP therapy. PMID:22485131

  13. Transcription Coactivators p300 and CBP Are Necessary for Photoreceptor-Specific Chromatin Organization and Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Hennig, Anne K.; Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming

    2013-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptor neurons in the mammalian retina possess specialized cellular architecture and functional features for converting light to a neuronal signal. Establishing and maintaining these characteristics requires appropriate expression of a specific set of genes, which is tightly regulated by a network of photoreceptor transcription factors centered on the cone-rod homeobox protein CRX. CRX recruits transcription coactivators p300 and CBP to acetylate promoter-bound histones and activate transcription of target genes. To further elucidate the role of these two coactivators, we conditionally knocked out Ep300 and/or CrebBP in differentiating rods or cones, using opsin-driven Cre recombinase. Knockout of either factor alone exerted minimal effects, but loss of both factors severely disrupted target cell morphology and function: the unique nuclear chromatin organization seen in mouse rods was reversed, accompanied by redistribution of nuclear territories associated with repressive and active histone marks. Transcription of many genes including CRX targets was severely impaired, correlating with reduced histone H3/H4 acetylation (the products of p300/CBP) on target gene promoters. Interestingly, the presence of a single wild-type allele of either coactivator prevented many of these defects, with Ep300 more effective than Cbp. These results suggest that p300 and CBP play essential roles in maintaining photoreceptor-specific structure, function and gene expression. PMID:23922782

  14. Functional significance of the taper of vertebrate cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hárosi, Ferenc I.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptors are commonly distinguished based on the shape of their outer segments: those of cones taper, whereas the ones from rods do not. The functional advantages of cone taper, a common occurrence in vertebrate retinas, remain elusive. In this study, we investigate this topic using theoretical analyses aimed at revealing structure–function relationships in photoreceptors. Geometrical optics combined with spectrophotometric and morphological data are used to support the analyses and to test predictions. Three functions are considered for correlations between taper and functionality. The first function proposes that outer segment taper serves to compensate for self-screening of the visual pigment contained within. The second function links outer segment taper to compensation for a signal-to-noise ratio decline along the longitudinal dimension. Both functions are supported by the data: real cones taper more than required for these compensatory roles. The third function relates outer segment taper to the optical properties of the inner compartment whereby the primary determinant is the inner segment’s ability to concentrate light via its ellipsoid. In support of this idea, the rod/cone ratios of primarily diurnal animals are predicted based on a principle of equal light flux gathering between photoreceptors. In addition, ellipsoid concentration factor, a measure of ellipsoid ability to concentrate light onto the outer segment, correlates positively with outer segment taper expressed as a ratio of characteristic lengths, where critical taper is the yardstick. Depending on a light-funneling property and the presence of focusing organelles such as oil droplets, cone outer segments can be reduced in size to various degrees. We conclude that outer segment taper is but one component of a miniaturization process that reduces metabolic costs while improving signal detection. Compromise solutions in the various retinas and retinal regions occur between

  15. Mixed convective low flow pressure drop in vertical rod assemblies: I---Predictive model and design correlation

    SciTech Connect

    Suh, K.Y.; Todreas, N.E.; Rohsenow, W.M. )

    1989-11-01

    A predicative theory has been developed for rod bundle frictional pressure drop characteristics under laminar and transitional mixed convection conditions on the basis of the intraassembly and intrasubchannel flow redistributions due to buoyancy for a wide spectrum of radial power profiles and for the geometric arrangements of practical design interest. Both the individual subchannel correlations and overall bundle design correlations have been formulated as multipliers applied to the isothermal friction factors at the same Reynolds numbers. Standard and modified subchannel friction factors have been obtained to be used with spatial-average and bulk-mean densities, respectively. A correlating procedure has been proposed to assess the effects of interacting subchannel flows, developing mixed convective flow, wire wrapping, power skew, rod number, and transition from laminar flow. In contrast to forced convection behavior, a strong rod number effect is present under mixed convection conditions in bundle geometries. The results of this study are of design importance in natural circulation conditions becasue the mixed convection frictional pressure losses exceed the corresponding isothermal values at the same Reynolds numbers.

  16. Targeted effects of retinoic acid signaling upon photoreceptor development in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Prabhudesai, Shubhangi N.; Cameron, David A.; Stenkamp, Deborah L.

    2009-01-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) is a signaling molecule important for photoreceptor development in vertebrates. The purpose of this study was to examine the mechanisms of the effects of RA upon developing rod and cone photoreceptors in the embryonic zebrafish. Exposure to exogenous RA increased the number of photoreceptors expressing rod opsin and red cone opsin, and decreased the number of photoreceptors expressing the blue and UV cone opsins, suggesting targeted effects of RA on photoreceptor development. RA exposure also increased opsin expression in individual rods and red cones, but decreased opsin expression in individual blue and UV cones, as indicated by differences in the strength of opsin hybridization in identified photoreceptors. RA exposure did not, however, significantly alter quantitative measures of photoreceptor pattern in a manner expected for changes in photoreceptor fate. These observations collectively indicate that RA treatment does not affect photoreceptor fate, but rather differentially influences opsin transcription in determined photoreceptors. An enzyme involved in RA synthesis, RALDH2, was immunocytochemically localized to retinal progenitor cells and the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), suggesting the presence of RA in the vicinity of developing photoreceptors. However, expression of an RA response element-driven transgene was restricted to the RPE, retinal progenitors, and a small population of neurons in ventral retina, suggesting that the endogenous RA signaling system is spatially limited within the eye. PMID:16197938

  17. The Limit of Photoreceptor Sensitivity

    PubMed Central

    Holcman, David; Korenbrot, Juan I.

    2005-01-01

    Detection threshold in cone photoreceptors requires the simultaneous absorption of several photons because single photon photocurrent is small in amplitude and does not exceed intrinsic fluctuations in the outer segment dark current (dark noise). To understand the mechanisms that limit light sensitivity, we characterized the molecular origin of dark noise in intact, isolated bass single cones. Dark noise is caused by continuous fluctuations in the cytoplasmic concentrations of both cGMP and Ca2+ that arise from the activity in darkness of both guanylate cyclase (GC), the enzyme that synthesizes cGMP, and phosphodiesterase (PDE), the enzyme that hydrolyzes it. In cones loaded with high concentration Ca2+ buffering agents, we demonstrate that variation in cGMP levels arise from fluctuations in the mean PDE enzymatic activity. The rates of PDE activation and inactivation determine the quantitative characteristics of the dark noise power density spectrum. We developed a mathematical model based on the dynamics of PDE activity that accurately predicts this power spectrum. Analysis of the experimental data with the theoretical model allows us to determine the rates of PDE activation and deactivation in the intact photoreceptor. In fish cones, the mean lifetime of active PDE at room temperature is ∼55 ms. In nonmammalian rods, in contrast, active PDE lifetime is ∼555 ms. This remarkable difference helps explain why cones are noisier than rods and why cone photocurrents are smaller in peak amplitude and faster in time course than those in rods. Both these features make cones less light sensitive than rods. PMID:15928405

  18. Diverse types of ganglion cell photoreceptors in the mammalian retina.

    PubMed

    Sand, Andrea; Schmidt, Tiffany M; Kofuji, Paulo

    2012-07-01

    Photoreceptors carry out the first step in vision by capturing light and transducing it into electrical signals. Rod and cone photoreceptors efficiently translate photon capture into electrical signals by light activation of opsin-type photopigments. Until recently, the central dogma was that, for mammals, all phototransduction occurred in rods and cones. However, the recent discovery of a novel photoreceptor type in the inner retina has fundamentally challenged this view. These retinal ganglion cells are intrinsically photosensitive and mediate a broad range of physiological responses such as photoentrainment of the circadian clock, light regulation of sleep, pupillary light reflex, and light suppression of melatonin secretion. Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells express melanopsin, a novel opsin-based signaling mechanism reminiscent of that found in invertebrate rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells convey environmental irradiance information directly to brain centers such as the hypothalamus, preoptic nucleus, and lateral geniculate nucleus. Initial studies suggested that these melanopsin-expressing photoreceptors were an anatomically and functionally homogeneous population. However, over the past decade or so, it has become apparent that these photoreceptors are distinguishable as individual subtypes on the basis of their morphology, molecular markers, functional properties, and efferent projections. These results have provided a novel classification scheme with five melanopsin photoreceptor subtypes in the mammalian retina, each presumably with differential input and output properties. In this review, we summarize the evidence for the structural and functional diversity of melanopsin photoreceptor subtypes and current controversies in the field. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. DIVERSE TYPES OF GANGLION CELL PHOTORECEPTORS IN THE MAMMALIAN RETINA

    PubMed Central

    Sand, Andrea; Schmidt, Tiffany M.; Kofuji, Paulo

    2012-01-01

    Photoreceptors carry out the first step in vision by capturing light and transducing it into electrical signals. Rod and cone photoreceptors efficiently translate photon capture into electrical signals by light activation of opsin-type photopigments. Until recently, the central dogma was that, for mammals, all phototransduction occurred in rods and cones. However, the recent discovery of a novel photoreceptor type in the inner retina has fundamentally challenged this view. These retinal ganglion cells are intrinsically photosensitive and mediate a broad range of physiological responses such as photoentrainment of the circadian clock, light regulation of sleep, pupillary light reflex, and light suppression of melatonin secretion. Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells express melanopsin, a novel opsin-based signaling mechanism reminiscent of that found in invertebrate rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells convey environmental irradiance information directly to brain centers such as the hypothalamus, preoptic nucleus, and lateral geniculate nucleus. Initial studies suggested that these melanopsin-expressing photoreceptors were an anatomically and functionally homogeneous population. However, over the past decade or so, it has become apparent that these photoreceptors are distinguishable as individual subtypes on the basis of their morphology, molecular markers, functional properties, and efferent projections. These results have provided a novel classification scheme with five melanopsin photoreceptor subtypes in the mammalian retina, each presumably with differential input and output properties. In this review, we summarize the evidence for the structural and functional diversity of melanopsin photoreceptor subtypes and current controversies in the field. PMID:22480975

  20. Plasticity of photoreceptor-generating retinal progenitors revealed by prolonged retinoic acid exposure

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Retinoic acid (RA) is important for vertebrate eye morphogenesis and is a regulator of photoreceptor development in the retina. In the zebrafish, RA treatment of postmitotic photoreceptor precursors has been shown to promote the differentiation of rods and red-sensitive cones while inhibiting the differentiation of blue- and UV-sensitive cones. The roles played by RA and its receptors in modifying photoreceptor fate remain to be determined. Results Treatment of zebrafish embryos with RA, beginning at the time of retinal progenitor cell proliferation and prior to photoreceptor terminal mitosis, resulted in a significant alteration of rod and cone mosaic patterns, suggesting an increase in the production of rods at the expense of red cones. Quantitative pattern analyses documented increased density of rod photoreceptors and reduced local spacing between rod cells, suggesting rods were appearing in locations normally occupied by cone photoreceptors. Cone densities were correspondingly reduced and cone photoreceptor mosaics displayed expanded and less regular spacing. These results were consistent with replacement of approximately 25% of positions normally occupied by red-sensitive cones, with additional rods. Analysis of embryos from a RA-signaling reporter line determined that multiple retinal cell types, including mitotic cells and differentiating rods and cones, are capable of directly responding to RA. The RA receptors RXRγ and RARαb are expressed in patterns consistent with mediating the effects of RA on photoreceptors. Selective knockdown of RARαb expression resulted in a reduction in endogenous RA signaling in the retina. Knockdown of RARαb also caused a reduced production of rods that was not restored by simultaneous treatments with RA. Conclusions These data suggest that developing retinal cells have a dynamic sensitivity to RA during retinal neurogenesis. In zebrafish RA may influence the rod vs. cone cell fate decision. The RARαb receptor

  1. Bethe lattice model with site and bond correlations for continuum percolation by isotropic systems of monodisperse rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chatterjee, Avik P.

    2017-08-01

    A model for connectedness percolation in isotropic systems of monodisperse cylinders is developed that employs a generalization of the tree-like Bethe lattice. The traditional Bethe lattice is generalized by incorporating (within a heuristic, mean-field framework) a pair of correlation parameters that describe (i) the states of occupancy of neighboring sites and (ii) the states of directly adjacent bonds, which are also allowed to be in either of two possible states. Averaging over the fluctuating states of neighboring bonds provides an operational means to modulate the dependence upon volume fraction of the average number of next-nearest-neighbor rod-rod contacts without altering the number of such nearest-neighbor interparticle contacts. The percolation threshold is shown to be a sensitive function of the average number of such next-nearest-neighbor contacts, and therefore of the quality of dispersion of the particles.

  2. Assessment of Biasi and Columbia University CHF correlations with GE 3x3 rod bundle experiment. [PWR; BWR

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, B.C.J.; Chien, T.H.; Sha, W.T.; Kim, J.H.

    1984-01-01

    The critical heat flux (CHF), at which a sudden degradation of heat transfer occurs without corresponding decrease in heat generation, is one of the limiting parameters for safe operation of nuclear reactors. Reactor operation beyond the CHF causes a rapid rise in fuel cladding temperature and thus should be avoided to maintain the fuel element integrity. Reactor power limits are therefore set so that a prescribed safety margin below the CHF is maintained. Two CHF correlations are evaluated for reactor core thermal hydraulic analysis: the Biasi correlation and the Columbia University correlation. The BODYFIT-2PE computer code is used for this assessment. The CHF predicted by the BODYFIT-2PE using the two correlations is compared with GE 3x3 rod bundle CHF experiment.

  3. Gene expression changes during retinal development and rod specification

    PubMed Central

    Carrigan, Matthew; Hokamp, Karsten; Farrar, G. Jane

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) typically results from individual mutations in any one of >70 genes that cause rod photoreceptor cells to degenerate prematurely, eventually resulting in blindness. Gene therapies targeting individual RP genes have shown efficacy at clinical trial; however, these therapies require the surviving photoreceptor cells to be viable and functional, and may be economically feasible for only the more commonly mutated genes. An alternative potential treatment strategy, particularly for late stage disease, may involve stem cell transplants into the photoreceptor layer of the retina. Rod progenitors from postnatal mouse retinas can be transplanted and can form photoreceptors in recipient adult retinas; optimal numbers of transplantable cells are obtained from postnatal day 3–5 (P3–5) retinas. These cells can also be expanded in culture; however, this results in the loss of photoreceptor potential. Gene expression differences between postnatal retinas, cultured retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), and rod photoreceptor precursors were investigated to identify gene expression patterns involved in the specification of rod photoreceptors. Methods Microarrays were used to investigate differences in gene expression between cultured RPCs that have lost photoreceptor potential, P1 retinas, and fresh P5 retinas that contain significant numbers of transplantable photoreceptors. Additionally, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) sorted Rho-eGFP-expressing rod photoreceptor precursors were compared with Rho-eGFP-negative cells from the same P5 retinas. Differential expression was confirmed with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR). Results Analysis of the microarray data sets, including the use of t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) to identify expression pattern neighbors of key photoreceptor specific genes, resulted in the identification of 636 genes differentially regulated during rod specification. Forty-four of these

  4. Protein sorting, targeting and trafficking in photoreceptor cells

    PubMed Central

    Pearring, Jillian N.; Salinas, Raquel Y.; Baker, Sheila A.; Arshavsky, Vadim Y.

    2013-01-01

    Vision is the most fundamental of our senses initiated when photons are absorbed by the rod and cone photoreceptor neurons of the retina. At the distal end of each photoreceptor resides a light-sensing organelle, called the outer segment, which is a modified primary cilium highly enriched with proteins involved in visual signal transduction. At the proximal end, each photoreceptor has a synaptic terminal, which connects this cell to the downstream neurons for further processing of the visual information. Understanding the mechanisms involved in creating and maintaining functional compartmentalization of photoreceptor cells remains among the most fascinating topics in ocular cell biology. This review will discuss how photoreceptor compartmentalization is supported by protein sorting, targeting and trafficking, with an emphasis on the best-studied cases of outer segment-resident proteins. PMID:23562855

  5. Basal bodies exhibit polarized positioning in zebrafish cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Ramsey, Michelle; Perkins, Brian D.

    2012-01-01

    The asymmetric positioning of basal bodies, and therefore cilia, is often critical for proper cilia function. This planar polarity is critical for motile cilia function but has not been extensively investigated for non-motile cilia or for sensory cilia such as vertebrate photoreceptors. Zebrafish photoreceptors form an organized mosaic ideal for investigating cilia positioning. We report that in the adult retina, the basal bodies of red, green-, and blue-sensitive cone photoreceptors localized asymmetrically on the cell edge nearest to the optic nerve. In contrast, no patterning was seen in the basal bodies of ultraviolet-sensitive cones or in rod photoreceptors. The asymmetric localization of basal bodies was consistent in all regions of the adult retina. Basal body patterning was unaffected in the cones of the XOPS-mCFP transgenic line, which lacks rod photoreceptors. Finally, the adult pattern was not seen in 7 day post fertilization (dpf) larvae as basal bodies were randomly distributed in all the photoreceptor subtypes. These results establish the asymmetrical localization of basal bodies in red-, green-, and blue-sensitive cones in adult zebrafish retinas but not in larvae. This pattern suggests an active cellular mechanism regulated the positioning of basal bodies after the transition to the adult mosaic and that rods do not seem to be necessary for the patterning of cone basal bodies. PMID:23171982

  6. Rod Electroretinograms Elicited by Silent Substitution Stimuli from the Light-Adapted Human Eye

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, John; Parry, Neil R. A.; Kremers, Jan; Kommanapalli, Deepika; Murray, Ian J.; McKeefry, Declan J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To demonstrate that silent substitution stimuli can be used to generate electroretinograms (ERGs) that effectively isolate rod photoreceptor function in humans without the need for dark adaptation, and that this approach constitutes a viable alternative to current clinical standard testing protocols. Methods Rod-isolating and non-isolating sinusoidal flicker stimuli were generated on a 4 primary light-emitting diode (LED) Ganzfeld stimulator to elicit ERGs from participants with normal and compromised rod function who had not undergone dark-adaptation. Responses were subjected to Fourier analysis, and the amplitude and phase of the fundamental were used to examine temporal frequency and retinal illuminance response characteristics. Results Electroretinograms elicited by rod-isolating silent substitution stimuli exhibit low-pass temporal frequency response characteristics with an upper response limit of 30 Hz. Responses are optimal between 5 and 8 Hz and between 10 and 100 photopic trolands (Td). There is a significant correlation between the response amplitudes obtained with the silent substitution method and current standard clinical protocols. Analysis of signal-to-noise ratios reveals significant differences between subjects with normal and compromised rod function. Conclusions Silent substitution provides an effective method for the isolation of human rod photoreceptor function in subjects with normal as well as compromised rod function when stimuli are used within appropriate parameter ranges. Translational Relevance This method of generating rod-mediated ERGs can be achieved without time-consuming periods of dark adaptation, provides improved isolation of rod- from cone-based activity, and will lead to the development of faster clinical electrophysiologic testing protocols with improved selectivity. PMID:27617180

  7. Ocular anatomy and retinal photoreceptors in a skink, the sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa).

    PubMed

    New, Shaun T D; Hemmi, Jan M; Kerr, Gregory D; Bull, C Michael

    2012-10-01

    The Australian sleepy lizard (Tiliqua rugosa) is a large day-active skink which occupies stable overlapping home ranges and maintains long-term monogamous relationships. Its behavioral ecology has been extensively studied, making the sleepy lizard an ideal model for investigation of the lizard visual system and its specializations, for which relatively little is known. We examine the morphology, density, and distribution of retinal photoreceptors and describe the anatomy of the sleepy lizard eye. The sleepy lizard retina is composed solely of photoreceptors containing oil droplets, a characteristic of cones. Two groups could be distinguished; single cones and double cones, consistent with morphological descriptions of photoreceptors in other diurnal lizards. Although all photoreceptors were cone-like in morphology, a subset of photoreceptors displayed immunoreactivity to rhodopsin-the visual pigment of rods. This finding suggests that while the morphological properties of rod photoreceptors have been lost, photopigment protein composition has been conserved during evolutionary history.

  8. Reorganization of human cortical maps caused by inherited photoreceptor abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Baseler, Heidi A; Brewer, Alyssa A; Sharpe, Lindsay T; Morland, Antony B; Jägle, Herbert; Wandell, Brian A

    2002-04-01

    We describe a compelling demonstration of large-scale developmental reorganization in the human visual pathways. The developmental reorganization was observed in rod monochromats, a rare group of congenitally colorblind individuals who virtually lack cone photoreceptor function. Normal controls had a cortical region, spanning several square centimeters, that responded to signals initiated in the all-cone foveola but was inactive under rod viewing conditions; in rod monochromats this cortical region responded powerfully to rod-initiated signals. The measurements trace a causal pathway that begins with a genetic anomaly that directly influences sensory cells and ultimately results in a substantial central reorganization.

  9. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2009-01-01

    In the tiger salamander retina, visual signals are transmitted to the inner retina via six morphologically distinct types of photoreceptors: large/small rods, large/small single cones, and double cones composed of principal and accessory members. The objective of this study was to determine the morphology of these photoreceptors and their synaptic interconnection with bipolar cells and horizontal cells in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Here we showed that glutamate antibodies labeled all photoreceptors and recovering antibodies strongly labeled all cones and weakly labeled all rods. Antibodies against calbindin selectively stained accessory members of double cones. Antibodies against S-cone opsin stained small rods, a subpopulation of small single cones, and the outer segments of accessory double cones and a subtype of unidentified single cones. On average, large rods and small S-cone opsin positive rods accounted for 98.6% and 1.4% of all rods, respectively. Large/small cones, principle/accessory double cones, S-cone opsin positive small single cones, and S-cone opsin positive unidentified single cones accounted for about 66.9%, 23%, 4.5%, and 5.6% of the total cones, respectively. Moreover, the differential connection between rods/cones and bipolar/horizontal cells and the wide distribution of AMPA receptor subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 at the rod/cone synapses were observed. These results provide anatomical evidence for the physiological findings that bipolar/horizontal cells in the salamander retina are driven by rod/cone inputs of different weights, and that AMPA receptors play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission at the first visual synapses. The different photoreceptors selectively contacting bipolar and horizontal cells support the idea that visual signals may be conveyed to the inner retina by different functional pathways in the outer retina.

  10. Immunocytochemical analysis of photoreceptors in the tiger salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M.

    2013-01-01

    In the tiger salamander retina, visual signals are transmitted to the inner retina via six morphologically distinct types of photoreceptors: large/small rods, large/small single cones, and double cones composed of principal and accessory members. The objective of this study was to determine the morphology of these photoreceptors and their synaptic interconnection with bipolar cells and horizontal cells in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Here we showed that glutamate antibodies labeled all photoreceptors and recoverin antibodies strongly labeled all cones and weakly labeled all rods. Antibodies against calbindin selectively stained accessory members of double cones. Antibodies against S-cone opsin stained small rods, a subpopulation of small single cones, and the outer segments of accessory double cones and a subtype of unidentified single cones. On average, large rods and small S-cone opsin positive rods accounted for 98.6% and 1.4% of all rods, respectively. Large/small cones, principle/accessory double cones, S-cone opsin positive small single cones, and S-cone opsin positive unidentified single cones accounted for about 66.9%, 23%, 4.5%, and 5.6% of the total cones, respectively. Moreover, the differential connection between rods/cones and bipolar/horizontal cells and the wide distribution of AMPA receptor subunits GluR2/3 and GluR4 at the rod/cone synapses were observed. These results provide anatomical evidence for the physiological findings that bipolar/horizontal cells in the salamander retina are driven by rod/cone inputs of different weights, and that AMPA receptors play an important role in glutamatergic neurotransmission at the first visual synapses. The different photoreceptors selectively contacting bipolar and horizontal cells support the idea that visual signals may be conveyed to the inner retina by different functional pathways in the outer retina. PMID:18977238

  11. Microstructural engineering applied to the controlled cooling of steel wire rod: Part II. Microstructural evolution and mechanical properties correlations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campbell, P. C.; Hawbolt, E. B.; Brimacombe, J. K.

    1991-11-01

    In the second part of this paper, the microstructural evolution and mechanical properties of plain-carbon steel rods which have been subjected to known cooling conditions are described. Specifically, the isothermal phase transformation kinetics for the decomposition of austenite into ferrite and pearlite have been determined with a diametral dilatometer and characterized in terms of empirical coefficients in the Avrami equation. The continuous cooling transformation (CCT) start time, fraction ferrite, ferrite grain diameter, and pearlite interlamellar spacing have been quantified and correlated with steel composition and cooling rate. Tensile tests have been conducted to obtain yield strength (YS) and ultimate tensile strength (UTS), which, with literature data, have been related to the microstructure and composition of the steels. These correlations, which apply to both hypoeutectoid and eutectoid steels, have been incorporated in a mathematical model of the Stelmor process, to be described in Part III of this article.[441

  12. Glutathione Peroxidase 4 Is Required for Maturation of Photoreceptor Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Ueta, Takashi; Inoue, Tatsuya; Furukawa, Takahisa; Tamaki, Yasuhiro; Nakagawa, Yasuhito; Imai, Hirotaka; Yanagi, Yasuo

    2012-01-01

    Oxidative stress is implicated in the pathologies of photoreceptor cells, and the protective role of antioxidant enzymes for photoreceptor cells have been well understood. However, their essentiality has remained unknown. In this study we generated photoreceptor-specific conditional knock-out (CKO) mice of glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPx4) and showed the critical role of GPx4 for photoreceptor cells. In the wild-type retina the dominant GPx4 expression was in the mitochondria, indicating the mitochondrial variant was the major GPx4 in the retina. In the GPx4-CKO mice, although photoreceptor cells developed and differentiated into rod and cone cells by P12, they rapidly underwent drastic degeneration and completely disappeared by P21. The photoreceptor cell death in the GPx4-CKO mice was associated with the nuclear translocation of apoptosis-inducing factor (AIF) and TUNEL-positive cells. Photoreceptor cells before undergoing apoptosis (P11) exhibited decreased mitochondrial biomass, decreased number of connecting cilia, as well as disorganized structure of outer segments. These findings indicate that GPx4 is a critical antioxidant enzyme for the maturation and survival of photoreceptor cells. PMID:22207760

  13. Cannabinoid receptor activation differentially modulates ion channels in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander.

    PubMed

    Straiker, Alex; Sullivan, Jane M

    2003-05-01

    Cannabinoid CB1 receptors have been detected in retinas of numerous species, with prominent labeling in photoreceptor terminals of the chick and monkey. CB1 labeling is well-conserved across species, suggesting that CB1 receptors might also be present in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. Synaptic transmission in vertebrate photoreceptors is mediated by L-type calcium currents-currents that are modulated by CB1 receptors in bipolar cells of the tiger salamander. Presence of CB1 receptors in photoreceptor terminals would therefore be consistent with presynaptic modulation of synaptic transmission, a role seen for cannabinoids in other parts of the brain. Here we report immunohistochemical and electrophysiological evidence for the presence of functional CB1 receptors in rod and cone photoreceptors of the tiger salamander. The cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN 55212-2 enhances calcium currents of rod photoreceptors by 39% but decreases calcium currents of large single cones by 50%. In addition, WIN 55212-2 suppresses potassium currents of rods and large single cones by 44 and 48%, respectively. Thus functional CB1 receptors, present in the terminals of rod and cone photoreceptors, differentially modulate calcium and potassium currents in rods and large single cones. CB1 receptors are therefore well positioned to modulate neurotransmitter release at the first synapse of the visual system.

  14. Chromophore Supply Rate-Limits Mammalian Photoreceptor Dark Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Jin-shan; Nymark, Soile; Frederiksen, Rikard; Estevez, Maureen E.; Shen, Susan Q.; Corbo, Joseph C.; Cornwall, M. Carter

    2014-01-01

    Efficient regeneration of visual pigment following its destruction by light is critical for the function of mammalian photoreceptors. Here, we show that misexpression of a subset of cone genes in the rd7 mouse hybrid rods enables them to access the normally cone-specific retina visual cycle. The rapid supply of chromophore by the retina visual cycle dramatically accelerated the mouse rod dark adaptation. At the same time, the competition between rods and cones for retina-derived chromophore slowed cone dark adaptation, indicating that the cone specificity of the retina visual cycle is key for rapid cone dark adaptation. Our findings demonstrate that mammalian photoreceptor dark adaptation is dominated by the supply of chromophore. Misexpression of cone genes in rods may represent a novel approach to treating visual disorders associated with mutations of visual cycle proteins or with reduced retinal pigment epithelium function due to aging. PMID:25143602

  15. Functional and Molecular Characterization of Rod-like Cells from Retinal Stem Cells Derived from the Adult Ciliary Epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Demontis, Gian Carlo; Aruta, Claudia; Comitato, Antonella; De Marzo, Anna; Marigo, Valeria

    2012-01-01

    In vitro generation of photoreceptors from stem cells is of great interest for the development of regenerative medicine approaches for patients affected by retinal degeneration and for high throughput drug screens for these diseases. In this study, we show unprecedented high percentages of rod-fated cells from retinal stem cells of the adult ciliary epithelium. Molecular characterization of rod-like cells demonstrates that they lose ciliary epithelial characteristics but acquire photoreceptor features. Rod maturation was evaluated at two levels: gene expression and electrophysiological functionality. Here we present a strong correlation between phototransduction protein expression and functionality of the cells in vitro. We demonstrate that in vitro generated rod-like cells express cGMP-gated channels that are gated by endogenous cGMP. We also identified voltage-gated channels necessary for rod maturation and viability. This level of analysis for the first time provides evidence that adult retinal stem cells can generate highly homogeneous rod-fated cells. PMID:22432014

  16. Selective cone photoreceptor injury in acute macular neuroretinopathy.

    PubMed

    Hansen, Sean O; Cooper, Robert F; Dubra, Alfredo; Carroll, Joseph; Weinberg, David V

    2013-09-01

    To evaluate retinal structural and functional abnormalities in a patient with acute macular neuroretinopathy. An adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscope was used to image the photoreceptor mosaic and assess rod and cone structure. Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography was used to examine retinal lamination. Microperimetry was used to assess function across the macula. Microperimetry showed reduced function of localized areas within retinal lesions corresponding to subjective scotomas. Spectral-domain optical coherence tomography imaging revealed attenuation of two outer retinal bands typically thought to reflect photoreceptor structure. Adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscope images of the photoreceptor mosaic revealed a heterogeneous presentation within these lesions. There were areas containing non-waveguiding cones and other areas of decreased cone density where the remaining rods had expanded to fill in the vacant space. Within these lesions, cone densities were shown to be significantly lower than eccentricity-matched areas of normal retina, as well as accepted histologic measurements. A 6-month follow-up revealed no change in rod or cone structure. Imaging of acute macular neuroretinopathy using an adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscope shows a preferential disruption of cone photoreceptor structure within the region of decreased retinal sensitivity (as measured by microperimetry). Adaptive optics-based imaging tools provide a noninvasive way to assess photoreceptor structure at a level of detail that is not resolved by use of conventional spectral-domain optical coherence tomography or other clinical measures.

  17. Cone Photoreceptor Irregularity on Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy Correlates With Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema.

    PubMed

    Lammer, Jan; Prager, Sonja G; Cheney, Michael C; Ahmed, Amel; Radwan, Salma H; Burns, Stephen A; Silva, Paolo S; Sun, Jennifer K

    2016-12-01

    To determine whether cone density, spacing, or regularity in eyes with and without diabetes (DM) as assessed by high-resolution adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) correlates with presence of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, or presence of diabetic macular edema (DME). Participants with type 1 or 2 DM and healthy controls underwent AOSLO imaging of four macular regions. Cone assessment was performed by independent graders for cone density, packing factor (PF), nearest neighbor distance (NND), and Voronoi tile area (VTA). Regularity indices (mean/SD) of NND (RI-NND) and VTA (RI-VTA) were calculated. Fifty-three eyes (53 subjects) were assessed. Mean ± SD age was 44 ± 12 years; 81% had DM (duration: 22 ± 13 years; glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c]: 8.0 ± 1.7%; DM type 1: 72%). No significant relationship was found between DM, HbA1c, or DR severity and cone density or spacing parameters. However, decreased regularity of cone arrangement in the macular quadrants was correlated with presence of DM (RI-NND: P = 0.04; RI-VTA: P = 0.04), increasing DR severity (RI-NND: P = 0.04), and presence of DME (RI-VTA: P = 0.04). Eyes with DME were associated with decreased density (P = 0.04), PF (P = 0.03), and RI-VTA (0.04). Although absolute cone density and spacing don't appear to change substantially in DM, decreased regularity of the cone arrangement is consistently associated with the presence of DM, increasing DR severity, and DME. Future AOSLO evaluation of cone regularity is warranted to determine whether these changes are correlated with, or predict, anatomic or functional deficits in patients with DM.

  18. Cone Photoreceptor Irregularity on Adaptive Optics Scanning Laser Ophthalmoscopy Correlates With Severity of Diabetic Retinopathy and Macular Edema

    PubMed Central

    Lammer, Jan; Prager, Sonja G.; Cheney, Michael C.; Ahmed, Amel; Radwan, Salma H.; Burns, Stephen A.; Silva, Paolo S.; Sun, Jennifer K.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To determine whether cone density, spacing, or regularity in eyes with and without diabetes (DM) as assessed by high-resolution adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) correlates with presence of diabetes, diabetic retinopathy (DR) severity, or presence of diabetic macular edema (DME). Methods Participants with type 1 or 2 DM and healthy controls underwent AOSLO imaging of four macular regions. Cone assessment was performed by independent graders for cone density, packing factor (PF), nearest neighbor distance (NND), and Voronoi tile area (VTA). Regularity indices (mean/SD) of NND (RI-NND) and VTA (RI-VTA) were calculated. Results Fifty-three eyes (53 subjects) were assessed. Mean ± SD age was 44 ± 12 years; 81% had DM (duration: 22 ± 13 years; glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c]: 8.0 ± 1.7%; DM type 1: 72%). No significant relationship was found between DM, HbA1c, or DR severity and cone density or spacing parameters. However, decreased regularity of cone arrangement in the macular quadrants was correlated with presence of DM (RI-NND: P = 0.04; RI-VTA: P = 0.04), increasing DR severity (RI-NND: P = 0.04), and presence of DME (RI-VTA: P = 0.04). Eyes with DME were associated with decreased density (P = 0.04), PF (P = 0.03), and RI-VTA (0.04). Conclusions Although absolute cone density and spacing don't appear to change substantially in DM, decreased regularity of the cone arrangement is consistently associated with the presence of DM, increasing DR severity, and DME. Future AOSLO evaluation of cone regularity is warranted to determine whether these changes are correlated with, or predict, anatomic or functional deficits in patients with DM. PMID:27926754

  19. Effects of retinal laser photocoagulation on photoreceptor basic fibroblast growth factor and survival.

    PubMed

    Xiao, M; Sastry, S M; Li, Z Y; Possin, D E; Chang, J H; Klock, I B; Milam, A H

    1998-03-01

    In an unpublished study, the authors found that immunoreactivity for basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) is increased in rod photoreceptors adjacent to long-standing laser burns in human diabetic retinas. The goal of this study was to determine whether laser photocoagulation produces a similar increase in photoreceptor bFGF and promotes survival of these cells in dystrophic rodent retinas. Threshold (whitening) and subthreshold (nonwhitening) laser burns were made in retinas of normal and Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats and normal and rds mice. The retinas were processed for immunocytochemical and morphometric analyses. In nonlasered normal rat and mouse retinas, bFGF immunoreactivity was prominent in the nuclei of Müller cells and astrocytes. Photoreceptors were bFGF negative except for a zone of bFGF-immunoreactive rods near the ora serrata. Some photoreceptors in nonlasered retinas of RCS rats and rds mice became bFGF immunoreactive. After laser treatment, bFGF immunoreactivity was markedly increased in all photoreceptors flanking the threshold burns and within the subthreshold burns in normal and mutant rats and mice. In RCS rat retinas, photoreceptor bFGF immunoreactivity remained elevated within subthreshold burns and flanking the threshold burns, and photoreceptor survival was prolonged. In rds mouse retinas, increased bFGF immunoreactivity in photoreceptors was not sustained and their degeneration was not retarded. Laser treatment of RCS rat retinas produced a sustained increase in bFGF immunoreactivity in photoreceptors and prolonged their survival, but laser treatment of rds mouse retinas did not have a long-term effect on photoreceptor bFGF immunoreactivity or survival. Although species differences in laser effects on photoreceptor bFGF and survival are apparent, the finding that rods flanking laser burns in human retinas have sustained increases in bFGF immunoreactivity suggests that laser treatment may be useful for prolonging survival of

  20. Variability in mitochondria of zebrafish photoreceptor ellipsoids.

    PubMed

    Tarboush, R; Novales Flamarique, I; Chapman, G B; Connaughton, V P

    2014-01-01

    Ultrastructural examination of photoreceptor inner segment ellipsoids in larval (4, 8, and 15 days postfertilization; dpf) and adult zebrafish identified morphologically different types of mitochondria. All photoreceptors had mitochondria of different sizes (large and small). At 4 dpf, rods had small, moderately stained electron-dense mitochondria (E-DM), and two cone types could be distinguished: (1) those with electron-lucent mitochondria (E-LM) and (2) those with mitochondria of moderate electron density. These distinctions were also apparent at later ages (8 and 15 dpf). Rods from adult fish had fewer mitochondria than their corresponding cones. The ellipsoids of some fully differentiated single and double cones contained large E-DM with few cristae; these were surrounded by small E-LM with typical internal morphology. The mitochondria within the ellipsoids of other single cones showed similar electron density. Microspectrophotometry of cone ellipsoids from adult fish indicated that the large E-DM had a small absorbance peak (∼0.03 OD units) and did not contain cytochrome-c, but crocetin, a carotenoid found in old world monkeys. Crocetin functions to prevent oxidative damage to photoreceptors, suggesting that the ellipsoid mitochondria in adult zebrafish cones protect against apoptosis and function metabolically, rather than as a light filter.

  1. Different effects of valproic acid on photoreceptor loss in Rd1 and Rd10 retinal degeneration mice

    PubMed Central

    Guzman, Alvaro E.; Deshpande, Mrinalini; Byrd, David; DeLooff, Camryn; Mkoyan, Kristina; Zlojutro, Paul; Wallace, Adrianne; Metcalf, Brandon; Laux, Kirsten; Sotzen, Jason; Tran, Trung

    2014-01-01

    normal at P28. Daily injections with VPA (P9–P21) dramatically slowed the loss of rod photoreceptors in Pde6brd1/rd1 mice. At age P21, VPA-treated mice had several extra rows of rod photoreceptor nuclei compared to PBS-injected littermates. Dosing started later (P14) or dosing every second day also rescued photoreceptors. In contrast, systemic VPA treatment of Pde6brd10/rd10 mice (P17–P28) reduced visual function that correlated with a slight increase in photoreceptor loss. Treating Pde6brd10/rd10 mice earlier (P9–P21) also failed to rescue photoreceptors. Treating wild-type mice earlier (P9–P21) reduced the number of photoreceptors in VPA-treated mice by 20% compared to PBS-treated animals. Conclusions A single systemic dose of VPA can change retinal neurotrophic factor and rod-specific gene expression in the immature retina. Daily VPA treatment from P17 to P28 can also alter gene expression in the mature neural retina. While daily treatment with VPA could significantly reduce photoreceptor loss in the rd1 model, VPA treatment slightly accelerated photoreceptor loss in the rd10 model. The apparent rescue of photoreceptors in the rd1 model was not the result of producing more photoreceptors before degeneration. In fact, daily systemic VPA was toxic to wild-type photoreceptors when started at P9. However, the effective treatment period for Pde6brd1/rd1 mice (P9–P21) has significant overlap with the photoreceptor maturation period, which complicates the use of the rd1 model for testing of VPA’s efficacy. In contrast, VPA treatment started after P17 did not cause photoreceptor loss in wild-type mice. Thus, the acceleration of photoreceptor loss in the rd10 model may be more relevant where both photoreceptor loss and VPA treatment (P17–P28) started when the central retina was mature. PMID:25489226

  2. Eyes shut homolog is required for maintaining the ciliary pocket and survival of photoreceptors in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Yu, Miao; Liu, Yu; Li, Jing; Natale, Brianna N.; Cao, Shuqin; Wang, Dongliang; Amack, Jeffrey D.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT Mutations in the extracellular matrix protein eyes shut homolog (EYS) cause photoreceptor degeneration in patients with retinitis pigmentosa 25 (RP25). Functions of EYS remain poorly understood, due in part to the lack of an EYS gene in mouse. We investigated the localization of vertebrate EYS proteins and engineered loss-of-function alleles in zebrafish. Immunostaining indicated that EYS localized near the connecting cilium/transition zone in photoreceptors. EYS also strongly localized to the cone outer segments and weakly to the rod outer segments and cone terminals in primate retinas. Analysis of mutant EYS zebrafish revealed disruption of the ciliary pocket in cone photoreceptors, indicating that EYS is required for maintaining the integrity of the ciliary pocket lumen. Mutant zebrafish exhibited progressive loss of cone and rod photoreceptors. Our results indicate that EYS protein localization is species-dependent and that EYS is required for maintaining ciliary pocket morphology and survival of photoreceptors in zebrafish. PMID:27737822

  3. Direction dependent diffusion of aligned magnetic rods by means of x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Wagner, Joachim; Märkert, Christian; Fischer, Birgit; Müller, Leonard

    2013-01-25

    Rodlike hematite particles in suspension align perpendicular to an external magnetic field due to a negative anisotropy of their magnetic susceptibility Δχ. The diffusion tensor consists of two principal constants D(∥) and D(⊥) for the diffusion parallel and perpendicular to the long particle axis. X-ray photon correlation spectroscopy is capable of probing the diffusive motion in optically opaque suspensions of rodlike hematite particles parallel to the direction of the scattering vector Q. Choosing Q parallel or perpendicular to the direction of an external magnetic field H the direction dependent intermediate scattering function is measured by means of x-ray photon correlation spectroscopy. From the intermediate scattering function in both directions the principal diffusion constants D(∥) and D(⊥) are determined. The ratio D(∥)/D(⊥) increases with increasing aspect ratio of the particles and can be described via a rescaled theoretical approach for prolate ellipsoids of revolution.

  4. Absorption spectra and linear dichroism of some amphibian photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hárosi, F I

    1975-09-01

    Absorption spectra and linear dichroism of dark-adapted, isolated photoreceptors of mudpuppies, larval and adult tiger salamanders, and tropical toads were measured microspectrophotometrically. Spectral half-band width, dichroic ratio, and transverse specific density were determined using averaged polarized absorptance spectra and photomicrographs of seven types of rod outer segments. Two classes of cells were found, one with higher specific density and dichroic ratio, associable with the presence of rhodopsins, the other, lower in both quantities, associable with porphyropsins. Relationships were derived to calculate the product of molar concentration and extinction coefficient (CEmax) from specific density and dichroic ratio. By utilizing the hypothesis of invariance of oscillator strengths and measured half-band widths, Emax values were independently determined, permitting the calculation of C. The pigment concentration for all cells tested was about 3.5 mM. The broadness of green rod pigment spectra is correlated with reduced molar absorptivity and reduced cellular specific density. Estimation of physiological spectral sensitivities is discussed. Based on dichroic ratio considerations, a model is proposed for the orientation of retinals in situ which could account for the apparent degree of alignment of transition moments. In the chosen orientation, the ring portion of conjugation becomes primarily responsible for axial extinction. Reduced dichroism of dehydroretinal-bearing cells can thus result from the extended ring conjugation of chromophores. Some inferences derivable from the model are discussed.

  5. Wide-Field Fundus Autofluorescence for Retinitis Pigmentosa and Cone/Cone-Rod Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Akio; Oishi, Maho; Ogino, Ken; Morooka, Satoshi; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa and cone/cone-rod dystrophy are inherited retinal diseases characterized by the progressive loss of rod and/or cone photoreceptors. To evaluate the status of rod/cone photoreceptors and visual function, visual acuity and visual field tests, electroretinogram, and optical coherence tomography are typically used. In addition to these examinations, fundus autofluorescence (FAF) has recently garnered attention. FAF visualizes the intrinsic fluorescent material in the retina, which is mainly lipofuscin contained within the retinal pigment epithelium. While conventional devices offer limited viewing angles in FAF, the recently developed Optos machine enables recording of wide-field FAF. With wide-field analysis, an association between abnormal FAF areas and visual function was demonstrated in retinitis pigmentosa and cone-rod dystrophy. In addition, the presence of "patchy" hypoautofluorescent areas was found to be correlated with symptom duration. Although physicians should be cautious when interpreting wide-field FAF results because the peripheral parts of the image are magnified significantly, this examination method provides previously unavailable information.

  6. Photoreceptor cells display a daily rhythm in the orphan receptor Esrrβ.

    PubMed

    Kunst, Stefanie; Wolloscheck, Tanja; Grether, Markus; Trunsch, Patricia; Wolfrum, Uwe; Spessert, Rainer

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear orphan receptors are critical for the development and long-term survival of photoreceptor cells. In the present study, the expression of the nuclear orphan receptor Esrrβ--a transcriptional regulator of energy metabolism that protects rod photoreceptors from dystrophy--was tested under daily regulation in the retina and photoreceptor cells. The daily transcript and protein amount profiles were recorded in preparations of the whole retina and microdissected photoreceptor cells using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and western blot analysis. Esrrβ displayed a daily rhythm with elevated values at night in the whole retina and enriched photoreceptor cells. Daily regulation of Esrrβ mRNA depended on light input but not on melatonin, and evoked a corresponding rhythm in the Esrrβ protein. The data presented in this study indicate that daily regulation of Esrrβ in photoreceptor cells may contribute to their adaptation to 24-h changes in metabolic demands.

  7. Minireview: The Role of Nuclear Receptors in Photoreceptor Differentiation and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Swaroop, Anand

    2012-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptors are specialized sensory cells that mediate vision. Transcriptional controls are critical for the development and long-term survival of photoreceptors; when these controls become ineffective, retinal dysfunction or degenerative disease may result. This review discusses the role of nuclear receptors, a class of ligand-regulated transcription factors, at key stages of photoreceptor life in the mammalian retina. Nuclear receptors with known ligands, such as retinoids or thyroid hormone, together with several orphan receptors without identified physiological ligands, complement other classes of transcription factors in directing the differentiation and functional maintenance of photoreceptors. The potential of nuclear receptors to respond to ligands introduces versatility into the control of photoreceptor development and function and may suggest new opportunities for treatments of photoreceptor disease. PMID:22556342

  8. Retinal photoreceptor fine structure in the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinereus).

    PubMed

    Braekevelt, C R

    1992-07-01

    The retinal photoreceptors of the red-backed salamander (Plethodon cinerus) have been studied by light and electron microscopy. Rods and single cones are present in this duplex retina in a ratio of about 25:1. The photoreceptors in this amphibian species are much larger than is reported for most vertebrates. In the light-adapted state, rods reach deep into the retinal epithelial (RPE) layer. The rod outer segment is composed of discs of uniform diameter displaying several very deep incisors. The rod inner segment displays a distal elliposid of mitochondria and a short stout myoid region. Rod nuclei are electron dense and often protrude through the external limiting membrane. Rod synaptic spherules are large and display several invaginated synaptic sites as well as superficial synapses. It is felt that the rods do not undergo retinomotor movements. The cone photoreceptors are much smaller than the rods and display a tapering outer segment, an unusual modified ellipsoid and a large parabolid of glycogen in the inner segment. Cone nuclei are less electron dense than rods and are located at all levels within the outer nuclear layer. The synaptic pedicle of the cones is larger, more electron lucent and display more synaptic sites (both invaginated and superficial) than that of rods. It is felt that cone photomechanical responses are minimal.

  9. In Vivo Imaging of Human Cone Photoreceptor Inner Segments

    PubMed Central

    Scoles, Drew; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Curcio, Christine A.; Carroll, Joseph; Dubra, Alfredo

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. An often overlooked prerequisite to cone photoreceptor gene therapy development is residual photoreceptor structure that can be rescued. While advances in adaptive optics (AO) retinal imaging have recently enabled direct visualization of individual cone and rod photoreceptors in the living human retina, these techniques largely detect strongly directionally-backscattered (waveguided) light from normal intact photoreceptors. This represents a major limitation in using existing AO imaging to quantify structure of remnant cones in degenerating retina. Methods. Photoreceptor inner segment structure was assessed with a novel AO scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) differential phase technique, that we termed nonconfocal split-detector, in two healthy subjects and four subjects with achromatopsia. Ex vivo preparations of five healthy donor eyes were analyzed for comparison of inner segment diameter to that measured in vivo with split-detector AOSLO. Results. Nonconfocal split-detector AOSLO reveals the photoreceptor inner segment with or without the presence of a waveguiding outer segment. The diameter of inner segments measured in vivo is in good agreement with histology. A substantial number of foveal and parafoveal cone photoreceptors with apparently intact inner segments were identified in patients with the inherited disease achromatopsia. Conclusions. The application of nonconfocal split-detector to emerging human gene therapy trials will improve the potential of therapeutic success, by identifying patients with sufficient retained photoreceptor structure to benefit the most from intervention. Additionally, split-detector imaging may be useful for studies of other retinal degenerations such as AMD, retinitis pigmentosa, and choroideremia where the outer segment is lost before the remainder of the photoreceptor cell. PMID:24906859

  10. Examination of VLC-PUFA–Deficient Photoreceptor Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Lea D.; Hopiavuori, Blake R.; Brush, Richard S.; Chan, Michael; Van Hook, Matthew J.; Thoreson, Wallace B.; Anderson, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Juvenile-onset autosomal dominant Stargardt-like macular dystrophy (STGD3) is caused by mutations in ELOVL4 (elongation of very long fatty acids-4), an elongase necessary for the biosynthesis of very long chain fatty acids (VLC-FAs ≥ C26). Photoreceptors are enriched with VLC polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs), which are necessary for long-term survival of rod photoreceptors. The purpose of these studies was to determine the effect of deletion of VLC-PUFAs on rod synaptic function in retinas of mice conditionally depleted (KO) of Elovl4. Methods. Retina function was assessed in wild-type (WT) and KO by electroretinography. Outer plexiform structure was evaluated by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. Single-cell recordings measured rod ion channel operation and rod bipolar glutamate signaling. Sucrose gradient centrifugation was used to isolate synaptosomes from bovine retina. Proteins and lipids were analyzed by Western blotting and tandem mass spectroscopy, respectively. Results. Inner retinal responses (b-wave, oscillatory potentials, and scotopic threshold responses) of the ERG were decreased in the KO mice compared to controls. However the rod ion channel operation and bipolar glutamate responses were comparable between groups. Biochemical analysis revealed that conventional and ribbon synapses have VLC-PUFAs. Ultrastructural analysis showed that the outer plexiform layer was disorganized and the diameter of vesicles in rod terminals was smaller in the KO mice. Conclusions. Very long chain PUFAs affect rod function by contributing to synaptic vesicle size, which may alter the dynamics of synaptic transmission, ultimately resulting in a loss of neuronal connectivity and death of rod photoreceptors. PMID:24764063

  11. Complete Volumetric Decomposition of Individual Trabecular Plates and Rods and Its Morphological Correlations With Anisotropic Elastic Moduli in Human Trabecular Bone

    PubMed Central

    Liu, X Sherry; Sajda, Paul; Saha, Punam K; Wehrli, Felix W; Bevill, Grant; Keaveny, Tony M; Guo, X Edward

    2008-01-01

    Trabecular plates and rods are important microarchitectural features in determining mechanical properties of trabecular bone. A complete volumetric decomposition of individual trabecular plates and rods was used to assess the orientation and morphology of 71 human trabecular bone samples. The ITS-based morphological analyses better characterize microarchitecture and help predict anisotropic mechanical properties of trabecular bone. Introduction Standard morphological analyses of trabecular architecture lack explicit segmentations of individual trabecular plates and rods. In this study, a complete volumetric decomposition technique was developed to segment trabecular bone microstructure into individual plates and rods. Contributions of trabecular type–associated morphological parameters to the anisotropic elastic moduli of trabecular bone were studied. Materials and Methods Seventy-one human trabecular bone samples from the femoral neck (FN), tibia, and vertebral body (VB) were imaged using μCT or serial milling. Complete volumetric decomposition was applied to segment trabecular bone microstructure into individual plates and rods. The orientation of each individual trabecula was determined, and the axial bone volume fractions (aBV/TV), axially aligned bone volume fraction along each orthotropic axis, were correlated with the elastic moduli. The microstructural type–associated morphological parameters were derived and compared with standard morphological parameters. Their contributions to the anisotropic elastic moduli, calculated by finite element analysis (FEA), were evaluated and compared. Results The distribution of trabecular orientation suggested that longitudinal plates and transverse rods dominate at all three anatomic sites. aBV/TV along each axis, in general, showed a better correlation with the axial elastic modulus (r 2 = 0.95∼0.99) compared with BV/TV (r 2 = 0.93∼0.94). The plate-associated morphological parameters generally showed higher

  12. Rebuilding the Missing Part—A Review on Photoreceptor Transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Santos-Ferreira, Tiago F.; Borsch, Oliver; Ader, Marius

    2017-01-01

    Vision represents one of the main senses for humans to interact with their environment. Our sight relies on the presence of fully functional light sensitive cells – rod and cone photoreceptors — allowing us to see under dim (rods) and bright (cones) light conditions. Photoreceptor degeneration is one of the major causes for vision impairment in industrialized countries and it is highly predominant in the population above the age of 50. Thus, with the continuous increase in life expectancy it will make retinal degeneration reach an epidemic proportion. To date, there is no cure established for photoreceptor loss, but several therapeutic approaches, spanning from neuroprotection, pharmacological drugs, gene therapy, retinal prosthesis, and cell (RPE or photoreceptor) transplantation, have been developed over the last decade with some already introduced in clinical trials. In this review, we focus on current developments in photoreceptor transplantation strategies, its major breakthroughs, current limitations and the next challenges to translate such cell-based approaches toward clinical application. PMID:28105007

  13. Unique transducins expressed in long and short photoreceptors of lamprey Petromyzon marinus

    PubMed Central

    Muradov, Hakim; Kerov, Vasily; Boyd, Kimberly K.; Artemyev, Nikolai O.

    2008-01-01

    Lampreys represent the most primitive vertebrate class of jawless fish and serve as an evolutionary model of the vertebrate visual system. Transducin-α (Gαt) subunits were investigated in lamprey Petromyzon marinus in order to understand the molecular origins of rod and cone photoreceptor G proteins. Two Gαt subunits, GαtL and GαtS, were identified in the P. marinus retina. GαtL is equally distant from cone and rod G proteins and is expressed in the lamprey’s long photoreceptors. The short photoreceptor GαtS is a rod-like transducin-α that retains several unique features of cone transducins. Thus, the duplication of the ancestral transducin gene giving rise to rod transducins has already occurred in the last common ancestor of the jawed and jawless vertebrates. PMID:18687354

  14. Regeneration of Cone Photoreceptors when Cell Ablation Is Primarily Restricted to a Particular Cone Subtype

    PubMed Central

    Fraser, Brittany; DuVal, Michèle G.; Wang, Hao; Allison, W. Ted

    2013-01-01

    We sought to characterize the regenerated cells, if any, when photoreceptor ablation was mostly limited to a particular cone subtype. This allowed us to uniquely assess whether the remaining cells influence specification of regenerating photoreceptors. The ability to replace lost photoreceptors via stem cell therapy holds promise for treating many retinal degenerative diseases. Zebrafish are potent for modelling this because they have robust regenerative capacity emanating from endogenous stem cells, and abundant cone photoreceptors including multiple spectral subtypes similar to human fovea. We ablated the homolog of the human S-cones, the ultraviolet-sensitive (UV) cones, and tested the hypothesis that the photoreceptors regenerating in their place take on identities matching those expected from normal cone mosaic development. We created transgenic fish wherein UV cones can be ablated by addition of a prodrug. Thus photoreceptors developed normally and only the UV cones expressed nitroreductase; the latter converts the prodrug metronidazole to a cell-autonomous neurotoxin. A significant increase in proliferation of progenitor cell populations (p<0.01) was observed when cell ablation was primarily limited to UV cones. In control fish, we found that BrdU primarily incorporated into rod photoreceptors, as expected. However the majority of regenerating photoreceptors became cones when retinal cell ablation was predominantly restricted to UV cones: a 2-fold increase in the relative abundance of cones (p = 0.008) was mirrored by a 35% decrease in rods. By primarily ablating only a single photoreceptor type, we show that the subsequent regeneration is biased towards restoring the cognate photoreceptor type. We discuss the hypothesis that, after cone death, the microenvironment formed by the remaining retinal cells may be influential in determining the identity of regenerating photoreceptors, though other interpretations are plausible. Our novel animal model provides

  15. Activation of mislocalized opsin kills rod cells: a novel mechanism for rod cell death in retinal disease.

    PubMed

    Alfinito, Peter D; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2002-04-16

    Rod photoreceptors are highly compartmentalized sensory neurons that maintain strict ultrastructural and molecular polarity. Structural subdivisions include the outer segment, inner segment, cell body, and synaptic terminal. The visual pigment rhodopsin is found predominantly in membranes of the rod cell outer segment but becomes mislocalized, appearing throughout the plasma membrane of the cell in many retinal diseases and injuries. Currently, there is no known link between rhodopsin redistribution and rod cell death. We propose that activation of mislocalized rhodopsin kills rod cells by stimulating normally inaccessible signaling pathways. This hypothesis was tested in primary retinal cell cultures, which contain photoreceptors. In rod photoreceptors, opsin immunofluorescence occurred throughout the rod cell plasma membrane. Activation of this mislocalized opsin by photostimulation after formation of isorhodopsin or by incubation with beta-ionone (opsin agonist) killed 19-30% of rod cells. Rod cell death was apoptotic, as indicated by marked chromatin condensation and the requirement for caspase-3 activation. Rod cell death could be induced by forskolin (adenylate cyclase agonist), and conversely, beta-ionone-induced cell death could be blocked by cotreatment with SQ22536 (an adenylate cyclase inhibitor). Pertussis toxin (a G protein inhibitor) also blocked beta-ionone-induced cell death. The data support a mechanism by which activation of mislocalized opsin initiates apoptotic rod cell death through G protein stimulation of adenylate cyclase.

  16. Correlation of radial inhomogeneties and critical current at 77 K in LFZ Bi-2212 textured thin rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natividad, E.; Díez, J. C.; Peña, J. I.; Angurel, L. A.; Navarro, R.; Andrés, J. M.; Ferrando, A. C.

    2002-08-01

    The fabrication of thin Bi-2212 rods by laser floating zone techniques gives high critical currents, Ic, but strong radial inhomogeneities in microstructure and physical properties. By changing the precursor stoichiometry or the processing parameters, we have succeeded in improving the homogeneity and the Ic values. Towards the centre of the rods, the superconducting material tends to have lower Tc values associated to higher Bi content in the Bi-2212 superconducting grains. At 77 K, this gradient of Bi originates strong variations of critical current density across the rod.

  17. Clearance of Apoptotic Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hisatomi, Toshio; Sakamoto, Taiji; Sonoda, Koh-hei; Tsutsumi, Chikako; Qiao, Hong; Enaida, Hiroshi; Yamanaka, Ichiro; Kubota, Toshiaki; Ishibashi, Tatsuro; Kura, Shinobu; Susin, Santos A.; Kroemer, Guido

    2003-01-01

    The effective phagocytotic clearance of apoptotic debris is fundamental to the maintenance of neural tissues during apoptosis. Retinal photoreceptors undergo apoptosis after retinal detachment. Although their induction phase of apoptosis has been well discussed, their phagocytotic process remains quite unclear. We herein demonstrate that apoptotic photoreceptors are selectively eliminated from their physiological localization, the outer nuclear layer, to the subretinal space, and then phagocytosed by monocyte-derived macrophages. This could be shown by an ultrastructural and immunophenotypic analysis. Moreover, in chimera mice expressing transgenic green fluorescent protein in bone marrow-derived cells, the local infiltration of macrophages could be detected after retinal detachment-induced photoreceptor apoptosis. The local injection of an antibody blocking the phosphatidylserine receptor (PSR) or a peptide (GRGDSP)-blocking integrin αvβ3 revealed that phagocytotic clearance involves the PSR as well as integrin αvβ3 in vivo. Importantly, the level of blockade obtained with these reagents was different. Although anti-PSR increased the frequency of apoptotic cells that fail to bind to macrophages, GRGDSP prevented the engulfment (but not the recognition) of apoptotic photoreceptor cells by macrophages. To our knowledge, this is the first report describing the mechanisms through which apoptotic photoreceptors are selectively eliminated via a directional process in the subretinal space. PMID:12759244

  18. Effects of NDRG1 family proteins on photoreceptor outer segment morphology in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Takita, Shimpei; Wada, Yasutaka; Kawamura, Satoru

    2016-01-01

    Rods and cones are functionally and morphologically distinct. We previously identified N-myc downstream-regulated gene 1b (ndrg1b) in carp as a cone-specific gene. Here, we show that NDRG1b and its paralog, NDRG1a-1, contribute to photoreceptor outer segment (OS) formation in zebrafish. In adult zebrafish photoreceptors, NDRG1a-1 was localized in the entire cone plasma membranes, and also in rod plasma membranes except its OS. NDRG1b was expressed specifically in cones in the entire plasma membranes. In a developing retina, NDRG1a-1 was expressed in the photoreceptor layer, and NDRG1b in the photoreceptor layer plus inner nuclear layer. Based on our primary knockdown study suggesting that both proteins are involved in normal rod and cone OS development, NDRG1a-1 was overexpressed or NDRG1b was ectopically expressed in rods. These forced-expression studies in the transgenic fish confirmed the effect of these proteins on the OS morphology: rod OS morphology changed from cylindrical to tapered shape. These taper-shaped rod OSs were not stained with N,N’-didansyl cystine that effectively labels infolded membrane structure of cone OS. The result shows that rod OS membrane structure is preserved in these taper-shaped OSs and therefore, suggests that tapered OS morphology is not related to the infolded membrane structure in cone OS. PMID:27811999

  19. Photoreceptor inner segments in monkey and human retina: mitochondrial density, optics, and regional variation.

    PubMed

    Hoang, Q V; Linsenmeier, R A; Chung, C K; Curcio, C A

    2002-01-01

    The present work quantifies aspects of photoreceptor structure related to mitochondria, inner segment dimensions, and optical properties, as a basis for furthering our understanding of rod and cone function. Electron-microscopic analyses were performed on the retina of one stumptail macaque (Macaca arctoides) to obtain stereological measurements of ellipsoid mitochondrial density, and sizes and shapes of outer and inner segments. In addition, the distribution of mitochondria and the optical properties of human foveal cones were examined with electron microscopy and Nomarski differential interference contrast (NDIC) imaging. Mitochondria comprised 74-85% of cone ellipsoids and 54-66% of rod ellipsoids in macaque. Ellipsoid volume increased with eccentricity by 2.4-fold for rods and more than 6-fold for cones over eccentricities to 12.75 mm, while the volume of the outer segment supported by the ellipsoid was essentially constant for both rods and cones. Per unit volume of outer segment, cones contained ten times as much mitochondria as rods. In human fovea, as in the rest of the retina, most cone mitochondria were located in the distal inner segment. In the foveal center, however, there are also mitochondria in the myoid, as well as in the outer fiber, proximal to the external limiting membrane (ELM). Analyses of the optical aperture of human foveal cones, the point at which their refractive index clearly differs from the extrareceptoral space, showed that it correlated well with the location of mitochondria, except in the foveal center, where the aperture appeared proximal to the ELM. While mitochondria have an important metabolic function, we suggest that the striking differences between rods and cones in mitochondrial content are unlikely to be determined by metabolic demand alone. The numerous cone mitochondria may enhance the waveguide properties of cones, particularly in the periphery.

  20. Fine structure of the retinal photoreceptors of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum).

    PubMed

    Braekevelt, C R

    1993-04-01

    The retinal photoreceptors of the tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum) have been studied by light and electron microscopy in both light- and dark-adaptation. Rods and cones are present in this duplex retina in a ratio of about 20:1. As in other urodele species these photoreceptors are very large cells. The rod outer segment is composed of bi-membranous discs of uniform diameter displaying several very deep incisures. The rod inner segment displays an ellipsoid of mitochondria and a myoid region which changes in diameter during the lighting cycle indicating that rods undergo photomechanical movements. Rod nuclei are located at all levels of the outer nuclear layer and rod spherules are large and display several invaginated and superficial synaptic sites. Cone photoreceptors while large cells are smaller than the rods. They show a smaller tapering outer segment, a large distal ellipsoid of mitochondria and a prominent paraboloid of glycogen but no oil droplet within the inner segment. Judging by the width of the myoid region which remains similar throughout the lighting cycle, cones in this species show no retino-motor responses. Cone nuclei are less electron dense than rods and are also located at all levels of the outer nuclear layer. The cone synaptic pedicle is larger than that of the rods and also shows several invaginated and superficial synaptic sites.

  1. Photoreceptor-like cells from reprogramming cultured mammalian RPE cells

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Run-Tao; Huang, Jian; Guidry, Clyde; Wang, Shu-Zhen

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Previous studies showed that chick retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) cells can be reprogrammed by a specific gene to take on the path of photoreceptor differentiation. In this study, we tested whether this reprogramming scheme could be applied to mammalian RPE cells. Methods Human RPE cell lines ARPE-19, a spontaneously transformed line of RPE cells derived from a 19-year-old person, and hTERT-RPE1, a telomerase-immortalized RPE cell line derived from a 1-year-old person, were commercially obtained and cultured as recommended. Primary RPE cell cultures were established using RPE isolated from 3- to 6-month-old pig and postnatal day 5 mouse. Cultured cells were transduced with a virus expressing neuroD, neurogenin1 (ngn1), or ngn3, basic helix-loop-helix (bHLH) genes previously identified as capable of inducing RPE-to-photoreceptor reprogramming in the chick system. Alternatively, cells in the culture were transfected chemically or physically through electroporation with vector DNA expressing one of the three genes. The cultures were then analyzed for RPE-to-photoreceptor reprogramming with in situ hybridization and/or immunostaining for photoreceptor gene expression. Results Both hTERT-RPE1 and ARPE-19 cultures gave rise to cells bearing markers of photoreceptors after transduction or transfection with vehicles expressing neuroD or ngn1. The new cells expressed genes encoding photoreceptor proteins, including interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein IRBP), recoverin, retinal cone arrestin 3, transducin α-subunit, Cone-rod homeobox protein (Crx), and red opsin. They displayed morphologies resembling differentiating photoreceptor cells. In primary porcine and mouse RPE cell cultures, transduction with lenti virus (Lvx-IRES-ZsGreen1) expressing ngn1 or ngn3 resulted in the emergence of ZsGreen1+ cells that exhibited morphologies reminiscent of differentiating photoreceptor cells. Immunochemistry showed that some ZsGreen1+ cells were positive for neural

  2. Retinoic Acid Regulates the Expression of Photoreceptor Transcription Factor NRL*

    PubMed Central

    Khanna, Hemant; Akimoto, Masayuki; Siffroi-Fernandez, Sandrine; Friedman, James S.; Hicks, David; Swaroop, Anand

    2006-01-01

    NRL (neural retina leucine zipper) is a key basic motif-leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor, which orchestrates rod photoreceptor differentiation by activating the expression of rod-specific genes. The deletion of Nrl in mice results in functional cones that are derived from rod precursors. However, signaling pathways modulating the expression or activity of NRL have not been elucidated. Here, we show that retinoic acid (RA), a diffusible factor implicated in rod development, activates the expression of NRL in serum-deprived Y79 human retinoblastoma cells and in primary cultures of rat and porcine photoreceptors. The effect of RA is mimicked by TTNPB, a RA receptor agonist, and requires new protein synthesis. DNaseI footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) using bovine retinal nuclear extract demonstrate that RA response elements (RAREs) identified within the Nrl promoter bind to RA receptors. Furthermore, in transiently transfected Y79 and HEK293 cells the activity of Nrl-promoter driving a luciferase reporter gene is induced by RA, and this activation is mediated by RAREs. Our data suggest that signaling by RA via RA receptors regulates the expression of NRL, providing a framework for delineating early steps in photoreceptor cell fate determination. PMID:16854989

  3. Retinoic acid regulates the expression of photoreceptor transcription factor NRL.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Hemant; Akimoto, Masayuki; Siffroi-Fernandez, Sandrine; Friedman, James S; Hicks, David; Swaroop, Anand

    2006-09-15

    NRL (neural retina leucine zipper) is a key basic motif-leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor, which orchestrates rod photoreceptor differentiation by activating the expression of rod-specific genes. The deletion of Nrl in mice results in functional cones that are derived from rod precursors. However, signaling pathways modulating the expression or activity of NRL have not been elucidated. Here, we show that retinoic acid (RA), a diffusible factor implicated in rod development, activates the expression of NRL in serum-deprived Y79 human retinoblastoma cells and in primary cultures of rat and porcine photoreceptors. The effect of RA is mimicked by TTNPB, a RA receptor agonist, and requires new protein synthesis. DNaseI footprinting and electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSA) using bovine retinal nuclear extract demonstrate that RA response elements (RAREs) identified within the Nrl promoter bind to RA receptors. Furthermore, in transiently transfected Y79 and HEK293 cells the activity of Nrl-promoter driving a luciferase reporter gene is induced by RA, and this activation is mediated by RAREs. Our data suggest that signaling by RA via RA receptors regulates the expression of NRL, providing a framework for delineating early steps in photoreceptor cell fate determination.

  4. Endogenous calcium buffering at photoreceptor synaptic terminals in salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Van Hook, Matthew J.; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2014-01-01

    Calcium operates by several mechanisms to regulate glutamate release at rod and cone synaptic terminals. In addition to serving as the exocytotic trigger, Ca2+ accelerates replenishment of vesicles in cones and triggers Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR) in rods. Ca2+ thereby amplifies sustained exocytosis, enabling photoreceptor synapses to encode constant and changing light. A complete picture of the role of Ca2+ in regulating synaptic transmission requires an understanding of the endogenous Ca2+ handling mechanisms at the synapse. We therefore used the “added buffer” approach to measure the endogenous Ca2+ binding ratio (κendo) and extrusion rate constant (γ) in synaptic terminals of photoreceptors in retinal slices from tiger salamander. We found that κendo was similar in both cell types - approximately 25 and 50 in rods and cones, respectively. Using measurements of the decay time constants of Ca2+ transients, we found that γ was also similar, with values of approximately 100 s−1 and 160 s−1 in rods and cones, respectively. The measurements of κendo differ considerably from measurements in retinal bipolar cells, another ribbon-bearing class of retinal neurons, but are comparable to similar measurements at other conventional synapses. The values of γ are slower than at other synapses, suggesting that Ca2+ ions linger longer in photoreceptor terminals, supporting sustained exocytosis, CICR, and Ca2+-dependent ribbon replenishment. The mechanisms of endogenous Ca2+ handling in photoreceptors are thus well-suited for supporting tonic neurotransmission. Similarities between rod and cone Ca2+ handling suggest that neither buffering nor extrusion underlie differences in synaptic transmission kinetics. PMID:25049035

  5. Identification and distribution of photoreceptor subtypes in the neotenic tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Sherry, D M; Bui, D D; Degrip, W J

    1998-01-01

    The neotenic tiger salamander retina is a major model system for the study of retinal physiology and circuitry, yet there are unresolved issues regarding the organization of the photoreceptors and the photoreceptor mosaic. The rod and cone subtypes in the salamander retina were identified using a combination of morphological and immunocytochemical markers for specific rod and cone opsin epitopes. Because the visual pigment mechanisms present in the tiger salamander retina are well characterized and the antibodies employed in these studies are specific for particular rod and cone opsin epitopes, we also were able to identify the spectral class of the various rod and cone subtypes. Two classes of rods corresponding to the "red" and "green" rods previously reported in amphibian retinas were identified. In serial semithin section analyses, rods and cones comprised 62.4+/-1.4% and 37.6+/-1.4% of all photoreceptors, respectively. One rod type comprising 98.0+/-0.7% of all rods showed the immunological and morphological characteristics of "red" rods, which are maximally sensitive to middle wavelengths. The second rod subtype comprised 2.0+/-0.7% of all rods and possessed the immunological and morphological characteristics of "green" rods, which are maximally sensitive to short wavelengths. By morphology four cone types were identified, showing three distinct immunological signatures. Most cones (84.8+/-1.5% of all cones), including most large single cones, the accessory and principal members of the double cone, and some small single cones, showed immunolabeling by antisera that recognize long wavelength-sensitive cone opsins. A subpopulation of small single cones (8.4+/-1.7% of all cones) showed immunolabeling for short wavelength-sensitive cone opsin. A separate subpopulation of single cones which included both large and small types (6.8+/-1.4% of all cones) was identified as the UV-Cone population and showed immunolabeling by antibodies that recognize rod opsin epitopes

  6. Immuno-histochemical analysis of rod and cone reaction to RPE65 deficiency in the inferior and superior canine retina.

    PubMed

    Klein, Daniela; Mendes-Madeira, Alexandra; Schlegel, Patrice; Rolling, Fabienne; Lorenz, Birgit; Haverkamp, Silke; Stieger, Knut

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in the RPE65 gene are associated with autosomal recessive early onset severe retinal dystrophy. Morphological and functional studies indicate early and dramatic loss of rod photoreceptors and early loss of S-cone function, while L and M cones remain initially functional. The Swedish Briard dog is a naturally occurring animal model for this disease. Detailed information about rod and cone reaction to RPE65 deficiency in this model with regard to their location within the retina remains limited. The aim of this study was to analyze morphological parameters of cone and rod viability in young adult RPE65 deficient dogs in different parts of the retina in order to shed light on local disparities in this disease. In retinae of affected dogs, sprouting of rod bipolar cell dendrites and horizontal cell processes was dramatically increased in the inferior peripheral part of affected retinae, while central inferior and both superior parts did not display significantly increased sprouting. This observation was correlated with photoreceptor cell layer thickness. Interestingly, while L/M cone opsin expression was uniformly reduced both in the superior and inferior part of the retina, S-cone opsin expression loss was less severe in the inferior part of the retina. In summary, in retinae of young adult RPE65 deficient dogs, the degree of rod bipolar and horizontal cell sprouting as well as of S-cone opsin expression depends on the location. As the human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is pigmented similar to the RPE in the inferior part of the canine retina, and the kinetics of photoreceptor degeneration in humans seems to be similar to what has been observed in the inferior peripheral retina in dogs, this area should be studied in future gene therapy experiments in this model.

  7. Connexin 36 and Rod Bipolar Cell Independent Rod Pathways Drive Retinal Ganglion Cells and Optokinetic Reflexes

    PubMed Central

    Cowan, Cameron S.; Abd-El-Barr, Muhammad; van der Heijden, Meike; Lo, Eric M.; Paul, David; Bramblett, Debra E.; Lem, Janis; Simons, David L.; Wu, Samuel M.

    2016-01-01

    Rod pathways are a parallel set of synaptic connections which enable night vision by relaying and processing rod photoreceptor light responses. We use dim light stimuli to isolate rod pathway contributions to downstream light responses then characterize these contributions in knockout mice lacking rod transducin-α (Trα), or certain pathway components associated with subsets of rod pathways. These comparisons reveal that rod pathway driven light sensitivity in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is entirely dependent on Trα, but partially independent of connexin 36 (Cx36) and rod bipolar cells. Pharmacological experiments show that rod pathway-driven and Cx36-independent RGC ON responses are also metabotropic glutamate receptor 6-dependent. To validate the RGC findings in awake, behaving animals we measured optokinetic reflexes (OKRs), which are sensitive to changes in ON pathways. Scotopic OKR contrast sensitivity was lost in Trα−/− mice, but indistinguishable from controls in Cx36−/− and rod bipolar cell knockout mice. Mesopic OKRs were also altered in mutant mice: Trα−/− mice had decreased spatial acuity, rod BC knockouts had decreased sensitivity, and Cx36−/− mice had increased sensitivity. These results provide compelling evidence against the complete Cx36 or rod BC dependence of night vision's ON component. Further, the findings suggest the parallel nature of rod pathways provides considerable redundancy to scotopic light sensitivity but distinct contributions to mesopic responses through complicated interactions with cone pathways. PMID:26718442

  8. Light adaptation and the evolution of vertebrate photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Morshedian, Ala; Fain, Gordon L

    2017-07-15

    Lamprey are cyclostomes, a group of vertebrates that diverged from lines leading to jawed vertebrates (including mammals) in the late Cambrian, 500 million years ago. It may therefore be possible to infer properties of photoreceptors in early vertebrate progenitors by comparing lamprey to other vertebrates. We show that lamprey rods and cones respond to light much like rods and cones in amphibians and mammals. They operate over a similar range of light intensities and adapt to backgrounds and bleaches nearly identically. These correspondences are pervasive and detailed; they argue for the presence of rods and cones very early in the evolution of vertebrates with properties much like those of rods and cones in existing vertebrate species. The earliest vertebrates were agnathans - fish-like organisms without jaws, which first appeared near the end of the Cambrian radiation. One group of agnathans became cyclostomes, which include lamprey and hagfish. Other agnathans gave rise to jawed vertebrates or gnathostomes, the group including all other existing vertebrate species. Because cyclostomes diverged from other vertebrates 500 million years ago, it may be possible to infer some of the properties of the retina of early vertebrate progenitors by comparing lamprey to other vertebrates. We have previously shown that rods and cones in lamprey respond to light much like photoreceptors in other vertebrates and have a similar sensitivity. We now show that these affinities are even closer. Both rods and cones adapt to background light and to bleaches in a manner almost identical to other vertebrate photoreceptors. The operating range in darkness is nearly the same in lamprey and in amphibian or mammalian rods and cones; moreover background light shifts response-intensity curves downward and to the right over a similar range of ambient intensities. Rods show increment saturation at about the same intensity as mammalian rods, and cones never saturate. Bleaches decrease

  9. Specialized photoreceptor composition in the raptor fovea.

    PubMed

    Mitkus, Mindaugas; Olsson, Peter; Toomey, Matthew B; Corbo, Joseph C; Kelber, Almut

    2017-02-15

    The retinae of many bird species contain a depression with high photoreceptor density known as the fovea. Many species of raptors have two foveae, a deep central fovea and a shallower temporal fovea. Birds have six types of photoreceptors: rods, active in dim light, double cones that are thought to mediate achromatic discrimination, and four types of single cones mediating color vision. To maximize visual acuity, the fovea should only contain photoreceptors contributing to high-resolution vision. Interestingly, it has been suggested that raptors might lack double cones in the fovea. We used transmission electron microscopy and immunohistochemistry to evaluate this claim in five raptor species: the common buzzard (Buteo buteo), the honey buzzard (Pernis apivorus), the Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus), the red kite (Milvus milvus) and the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus). We found that all species, except the Eurasian sparrowhawk, lack double cones in the center of the central fovea. The size of the double cone-free zone differed between species. Only the common buzzard had a double cone-free zone in the temporal fovea. In three species, we examined opsin expression in the central fovea and found evidence that rod opsin positive cells were absent and violet-sensitive cone and green-sensitive cone opsin positive cells were present. We conclude that not only double cones, but also single cones may contribute to high-resolution vision in birds, and that raptors may in fact possess high-resolution tetrachromatic vision in the central fovea. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

  10. Dynamical Adaptation in Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Damon A.; Benichou, Raphael; Meister, Markus; Azeredo da Silveira, Rava

    2013-01-01

    Adaptation is at the heart of sensation and nowhere is it more salient than in early visual processing. Light adaptation in photoreceptors is doubly dynamical: it depends upon the temporal structure of the input and it affects the temporal structure of the response. We introduce a non-linear dynamical adaptation model of photoreceptors. It is simple enough that it can be solved exactly and simulated with ease; analytical and numerical approaches combined provide both intuition on the behavior of dynamical adaptation and quantitative results to be compared with data. Yet the model is rich enough to capture intricate phenomenology. First, we show that it reproduces the known phenomenology of light response and short-term adaptation. Second, we present new recordings and demonstrate that the model reproduces cone response with great precision. Third, we derive a number of predictions on the response of photoreceptors to sophisticated stimuli such as periodic inputs, various forms of flickering inputs, and natural inputs. In particular, we demonstrate that photoreceptors undergo rapid adaptation of response gain and time scale, over ∼ 300 ms—i. e., over the time scale of the response itself—and we confirm this prediction with data. For natural inputs, this fast adaptation can modulate the response gain more than tenfold and is hence physiologically relevant. PMID:24244119

  11. cGMP Accumulation Causes Photoreceptor Degeneration in CNG Channel Deficiency: Evidence of cGMP Cytotoxicity Independently of Enhanced CNG Channel Function

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Jianhua; Morris, Lynsie; Thapa, Arjun; Ma, Hongwei; Michalakis, Stylianos; Biel, Martin; Baehr, Wolfgang; Peshenko, Igor V.; Dizhoor, Alexander M.

    2013-01-01

    Photoreceptor cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels regulate Ca2+ influx in rod and cone photoreceptors. cGMP, the native ligand of the photoreceptor CNG channels, has been associated with cytotoxicity when its levels rise above normal due to defects in photoreceptor phosphodiesterase (PDE6) or regulation of retinal guanylyl cyclase (retGC). We found a massive accumulation of cGMP in CNGA3-deficient retina and investigated whether cGMP accumulation plays a role in cone degeneration in CNG channel deficiency. The time course study showed that the retinal cGMP level in Cnga3−/−;Nrl−/− mice with CNGA3 deficiency on a cone-dominant background was sharply increased at postnatal day 8 (P8), peaked around P10–P15, remained high through P30–P60, and returned to near control level at P90. This elevation pattern correlated with photoreceptor apoptotic death, which peaked around P15–P20. In Cnga3−/−;Gucy2e−/− mice lacking retGC1, cone density and expression levels of cone-specific proteins were significantly increased compared with Cnga3−/−, consistent with a role of cGMP accumulation as the major contributor to cone death caused by CNG channel deficiency. The activity and expression levels of cGMP-dependent protein kinase G (PKG) were significantly increased in Cnga3−/−;Nrl−/− retina compared with Nrl−/−, suggesting an involvement of PKG regulation in cell death. Our results indicate that cGMP accumulation in photoreceptors can itself exert cytotoxic effect in cones, independently of CNG channel activity and Ca2+ influx. PMID:24027293

  12. Stimulus-evoked outer segment changes occur before the hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yiming; Wang, Benquan; Pepperberg, David R.; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-01-01

    Transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been predominantly observed in rod photoreceptors activated by oblique visible light stimulation. Dynamic confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) have revealed rod outer segment (ROS) movement as the physical source of TRP. However, the physiological source of ROS movement is still not well understood. In this study, concurrent near-infrared imaging of TRP and electroretinogram (ERG) measurement of retinal electrophysiology revealed that ROS movement occurs before the onset of the ERG a-wave, which is known to reflect the hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors. Moreover, substitution of normal superfusing medium with low-sodium medium reversibly blocked the photoreceptor ERG a-wave, but largely preserved the stimulus-evoked ROS movements. Our experimental results and theoretical analysis indicate that early, disc-based stages of the phototransduction cascade, which occur before the hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors, contribute to the TRP associated ROS movement. PMID:28101399

  13. Distinct and Atypical Intrinsic and Extrinsic Cell Death Pathways between Photoreceptor Cell Types upon Specific Ablation of Ranbp2 in Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Kyoung-in; Yu, Minzhong; Hao, Ying; Qiu, Sunny; Pillai, Indulekha C. L.; Peachey, Neal S.; Ferreira, Paulo A.

    2013-01-01

    Non-autonomous cell-death is a cardinal feature of the disintegration of neural networks in neurodegenerative diseases, but the molecular bases of this process are poorly understood. The neural retina comprises a mosaic of rod and cone photoreceptors. Cone and rod photoreceptors degenerate upon rod-specific expression of heterogeneous mutations in functionally distinct genes, whereas cone-specific mutations are thought to cause only cone demise. Here we show that conditional ablation in cone photoreceptors of Ran-binding protein-2 (Ranbp2), a cell context-dependent pleiotropic protein linked to neuroprotection, familial necrotic encephalopathies, acute transverse myelitis and tumor-suppression, promotes early electrophysiological deficits, subcellular erosive destruction and non-apoptotic death of cones, whereas rod photoreceptors undergo cone-dependent non-autonomous apoptosis. Cone-specific Ranbp2 ablation causes the temporal activation of a cone-intrinsic molecular cascade highlighted by the early activation of metalloproteinase 11/stromelysin-3 and up-regulation of Crx and CoREST, followed by the down-modulation of cone-specific phototransduction genes, transient up-regulation of regulatory/survival genes and activation of caspase-7 without apoptosis. Conversely, PARP1+-apoptotic rods develop upon sequential activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 and loss of membrane permeability. Rod photoreceptor demise ceases upon cone degeneration. These findings reveal novel roles of Ranbp2 in the modulation of intrinsic and extrinsic cell death mechanisms and pathways. They also unveil a novel spatiotemporal paradigm of progression of neurodegeneration upon cell-specific genetic damage whereby a cone to rod non-autonomous death pathway with intrinsically distinct cell-type death manifestations is triggered by cell-specific loss of Ranbp2. Finally, this study casts new light onto cell-death mechanisms that may be shared by human dystrophies with distinct retinal spatial

  14. Distinct and atypical intrinsic and extrinsic cell death pathways between photoreceptor cell types upon specific ablation of Ranbp2 in cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Cho, Kyoung-In; Haque, Mdemdadul; Wang, Jessica; Yu, Minzhong; Hao, Ying; Qiu, Sunny; Pillai, Indulekha C L; Peachey, Neal S; Ferreira, Paulo A

    2013-06-01

    Non-autonomous cell-death is a cardinal feature of the disintegration of neural networks in neurodegenerative diseases, but the molecular bases of this process are poorly understood. The neural retina comprises a mosaic of rod and cone photoreceptors. Cone and rod photoreceptors degenerate upon rod-specific expression of heterogeneous mutations in functionally distinct genes, whereas cone-specific mutations are thought to cause only cone demise. Here we show that conditional ablation in cone photoreceptors of Ran-binding protein-2 (Ranbp2), a cell context-dependent pleiotropic protein linked to neuroprotection, familial necrotic encephalopathies, acute transverse myelitis and tumor-suppression, promotes early electrophysiological deficits, subcellular erosive destruction and non-apoptotic death of cones, whereas rod photoreceptors undergo cone-dependent non-autonomous apoptosis. Cone-specific Ranbp2 ablation causes the temporal activation of a cone-intrinsic molecular cascade highlighted by the early activation of metalloproteinase 11/stromelysin-3 and up-regulation of Crx and CoREST, followed by the down-modulation of cone-specific phototransduction genes, transient up-regulation of regulatory/survival genes and activation of caspase-7 without apoptosis. Conversely, PARP1+ -apoptotic rods develop upon sequential activation of caspase-9 and caspase-3 and loss of membrane permeability. Rod photoreceptor demise ceases upon cone degeneration. These findings reveal novel roles of Ranbp2 in the modulation of intrinsic and extrinsic cell death mechanisms and pathways. They also unveil a novel spatiotemporal paradigm of progression of neurodegeneration upon cell-specific genetic damage whereby a cone to rod non-autonomous death pathway with intrinsically distinct cell-type death manifestations is triggered by cell-specific loss of Ranbp2. Finally, this study casts new light onto cell-death mechanisms that may be shared by human dystrophies with distinct retinal spatial

  15. Cone rod dystrophies

    PubMed Central

    Hamel, Christian P

    2007-01-01

    Cone rod dystrophies (CRDs) (prevalence 1/40,000) are inherited retinal dystrophies that belong to the group of pigmentary retinopathies. CRDs are characterized by retinal pigment deposits visible on fundus examination, predominantly localized to the macular region. In contrast to typical retinitis pigmentosa (RP), also called the rod cone dystrophies (RCDs) resulting from the primary loss in rod photoreceptors and later followed by the secondary loss in cone photoreceptors, CRDs reflect the opposite sequence of events. CRD is characterized by primary cone involvement, or, sometimes, by concomitant loss of both cones and rods that explains the predominant symptoms of CRDs: decreased visual acuity, color vision defects, photoaversion and decreased sensitivity in the central visual field, later followed by progressive loss in peripheral vision and night blindness. The clinical course of CRDs is generally more severe and rapid than that of RCDs, leading to earlier legal blindness and disability. At end stage, however, CRDs do not differ from RCDs. CRDs are most frequently non syndromic, but they may also be part of several syndromes, such as Bardet Biedl syndrome and Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 7 (SCA7). Non syndromic CRDs are genetically heterogeneous (ten cloned genes and three loci have been identified so far). The four major causative genes involved in the pathogenesis of CRDs are ABCA4 (which causes Stargardt disease and also 30 to 60% of autosomal recessive CRDs), CRX and GUCY2D (which are responsible for many reported cases of autosomal dominant CRDs), and RPGR (which causes about 2/3 of X-linked RP and also an undetermined percentage of X-linked CRDs). It is likely that highly deleterious mutations in genes that otherwise cause RP or macular dystrophy may also lead to CRDs. The diagnosis of CRDs is based on clinical history, fundus examination and electroretinogram. Molecular diagnosis can be made for some genes, genetic counseling is always advised. Currently

  16. Connexin35/36 gap junction proteins are expressed in photoreceptors of the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jian; Wu, Samuel M

    2004-02-23

    Photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina are electrically coupled with one another. Such coupling plays important roles in visual information processing. Physiological properties of rod-rod and rod-cone coupling have been best studied in the salamander retina, yet the cellular and molecular basis of these electrical synapses has not been established. Recently, connexin35/36 (Cx35/36) gap junction proteins were found to be highly expressed in brain and retina, suggesting that it may mediate photoreceptor coupling. To test this idea, we examined the cellular distribution of Cx35/36 in the salamander retina. Western blot analysis showed the expression of Cx35/36 proteins, and confocal microscopy revealed characteristic punctate Cx35/36 immunoreactivity in both synaptic layers. In addition, Cx35/36-positive plaques were detected in the outer nuclear layer (ONL) between neighboring rods, and these plaques outlined the mosaic of the rod network at a level distal to the external limiting membrane. Moreover, although Cx35/36 plaques were detected between some cones and their adjacent rods, the number and size of these plaques was smaller, and their staining intensity was diminished compared with the plaques between adjacent rods. Furthermore, Lucifer yellow injection together with confocal microscopy revealed that Cx35/36-puncta were colocalized with finlike structures of rod cell membrane, with the ultrastructure of gap junctions between paired rod fins having been found by electron microscopy. Therefore, our findings demonstrate that Cx35/36 expression in photoreceptors is primarily located between rods and to a lesser extent between rods and cones, suggesting that Cx35/36 may participate in electrical coupling between rods and between rods and cones in the salamander retina.

  17. Pineal Photoreceptor Cells Are Required for Maintaining the Circadian Rhythms of Behavioral Visual Sensitivity in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Li, Xinle; Montgomery, Jake; Cheng, Wesley; Noh, Jung Hyun; Hyde, David R.; Li, Lei

    2012-01-01

    In non-mammalian vertebrates, the pineal gland functions as the central pacemaker that regulates the circadian rhythms of animal behavior and physiology. We generated a transgenic zebrafish line [Tg(Gnat2:gal4-VP16/UAS:nfsB-mCherry)] in which the E. coli nitroreductase is expressed in pineal photoreceptor cells. In developing embryos and young adults, the transgene is expressed in both retinal and pineal photoreceptor cells. During aging, the expression of the transgene in retinal photoreceptor cells gradually diminishes. By 8 months of age, the Gnat2 promoter-driven nitroreductase is no longer expressed in retinal photoreceptor cells, but its expression in pineal photoreceptor cells persists. This provides a tool for selective ablation of pineal photoreceptor cells, i.e., by treatments with metronidazole. In the absence of pineal photoreceptor cells, the behavioral visual sensitivity of the fish remains unchanged; however, the circadian rhythms of rod and cone sensitivity are diminished. Brief light exposures restore the circadian rhythms of behavioral visual sensitivity. Together, the data suggest that retinal photoreceptor cells respond to environmental cues and are capable of entraining the circadian rhythms of visual sensitivity; however, they are insufficient for maintaining the rhythms. Cellular signals from the pineal photoreceptor cells may be required for maintaining the circadian rhythms of visual sensitivity. PMID:22815753

  18. Gene expression analysis of embryonic photoreceptor precursor cells using BAC-Crx-EGFP transgenic mouse.

    PubMed

    Muranishi, Yuki; Sato, Shigeru; Inoue, Tatsuya; Ueno, Shinji; Koyasu, Toshiyuki; Kondo, Mineo; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2010-02-12

    Crx is a transcription factor which is predominantly expressed in developing and mature photoreceptor cells in the retina, and plays a crucial role in the terminal differentiation of both rods and cones. Crx is one of the earliest-expressed genes specifically in photoreceptor precursors, allowing us to trace photoreceptor precursor cells from embryonic stages to adult stage by visualizing Crx-expressing cells. In the current study, we generated a transgenic mouse line which expresses enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) in the retina driven by the Crx promoter using bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenesis. EGFP-positive cells were observed in the presumptive photoreceptor layer in the retina at embryonic day 15.5 (E15.5), and continued to be expressed in developing and mature photoreceptor cells up to adult stage. We sorted EGFP-positive photoreceptor precursors at E17.5 using fluorescence-activated cell sorter (FACS), and subsequently performed microarray analysis of the FACS-sorted cells. We observed various photoreceptor genes, especially cone genes, are enriched in the EGFP-positive cells, indicating that embryonic cone photoreceptor precursors are enriched. In addition, we found that most of the EGFP-positive cells were post-mitotic cells. Thus, the transgenic line we established can serve as a useful tool to study both developing and mature photoreceptor cells, including embryonic cone precursors whose analysis has been difficult.

  19. Modeling photo-bleaching kinetics to map local variations in rod rhodopsin density

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehler, M.; Dobrosotskaya, J.; King, E. J.; Czaja, W.; Bonner, R. F.

    2011-03-01

    Localized rod photoreceptor and rhodopsin losses have been observed in post mortem histology both in normal aging and in age-related maculopathy. We propose to noninvasively map local rod rhodopsin density through analysis of the brightening of the underlying lipofuscin autofluorescence (LAF) in confocal scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (cSLO) imaging sequences starting in the dark adapted eye. The detected LAF increases as rhodopsin is bleached (time constant ~ 25sec) by the average retinal irradiance of the cSLO 488nm laser beam. We fit parameters of analytical expressions for the kinetics of rhodopsin bleaching that Lamb validated using electroretinogram recordings in human. By performing localized (~ 100μm) kinetic analysis, we create high resolution maps of the rhodopsin density. This new noninvasive imaging and analysis approach appears well-suited for measuring localized changes in the rod photoreceptors and correlating them at high spatial resolution with localized pathological changes of the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) seen in steady-state LAF images.

  20. Dark-Adapted Chromatic Perimetry for Measuring Rod Visual Fields in Patients with Retinitis Pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Bennett, Lea D; Klein, Martin; Locke, Kirsten G; Kiser, Kelly; Birch, David G

    2017-07-01

    Although rod photoreceptors are initially affected in retinitis pigmentosa (RP), the full-field of rod vision is not routinely characterized due to the unavailability of commercial devices detecting rod sensitivity. The purpose of this study was to quantify rod-mediated vision in the peripheral field from patients with RP using a new commercially available perimeter. Participants had one eye dilated and dark-adapted for 45 minutes. A dark-adapted chromatic (DAC) perimeter tested 80 loci 144° horizontally and 72° vertically with cyan stimuli. The number of rod-mediated loci (RML) were analyzed based on normal cone sensitivity (method 1) and associated with full-field electroretinography (ERG) responses by Pearson's r correlation and linear regression. In a second cohort of patients with RP, RML were identified by two-color perimetry (cyan and red; method 2). The two methods for ascribing rod function were compared by Bland-Altman analysis. Method 1 RML were correlated with responses to the 0.01 cd.s/m(2) flash (P < 0.001), while total sensitivity to the cyan stimulus showed correlation with responses to the 3.0 cd.s/m(2) flash (P < 0.0001). Method 2 detected a mean of 10 additional RML compared to method 1. Scotopic fields measured with the DAC detected rod sensitivity across the full visual field, even in some patients who had nondetectable rod ERGs. Two-color perimetry is warranted when sensitivity to the cyan stimulus is reduced to ≤20 dB to get a true estimation of rod function. Many genetic forms of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are caused by mutations in rod-specific genes. However, treatment trials for patients with RP have relied primarily on photopic (cone-mediated) tests as outcome measures because there are a limited number of available testing methods designed to evaluate rod function. Thus, efficient methods for quantifying rod-mediated vision are needed for the rapidly increasing numbers of clinical trials.

  1. Light-Evoked Responses of the Retinal Pigment Epithelium: Changes Accompanying Photoreceptor Loss in the Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Sturgill, Gwen M.; Grossman, Gregory H.; Rayborn, Mary E.; Hollyfield, Joe G.; Peachey, Neal S.

    2010-01-01

    Mutations in genes expressed in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) underlie a number of human inherited retinal disorders that manifest with photoreceptor degeneration. Because light-evoked responses of the RPE are generated secondary to rod photoreceptor activity, RPE response reductions observed in human patients or animal models may simply reflect decreased photoreceptor input. The purpose of this study was to define how the electrophysiological characteristics of the RPE change when the complement of rod photoreceptors is decreased. To measure RPE function, we used an electroretinogram (dc-ERG)-based technique. We studied a slowly progressive mouse model of photoreceptor degeneration (PrphRd2/+), which was crossed onto a Nyxnob background to eliminate the b-wave and most other postreceptoral ERG components. On this background, PrphRd2/+ mice display characteristic reductions in a-wave amplitude, which parallel those in slow PIII amplitude and the loss of rod photoreceptors. At 2 and 4 mo of age, the amplitude of each dc-ERG component (c-wave, fast oscillation, light peak, and off response) was larger in PrphRd2/+ mice than predicted by rod photoreceptor activity (RmP3) or anatomical analysis. At 4 mo of age, the RPE in PrphRd2/+ mice showed several structural abnormalities including vacuoles and swollen, hypertrophic cells. These data demonstrate that insights into RPE function can be gained despite a loss of photoreceptors and structural changes in RPE cells and, moreover, that RPE function can be evaluated in a broader range of mouse models of human retinal disease. PMID:20484527

  2. Adenosine and dopamine receptors co-regulate photoreceptor coupling via gap junction phosphorylation in mouse retina

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongyan; Zhang, Zhijing; Blackburn, Michael R.; Wang, Steven W.; Ribelayga, Christophe P.; O’Brien, John

    2013-01-01

    Gap junctions in retinal photoreceptors suppress voltage noise and facilitate input of rod signals into the cone pathway during mesopic vision. These synapses are highly plastic and regulated by light and circadian clocks. Recent studies have revealed an important role for connexin36 (Cx36) phosphorylation by protein kinase A (PKA) in regulating cell-cell coupling. Dopamine is a light-adaptive signal in the retina, causing uncoupling of photoreceptors via D4 receptors (D4R), which inhibits adenylyl cyclase (AC) and reduces PKA activity. We hypothesized that adenosine, with its extracellular levels increasing in darkness, may serve as a dark signal to co-regulate photoreceptor coupling through modulation of gap junction phosphorylation. Both D4R and A2a receptor (A2aR) mRNAs were present in photoreceptors, inner nuclear layer neurons, and ganglion cells in C57BL/6 mouse retina, and showed cyclic expression with partially overlapping rhythms. Pharmacologically activating A2aR or inhibiting D4R in light-adapted daytime retina increased photoreceptor coupling. Cx36 among photoreceptor terminals, representing predominantly rod-cone gap junctions but possibly including some rod-rod and cone-cone gap junctions, was phosphorylated in a PKA-dependent manner by the same treatments. Conversely, inhibiting A2aR or activating D4R in daytime dark-adapted retina decreased Cx36 phosphorylation with similar PKA dependence. A2a-deficient mouse retina showed defective regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation, fairly regular dopamine release, and moderately down-regulated expression of D4R and AC type I mRNA. We conclude that adenosine and dopamine co-regulate photoreceptor coupling through opposite action on the PKA pathway and Cx36 phosphorylation. In addition, loss of the A2aR hampered D4R gene expression and function. PMID:23407968

  3. Control of guanylate cyclase activity in the rod outer segment.

    PubMed

    Pannbacker, R G

    1973-12-14

    Mammalian photoreceptors contain a guanylate cyclase which has a high specific activity and is inhibited by exposure of the rod outer segment to light. Several minutes are required for this inhibition to take effect, indicating that it is not a step in visual excitation. The activity of the enzyme is sensitive to the concentration of calcium ion in the medium, suggesting that light-induced changes in calcium distribution in the photoreceptor could control guanylate cyclase activity.

  4. AAV-mediated photoreceptor transduction of the pig cone-enriched retina

    PubMed Central

    Mussolino, C; della Corte, M; Rossi, S; Viola, F; Di Vicino, U; Marrocco, E; Neglia, S; Doria, M; Testa, F; Giovannoni, R; Crasta, M; Giunti, M; Villani, E; Lavitrano, M; Bacci, M L; Ratiglia, R; Simonelli, F; Auricchio, A; Surace, E M

    2011-01-01

    Recent success in clinical trials supports the use of adeno-associated viral (AAV) vectors for gene therapy of retinal diseases caused by defects in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). In contrast, evidence of the efficacy of AAV-mediated gene transfer to retinal photoreceptors, the major site of inherited retinal diseases, is less robust. In addition, although AAV-mediated RPE transduction appears efficient, independently of the serotype used and species treated, AAV-mediated photoreceptor gene transfer has not been systematically investigated thus so far in large animal models, which also may allow identifying relevant species-specific differences in AAV-mediated retinal transduction. In the present study, we used the porcine retina, which has a high cone/rod ratio. This feature allows to properly evaluate both cone and rod photoreceptors transduction and compare the transduction characteristics of AAV2/5 and 2/8, the two most efficient AAV vector serotypes for photoreceptor targeting. Here we show that AAV2/5 and 2/8 transduces both RPE and photoreceptors. AAV2/8 infects and transduces photoreceptor more efficiently than AAV2/5, similarly to what we have observed in the murine retina. The use of the photoreceptor-specific rhodopsin promoter restricts transgene expression to porcine rods and cones, and results in photoreceptor transduction levels similar to those obtained with the ubiquitous promoters tested. Finally, immunological, toxicological and biodistribution studies support the safety of AAV subretinal administration to the large porcine retina. The data presented here on AAV-mediated transduction of the cone-enriched porcine retina may affect the development of gene-based therapies for rare and common severe photoreceptor diseases. PMID:21412286

  5. Kinesin family 17 (osmotic avoidance abnormal-3) is dispensable for photoreceptor morphology and function

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Li; Tam, Beatrice M.; Ying, Guoxing; Wu, Sen; Hauswirth, William W.; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Moritz, Orson L.; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2015-01-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, homodimeric [kinesin family (KIF) 17, osmotic avoidance abnormal-3 (OSM-3)] and heterotrimeric (KIF3) kinesin-2 motors are required to establish sensory cilia by intraflagellar transport (IFT) where KIF3 and KIF17 cooperate to build the axoneme core and KIF17 builds the distal segments. However, the function of KIF17 in vertebrates is unresolved. We expressed full-length and motorless KIF17 constructs in mouse rod photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus in Xenopus laevis rod photoreceptors using a transgene and in ciliated IMCD3 cells. We found that tagged KIF17 localized along the rod outer segment axoneme when expressed in mouse and X. laevis photoreceptors, whereas KIF3A was restricted to the proximal axoneme. Motorless KIF3A and KIF17 mutants caused photoreceptor degeneration, likely through dominant negative effects on IFT. KIF17 mutant lacking the motor domain translocated to nuclei after exposure of a C-terminal nuclear localization signal. Germ-line deletion of Kif17 in mouse did not affect photoreceptor function. A rod-specific Kif3/Kif17 double knockout mouse demonstrated that KIF17 and KIF3 do not act synergistically and did not prevent rhodopsin trafficking to rod outer segments. In summary, the nematode model of KIF3/KIF17 cooperation apparently does not apply to mouse photoreceptors in which the photosensory cilium is built exclusively by KIF3.—Jiang, L., Tam, B. M., Ying, G., Wu, S., Hauswirth, W. W., Frederick, J. M., Moritz, O. L., Baehr, W. Kinesin family 17 (osmotic avoidance abnormal-3) is dispensable for photoreceptor morphology and function. PMID:26229057

  6. A Cambrian origin for vertebrate rods

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Grillner, Sten; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates acquired dim-light vision when an ancestral cone evolved into the rod photoreceptor at an unknown stage preceding the last common ancestor of extant jawed vertebrates (∼420 million years ago Ma). The jawless lampreys provide a unique opportunity to constrain the timing of this advance, as their line diverged ∼505 Ma and later displayed high-morphological stability. We recorded with patch electrodes the inner segment photovoltages and with suction electrodes the outer segment photocurrents of Lampetra fluviatilis retinal photoreceptors. Several key functional features of jawed vertebrate rods are present in their phylogenetically homologous photoreceptors in lamprey: crucially, the efficient amplification of the effect of single photons, measured by multiple parameters, and the flow of rod signals into cones. These results make convergent evolution in the jawless and jawed vertebrate lines unlikely and indicate an early origin of rods, implying strong selective pressure toward dim-light vision in Cambrian ecosystems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07166.001 PMID:26095697

  7. Novel Functions of Photoreceptor Guanylate Cyclases Revealed by Targeted Deletion

    PubMed Central

    Karan, Sukanya; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2010-01-01

    Targeted deletion of membrane guanylyl cyclases (GCs) has yielded new information concerning their function. Here, we summarize briefly recent results of laboratory generated non-photoreceptor GC knockouts characterized by complex phenotypes affecting the vasculature, heart, brain, kidney and other tissues. The main emphasis of the review, however, addresses the two GCs expressed in retinal photoreceptors, termed GC-E and GC-F. Naturally occurring GC-E (GUCY2D) null alleles in human and chicken are associated with an early onset blinding disorder, termed ‘Leber Congenital Amaurosis type 1’ (LCA-1), characterized by extinguished scotopic and photopic ERGs, and retina degeneration. In mouse, a GC-E null genotype produces a recessive cone dystrophy, while rods remain functional. Rod function is supported by the presence of GC-F (Gucy2f), a close relative of GC-E. Deletion of Gucy2f has very little effect on rod and cone physiology and survival. However, a GC-E/GC-F double knockout (GCdko) phenotypically resembles human LCA-1 with extinguished ERGs and rod/cone degneration. In GCdko rods, PDE6 and GCAPs are absent in outer segments. In contrast, GC-E-/- cones lack proteins of the entire phototransduction cascade. These results suggest that GC-E may participate in transport of peripheral membrane proteins from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the outer segments. PMID:20012162

  8. Identifying photoreceptors in blind eyes caused by RPE65 mutations: Prerequisite for human gene therapy success.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Samuel G; Aleman, Tomas S; Cideciyan, Artur V; Sumaroka, Alexander; Schwartz, Sharon B; Windsor, Elizabeth A M; Traboulsi, Elias I; Heon, Elise; Pittler, Steven J; Milam, Ann H; Maguire, Albert M; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Stone, Edwin M; Bennett, Jean

    2005-04-26

    Mutations in RPE65, a gene essential to normal operation of the visual (retinoid) cycle, cause the childhood blindness known as Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA). Retinal gene therapy restores vision to blind canine and murine models of LCA. Gene therapy in blind humans with LCA from RPE65 mutations may also have potential for success but only if the retinal photoreceptor layer is intact, as in the early-disease stage-treated animals. Here, we use high-resolution in vivo microscopy to quantify photoreceptor layer thickness in the human disease to define the relationship of retinal structure to vision and determine the potential for gene therapy success. The normally cone photoreceptor-rich central retina and rod-rich regions were studied. Despite severely reduced cone vision, many RPE65-mutant retinas had near-normal central microstructure. Absent rod vision was associated with a detectable but thinned photoreceptor layer. We asked whether abnormally thinned RPE65-mutant retina with photoreceptor loss would respond to treatment. Gene therapy in Rpe65(-/-) mice at advanced-disease stages, a more faithful mimic of the humans we studied, showed success but only in animals with better-preserved photoreceptor structure. The results indicate that identifying and then targeting retinal locations with retained photoreceptors will be a prerequisite for successful gene therapy in humans with RPE65 mutations and in other retinal degenerative disorders now moving from proof-of-concept studies toward clinical trials.

  9. Investigating photoreceptor densities, potential visual acuity, and cone mosaics of shallow water, temperate fish species.

    PubMed

    Hunt, D E; Rawlinson, N J F; Thomas, G A; Cobcroft, J M

    2015-06-01

    The eye is an important sense organ for teleost species but can vary greatly depending on the adaption to the habitat, environment during ontogeny and developmental stage of the fish. The eye and retinal morphology of eight commonly caught trawl bycatch species were described: Lepidotrigla mulhalli; Lophonectes gallus; Platycephalus bassensis; Sillago flindersi; Neoplatycephalus richardsoni; Thamnaconus degeni; Parequula melbournensis; and Trachurus declivis. The cone densities ranged from 38 cones per 0.01 mm(2) for S. flindersi to 235 cones per 0.01 mm(2) for P. melbournensis. The rod densities ranged from 22800 cells per 0.01 mm(2) for L. mulhalli to 76634 cells per 0.01 mm(2) for T. declivis and potential visual acuity (based on anatomical measures) ranged from 0.08 in L. gallus to 0.31 in P. melbournensis. Higher rod densities were correlated with maximum habitat depths. Six species had the regular pattern of four double cones arranged around a single cone in the photoreceptor mosaic, while T. declivis had only rows of double cones. P. melbournensis had the greatest potential ability for detecting fine detail based on eye anatomy. The potential visual acuity estimates and rod densities can be applied to suggest the relative detection ability of different species in a commercial fishing context, since vision is a critical sense in an illuminated environment for perceiving an oncoming trawl. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Photoreceptor coupling is controlled by connexin 35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z.; O'Brien, John

    2010-01-01

    Electrical coupling of neurons is widespread throughout the central nervous system and is observed among retinal photoreceptors from essentially all vertebrates. Coupling dampens voltage noise in photoreceptors and rod-cone coupling provides a means for rod signals to enter the cone pathway, extending the dynamic range of rod-mediated vision. This coupling is dynamically regulated by a circadian rhythm and light adaptation. We examined the molecular mechanism that controls photoreceptor coupling in zebrafish retina. Connexin 35 (homologous to Cx36 of mammals) was found at both cone-cone and rod-cone gap junctions. Photoreceptors showed strong Neurobiotin tracer coupling at night, extensively labeling the network of cones. Tracer coupling was significantly reduced in the daytime, showing a 20-fold lower diffusion coefficient for Neurobiotin transfer. The phosphorylation state of Cx35 at two regulatory phosphorylation sites, Ser110 and Ser276, was directly related to tracer coupling. Phosphorylation was high at night and low during the day. Protein kinase A (PKA) activity directly controlled both phosphorylation state and tracer coupling. Both were significantly increased in the day by pharmacological activation of PKA and significantly reduced at night by inhibition of PKA. The data are consistent with direct phosphorylation of Cx35 by PKA. We conclude that the magnitude of photoreceptor coupling is controlled by the dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Cx35. Furthermore, the nighttime state is characterized by extensive coupling that results in a well-connected cone network. PMID:19955370

  11. Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Release at the Photoreceptor Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Gabriel; Rabl, Katalin; Gemp, Ian; Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Exocytosis from the rod photoreceptor is stimulated by submicromolar Ca2+ and exhibits an unusually shallow dependence on presynaptic Ca2+. To provide a quantitative description of the photoreceptor Ca2+ sensor for exocytosis, we tested a family of conventional and allosteric computational models describing the final Ca2+-binding steps leading to exocytosis. Simulations were fit to two measures of release, evoked by flash-photolysis of caged Ca2+: exocytotic capacitance changes from individual rods and postsynaptic currents of second-order neurons. The best simulations supported the occupancy of only two Ca2+ binding sites on the rod Ca2+ sensor rather than the typical four or five. For most models, the on-rates for Ca2+ binding and maximal fusion rate were comparable to those of other neurons. However, the off-rates for Ca2+ unbinding were unexpectedly slow. In addition to contributing to the high-affinity of the photoreceptor Ca2+ sensor, slow Ca2+ unbinding may support the fusion of vesicles located at a distance from Ca2+ channels. In addition, partial sensor occupancy due to slow unbinding may contribute to the linearization of the first synapse in vision. PMID:20483317

  12. Photoreceptor-Based Biomarkers in AOSLO Retinal Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Litts, Katie M.; Cooper, Robert F.; Duncan, Jacque L.

    2017-01-01

    Improved understanding of the mechanisms underlying inherited retinal degenerations has created the possibility of developing much needed treatments for these relentless, blinding diseases. However, standard clinical indicators of retinal health (such as visual acuity and visual field sensitivity) are insensitive measures of photoreceptor survival. In many retinal degenerations, significant photoreceptor loss must occur before measurable differences in visual function are observed. Thus, there is a recognized need for more sensitive outcome measures to assess therapeutic efficacy as numerous clinical trials are getting underway. Adaptive optics (AO) retinal imaging techniques correct for the monochromatic aberrations of the eye and can be used to provide nearly diffraction-limited images of the retina. Many groups routinely are using AO imaging tools to obtain in vivo images of the rod and cone photoreceptor mosaic, and it now is possible to monitor photoreceptor structure over time with single cell resolution. Highlighting recent work using AO scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) across a range of patient populations, we review the development of photoreceptor-based metrics (e.g., density/geometry, reflectivity, and size) as candidate biomarkers. Going forward, there is a need for further development of automated tools and normative databases, with the latter facilitating the comparison of data sets across research groups and devices. Ongoing and future clinical trials for inherited retinal diseases will benefit from the improved resolution and sensitivity that multimodal AO retinal imaging affords to evaluate safety and efficacy of emerging therapies. PMID:28873135

  13. Rodding Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... operation; anesthesia issues,  Reason for the choice of rod,  Time in the hospital,  Length of recovery time at home,  Pain management including control of muscle spasms,  The rehabilitation plan. It is ...

  14. Acute Zonal Cone Photoreceptor Outer Segment Loss.

    PubMed

    Aleman, Tomas S; Sandhu, Harpal S; Serrano, Leona W; Traband, Anastasia; Lau, Marisa K; Adamus, Grazyna; Avery, Robert A

    2017-05-01

    The diagnostic path presented narrows down the cause of acute vision loss to the cone photoreceptor outer segment and will refocus the search for the cause of similar currently idiopathic conditions. To describe the structural and functional associations found in a patient with acute zonal occult photoreceptor loss. A case report of an adolescent boy with acute visual field loss despite a normal fundus examination performed at a university teaching hospital. Results of a complete ophthalmic examination, full-field flash electroretinography (ERG) and multifocal ERG, light-adapted achromatic and 2-color dark-adapted perimetry, and microperimetry. Imaging was performed with spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT), near-infrared (NIR) and short-wavelength (SW) fundus autofluorescence (FAF), and NIR reflectance (REF). The patient was evaluated within a week of the onset of a scotoma in the nasal field of his left eye. Visual acuity was 20/20 OU, and color vision was normal in both eyes. Results of the fundus examination and of SW-FAF and NIR-FAF imaging were normal in both eyes, whereas NIR-REF imaging showed a region of hyporeflectance temporal to the fovea that corresponded with a dense relative scotoma noted on light-adapted static perimetry in the left eye. Loss in the photoreceptor outer segment detected by SD-OCT co-localized with an area of dense cone dysfunction detected on light-adapted perimetry and multifocal ERG but with near-normal rod-mediated vision according to results of 2-color dark-adapted perimetry. Full-field flash ERG findings were normal in both eyes. The outer nuclear layer and inner retinal thicknesses were normal. Localized, isolated cone dysfunction may represent the earliest photoreceptor abnormality or a distinct entity within the acute zonal occult outer retinopathy complex. Acute zonal occult outer retinopathy should be considered in patients with acute vision loss and abnormalities on NIR-REF imaging, especially if

  15. Two temporal functions of Glass: ommatidium patterning and photoreceptor differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Xulong; Mahato, Simpla; Hemmerich, Chris; Zelhof, Andrew C.

    2016-01-01

    Much progress has been made in elucidating the molecular networks required for specifying retinal cells, including photoreceptors, but the downstream mechanisms that maintain identity and regulate differentiation remain poorly understood. Here, we report that the transcription factor Glass has a dual role in establishing a functional Drosophila eye. Utilizing conditional rescue approaches, we confirm that persistent defects in ommatidium patterning combined with cell death correlate with the overall disruption of eye morphology in glass mutants. In addition, we reveal that Glass exhibits a separable role in regulating photoreceptor differentiation. In particular, we demonstrate the apparent loss of glass mutant photoreceptors is not only due to cell death but also a failure of the surviving photoreceptors to complete differentiation. Moreover, the late reintroduction of Glass in these developmentally stalled photoreceptors is capable of restoring differentiation in the absence of correct ommatidium patterning. Mechanistically, transcription profiling at the time of differentiation reveals that Glass is necessary for the expression of many genes implicated in differentiation, i.e. rhabdomere morphogenesis, phototransduction, and synaptogenesis. Specifically, we show Glass directly regulates the expression of Pph13, which encodes a transcription factor necessary for opsin expression and rhabdomere morphogenesis. Finally, we demonstrate the ability of Glass to choreograph photoreceptor differentiation is conserved between Drosophila and Tribolium, two holometabolous insects. Altogether, our work identifies a fundamental regulatory mechanism to generate the full complement of cells required for a functional rhabdomeric visual system and provides a critical framework to investigate the basis of differentiation and maintenance of photoreceptor identity. PMID:27105580

  16. Assessing Photoreceptor Structure Associated with Ellipsoid Zone Disruptions Visualized with Optical Coherence Tomography

    PubMed Central

    Scoles, Drew; Flatter, John A.; Cooper, Robert F.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Robison, Scott; Neitz, Maureen; Weinberg, David V.; Pennesi, Mark E.; Han, Dennis P.; Dubra, Alfredo; Carroll, Joseph

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To compare images of photoreceptor layer disruptions obtained with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) in a variety of pathologic states. Methods Five subjects with photoreceptor ellipsoid zone disruption as per OCT and clinical diagnoses of closed-globe blunt ocular trauma (cg-BOT; n = 2), macular telangiectasia type 2 (MacTel; n = 1), blue cone monochromacy (BCM; n = 1) or cone-rod dystrophy (CRD; n = 1) were included. Images were acquired within and around photoreceptor lesions using spectral-domain OCT (SD-OCT), confocal AOSLO and split-detector AOSLO. Results There were substantial differences in the extent and appearance of the photoreceptor mosaic as revealed by confocal AOSLO, split-detector AOSLO and SD-OCT en face view of the ellipsoid zone (EZ). Conclusions Clinically available SD-OCT, viewed en face or as B-scan, may lead to misinterpretation of photoreceptor anatomy in a variety of diseases and injuries. This was demonstrated using split-detector AOSLO to reveal substantial populations of photoreceptors in areas of no, low, or ambiguous EZ reflectivity with en face OCT and confocal AOSLO. While it is unclear if these photoreceptors are functional, their presence offers hope for therapeutic strategies aimed at preserving or restoring photoreceptor function. PMID:26166796

  17. Overlap of abnormal photoreceptor development and progressive degeneration in Leber congenital amaurosis caused by NPHP5 mutation.

    PubMed

    Downs, Louise M; Scott, Erin M; Cideciyan, Artur V; Iwabe, Simone; Dufour, Valerie; Gardiner, Kristin L; Genini, Sem; Marinho, Luis Felipe; Sumaroka, Alexander; Kosyk, Mychajlo S; Swider, Malgorzata; Aguirre, Geoffrey K; Jacobson, Samuel G; Beltran, William A; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2016-10-01

    Ciliary defects can result in severe disorders called ciliopathies. Mutations in NPHP5 cause a ciliopathy characterized by severe childhood onset retinal blindness, Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA), and renal disease. Using the canine NPHP5-LCA model we compared human and canine retinal phenotypes, and examined the early stages of photoreceptor development and degeneration, the kinetics of photoreceptor loss, the progression of degeneration and the expression profiles of selected genes. NPHP5-mutant dogs recapitulate the human phenotype of very early loss of rods, and relative retention of the central retinal cone photoreceptors that lack function. In mutant dogs, rod and cone photoreceptors have a sensory cilium, but develop and function abnormally and then rapidly degenerate; L/M cones are more severely affected than S-cones. The lack of outer segments in mutant cones indicates a ciliary dysfunction. Genes expressed in mutant rod or both rod and cone photoreceptors show significant downregulation, while those expressed only in cones are unchanged. Many genes in cell-death and -survival pathways also are downregulated. The canine disease is a non-syndromic LCA-ciliopathy, with normal renal structures and no CNS abnormalities. Our results identify the critical time points in the pathogenesis of the photoreceptor disease, and bring us closer to defining a potential time window for testing novel therapies for translation to patients.

  18. Membrane current responses of skate photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    1989-01-01

    Light-evoked membrane currents were recorded with suction electrodes from the outer segments of individual photoreceptors enzymatically dissociated from the skate retina. The intensity-response relation of dark-adapted cells closely followed a Michaelis function for which a half-saturating response was elicited by a flash intensity that produced about 36 photoisomerizations. Dim-light responses, as well as the early rising phase of the responses to a wide range of flash intensities, could be described by a reaction scheme that involved a series of four first-order delay stages. The number of delay stages required to model the rising phase of the photocurrents did not change in light adaptation. However, background illumination that reduced sensitivity by 1.5 log units, or a bleaching exposure that resulted in a nearly equivalent desensitization, shortened significantly the time scale of the responses. In both instances there were two- to threefold increases in the rate constants of the transitional delays, and almost complete suppression of the tail current that characterized the response of the dark-adapted cell. These findings suggest that although light adaptation alters the gain and kinetics of the transduction mechanism, the nature of the intervening processes is the same in dark- and light-adapted photoreceptors. Moreover, the results show clearly that there is no need to postulate the existence of a second class of cone-like rods to account for the remarkable ability of skate photoreceptors to respond to incremental stimuli presented on "saturating" background fields or after exposure to an intense bleaching light. PMID:2614369

  19. Subretinal transplantation of MACS purified photoreceptor precursor cells into the adult mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Eberle, Dominic; Santos-Ferreira, Tiago; Grahl, Sandra; Ader, Marius

    2014-02-22

    Vision impairment and blindness due to the loss of the light-sensing cells of the retina, i.e. photoreceptors, represents the main reason for disability in industrialized countries. Replacement of degenerated photoreceptors by cell transplantation represents a possible treatment option in future clinical applications. Indeed, recent preclinical studies demonstrated that immature photoreceptors, isolated from the neonatal mouse retina at postnatal day 4, have the potential to integrate into the adult mouse retina following subretinal transplantation. Donor cells generated a mature photoreceptor morphology including inner and outer segments, a round cell body located at the outer nuclear layer, and synaptic terminals in close proximity to endogenous bipolar cells. Indeed, recent reports demonstrated that donor photoreceptors functionally integrate into the neural circuitry of host mice. For a future clinical application of such cell replacement approach, purified suspensions of the cells of choice have to be generated and placed at the correct position for proper integration into the eye. For the enrichment of photoreceptor precursors, sorting should be based on specific cell surface antigens to avoid genetic reporter modification of donor cells. Here we show magnetic-associated cell sorting (MACS) - enrichment of transplantable rod photoreceptor precursors isolated from the neonatal retina of photoreceptor-specific reporter mice based on the cell surface marker CD73. Incubation with anti-CD73 antibodies followed by micro-bead conjugated secondary antibodies allowed the enrichment of rod photoreceptor precursors by MACS to approximately 90%. In comparison to flow cytometry, MACS has the advantage that it can be easier applied to GMP standards and that high amounts of cells can be sorted in relative short time periods. Injection of enriched cell suspensions into the subretinal space of adult wild-type mice resulted in a 3-fold higher integration rate compared to

  20. Rax Homeoprotein Regulates Photoreceptor Cell Maturation and Survival in Association with Crx in the Postnatal Mouse Retina.

    PubMed

    Irie, Shoichi; Sanuki, Rikako; Muranishi, Yuki; Kato, Kimiko; Chaya, Taro; Furukawa, Takahisa

    2015-08-01

    The Rax homeobox gene plays essential roles in multiple processes of vertebrate retina development. Many vertebrate species possess Rax and Rax2 genes, and different functions have been suggested. In contrast, mice contain a single Rax gene, and its functional roles in late retinal development are still unclear. To clarify mouse Rax function in postnatal photoreceptor development and maintenance, we generated conditional knockout mice in which Rax in maturing or mature photoreceptor cells was inactivated by tamoxifen treatment (Rax iCKO mice). When Rax was inactivated in postnatal Rax iCKO mice, developing photoreceptor cells showed a significant decrease in the level of the expression of rod and cone photoreceptor genes and mature adult photoreceptors exhibited a specific decrease in cone cell numbers. In luciferase assays, we found that Rax and Crx cooperatively transactivate Rhodopsin and cone opsin promoters and that an optimum Rax expression level to transactivate photoreceptor gene expression exists. Furthermore, Rax and Crx colocalized in maturing photoreceptor cells, and their coimmunoprecipitation was observed in cultured cells. Taken together, these results suggest that Rax plays essential roles in the maturation of both cones and rods and in the survival of cones by regulating photoreceptor gene expression with Crx in the postnatal mouse retina. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Comparative investigation of stimulus-evoked rod outer segment movement and retinal electrophysiological activity

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Yiming; Wang, Benquan

    2017-01-01

    Transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been observed in rod photoreceptors activated by oblique visible light flashes. Time-lapse confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed rod outer segment (ROS) movements as the physical source of TRP. However, the physiological source of TRP is still not well understood. In this study, concurrent TRP and electroretinogram (ERG) measurements disclosed a remarkably earlier onset time of the ROS movements (≤10 ms) than that (∼38 ms) of the ERG a-wave. Furthermore, low sodium treatment reversibly blocked the photoreceptor ERG a-wave, which is known to reflect hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors, but preserved the TRP associated rod OS movements well. Our experimental results and theoretical analysis suggested that the physiological source of TRP might be attributed to early stages of phototransduction, before the hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors. PMID:28867866

  2. Comparative investigation of stimulus-evoked rod outer segment movement and retinal electrophysiological activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lu, Yiming; Wang, Benquan; Yao, Xincheng

    2017-02-01

    Transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been observed in rod photoreceptors activated by oblique visible light flashes. Time-lapse confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed rod outer segment (ROS) movements as the physical source of TRP. However, the physiological source of TRP is still not well understood. In this study, concurrent TRP and electroretinogram (ERG) measurements disclosed a remarkably earlier onset time of the ROS movements (<=10 ms) than that ( 38 ms) of the ERG a-wave. Furthermore, low sodium treatment reversibly blocked the photoreceptor ERG a-wave, which is known to reflect hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors, but preserved the TRP associated rod OS movements well. Our experimental results and theoretical analysis suggested that the physiological source of TRP might be attributed to early stages of phototransduction, before the hyperpolarization of retinal photoreceptors.

  3. Age-related deterioration of rod vision in mice.

    PubMed

    Kolesnikov, Alexander V; Fan, Jie; Crouch, Rosalie K; Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2010-08-18

    Even in healthy individuals, aging leads to deterioration in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, visual field, and dark adaptation. Little is known about the neural mechanisms that drive the age-related changes of the retina and, more specifically, photoreceptors. According to one hypothesis, the age-related deterioration in rod function is due to the limited availability of 11-cis-retinal for rod pigment formation. To determine how aging affects rod photoreceptors and to test the retinoid-deficiency hypothesis, we compared the morphological and functional properties of rods of adult and aged B6D2F1/J mice. We found that the number of rods and the length of their outer segments were significantly reduced in 2.5-year-old mice compared with 4-month-old animals. Aging also resulted in a twofold reduction in the total level of opsin in the retina. Behavioral tests revealed that scotopic visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were decreased by twofold in aged mice, and rod ERG recordings demonstrated reduced amplitudes of both a- and b-waves. Sensitivity of aged rods determined from single-cell recordings was also decreased by 1.5-fold, corresponding to not more than 1% free opsin in these photoreceptors, and kinetic parameters of dim flash response were not altered. Notably, the rate of rod dark adaptation was unaffected by age. Thus, our results argue against age-related deficiency of 11-cis-retinal in the B6D2F1/J mouse rod visual cycle. Surprisingly, the level of cellular dark noise was increased in aged rods, providing an alternative mechanism for their desensitization.

  4. CONTROL ROD

    DOEpatents

    Walker, D.E.; Matras, S.

    1963-04-30

    This patent shows a method of making a fuel or control rod for a nuclear reactor. Fuel or control material is placed within a tube and plugs of porous metal wool are inserted at both ends. The metal wool is then compacted and the tube compressed around it as by swaging, thereby making the plugs liquid- impervious but gas-pervious. (AEC)

  5. Photoreceptor Coupling mediated by Connexin 36 in the Primate Retina

    PubMed Central

    O’Brien, Jennifer J.; Chen, Xiaoming; MacLeish, Peter R.; O’Brien, John; Massey, Stephen C.

    2012-01-01

    Photoreceptors are coupled via gap junctions in many mammalian species. Cone-to-cone coupling is thought to improve sensitivity and signal-to-noise ratio while rod-to-cone coupling provides an alternative rod pathway active under twilight or mesopic conditions (Smith et al., 1986; DeVries et al., 2002; Hornstein et al., 2005). Gap junctions are composed of connexins and Cx36, the dominant neuronal connexin, is expressed in the outer plexiform layer. Primate (Macaca mulatta) cone pedicles, labeled with an antibody against cone arrestin (7G6) were connected by a network of fine processes called telodendria and, in double-labeled material, Cx36 plaques were located precisely at telodendrial contacts between cones, suggesting strongly they are Cx36 gap junctions. Each red/green cone made non-selective connections with neighboring red/green cones. In contrast, blue cone pedicles were smaller with relatively few short telodendria and they made only rare or equivocal Cx36 contacts with adjacent cones. There were also many smaller Cx36 plaques around the periphery of every cone pedicle and along a series of very fine telodendria that were too short to reach adjacent members of the cone pedicle mosaic. These small Cx36 plaques were closely aligned with nearly every rod spherule and may identify sites of rod-to-cone coupling, even though the identity of the rod connexin has not been established. We conclude that the matrix of cone telodendria is the substrate for photoreceptor coupling. Red/green cones were coupled indiscriminately but blue cones were rarely connected with other cones. All cone types, including blue cones, made gap junctions with surrounding rod spherules. PMID:22457514

  6. MicroRNA-499 expression distinctively correlates to target genes sox6 and rod1 profiles to resolve the skeletal muscle phenotype in Nile tilapia.

    PubMed

    Nachtigall, Pedro G; Dias, Marcos C; Carvalho, Robson F; Martins, Cesar; Pinhal, Danillo

    2015-01-01

    A class of small non-coding RNAs, the microRNAs (miRNAs), has been shown to be essential for the regulation of specific cell pathways, including skeletal muscle development, maintenance and homeostasis in vertebrates. However, the relative contribution of miRNAs for determining the red and white muscle cell phenotypes is far from being fully comprehended. To better characterize the role of miRNA in skeletal muscle cell biology, we investigated muscle-specific miRNA (myomiR) signatures in Nile tilapia fish. Quantitative (RT-qPCR) and spatial (FISH) expression analyses revealed a highly differential expression (forty-four-fold) of miR-499 in red skeletal muscle compared to white skeletal muscle, whereas the remaining known myomiRs were equally expressed in both muscle cell types. Detailed examination of the miR-499 targets through bioinformatics led us to the sox6 and rod1 genes, which had low expression in red muscle cells according to RT-qPCR, FISH, and protein immunofluorescence profiling experiments. Interestingly, we verified that the high expression of miR-499 perfectly correlates with a low expression of sox6 and rod1 target genes, as verified by a distinctive predominance of mRNA destabilization and protein translational decay to these genes, respectively. Through a genome-wide comparative analysis of SOX6 and ROD1 protein domains and through an in silico gene regulatory network, we also demonstrate that both proteins are essentially similar in vertebrate genomes, suggesting their gene regulatory network may also be widely conserved. Overall, our data shed light on the potential regulation of targets by miR-499 associated with the slow-twitch muscle fiber type phenotype. Additionally the results provide novel insights into the evolutionary dynamics of miRNA and target genes enrolled in a putative constrained molecular pathway in the skeletal muscle cells of vertebrates.

  7. MicroRNA-499 Expression Distinctively Correlates to Target Genes sox6 and rod1 Profiles to Resolve the Skeletal Muscle Phenotype in Nile Tilapia

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Robson F.; Martins, Cesar; Pinhal, Danillo

    2015-01-01

    A class of small non-coding RNAs, the microRNAs (miRNAs), has been shown to be essential for the regulation of specific cell pathways, including skeletal muscle development, maintenance and homeostasis in vertebrates. However, the relative contribution of miRNAs for determining the red and white muscle cell phenotypes is far from being fully comprehended. To better characterize the role of miRNA in skeletal muscle cell biology, we investigated muscle-specific miRNA (myomiR) signatures in Nile tilapia fish. Quantitative (RT-qPCR) and spatial (FISH) expression analyses revealed a highly differential expression (forty-four-fold) of miR-499 in red skeletal muscle compared to white skeletal muscle, whereas the remaining known myomiRs were equally expressed in both muscle cell types. Detailed examination of the miR-499 targets through bioinformatics led us to the sox6 and rod1 genes, which had low expression in red muscle cells according to RT-qPCR, FISH, and protein immunofluorescence profiling experiments. Interestingly, we verified that the high expression of miR-499 perfectly correlates with a low expression of sox6 and rod1 target genes, as verified by a distinctive predominance of mRNA destabilization and protein translational decay to these genes, respectively. Through a genome-wide comparative analysis of SOX6 and ROD1 protein domains and through an in silico gene regulatory network, we also demonstrate that both proteins are essentially similar in vertebrate genomes, suggesting their gene regulatory network may also be widely conserved. Overall, our data shed light on the potential regulation of targets by miR-499 associated with the slow-twitch muscle fiber type phenotype. Additionally the results provide novel insights into the evolutionary dynamics of miRNA and target genes enrolled in a putative constrained molecular pathway in the skeletal muscle cells of vertebrates. PMID:25793727

  8. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway preserves photoreceptors after retinal injury

    PubMed Central

    Sweigard, J. Harry; Matsumoto, Hidetaka; Smith, Kaylee E.; Kim, Leo A.; Paschalis, Eleftherios I.; Okonuki, Yoko; Castillejos, Alexandra; Kataoka, Keiko; Hasegawa, Eiichi; Yanai, Ryoji; Husain, Deeba; Lambris, John D.; Vavvas, Demetrios; Miller, Joan W.; Connor, Kip M.

    2015-01-01

    Degeneration of photoreceptors is a primary cause of vision loss worldwide, making the underlying mechanisms surrounding photoreceptor cell death critical to developing new treatment strategies. Retinal detachment, characterized by the separation of photoreceptors from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium, is a sight-threatening event that can happen in a number of retinal diseases. The detached photoreceptors undergo apoptosis and programmed necrosis. Given that photoreceptors are nondividing cells, their loss leads to irreversible visual impairment even after successful retinal reattachment surgery. To better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, we analyzed innate immune system regulators in the vitreous of human patients with retinal detachment and correlated the results with findings in a mouse model of retinal detachment. We identified the alternative complement pathway as promoting early photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Photoreceptors down-regulate membrane-bound inhibitors of complement, allowing for selective targeting by the alternative complement pathway. When photoreceptors in the detached retina were removed from the primary source of oxygen and nutrients (choroidal vascular bed), the retina became hypoxic, leading to an up-regulation of complement factor B, a key mediator of the alternative pathway. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway in knockout mice or through pharmacological means ameliorated photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Our current study begins to outline the mechanism by which the alternative complement pathway facilitates photoreceptor cell death in the damaged retina. PMID:26203084

  9. Arf-like Protein 3 (ARL3) Regulates Protein Trafficking and Ciliogenesis in Mouse Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hanke-Gogokhia, Christin; Wu, Zhijian; Gerstner, Cecilia D; Frederick, Jeanne M; Zhang, Houbin; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2016-03-25

    Arf-like protein 3 (ARL3) is a ubiquitous small GTPase expressed in ciliated cells of plants and animals. Germline deletion ofArl3in mice causes multiorgan ciliopathy reminiscent of Bardet-Biedl or Joubert syndromes. As photoreceptors are elegantly compartmentalized and have cilia, we probed the function of ARL3 (ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf)-like 3 protein) by generating rod photoreceptor-specific (prefix(rod)) and retina-specific (prefix(ret))Arl3deletions. In predegenerate(rod)Arl3(-/-)mice, lipidated phototransduction proteins showed trafficking deficiencies, consistent with the role of ARL3 as a cargo displacement factor for lipid-binding proteins. By contrast,(ret)Arl3(-/-)rods and cones expressing Cre recombinase during embryonic development formed neither connecting cilia nor outer segments and degenerated rapidly. Absence of cilia infers participation of ARL3 in ciliogenesis and axoneme formation. Ciliogenesis was rescued, and degeneration was reversed in part by subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus particles expressing ARL3-EGFP. The conditional knock-out phenotypes permitted identification of two ARL3 functions, both in the GTP-bound form as follows: one as a regulator of intraflagellar transport participating in photoreceptor ciliogenesis and the other as a cargo displacement factor transporting lipidated protein to the outer segment. Surprisingly, a farnesylated inositol polyphosphate phosphatase only trafficked from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi, thereby excluding it from a role in photoreceptor cilia physiology.

  10. Rip3 knockdown rescues photoreceptor cell death in blind pde6c zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Viringipurampeer, I A; Shan, X; Gregory-Evans, K; Zhang, J P; Mohammadi, Z; Gregory-Evans, C Y

    2014-01-01

    Achromatopsia is a progressive autosomal recessive retinal disease characterized by early loss of cone photoreceptors and later rod photoreceptor loss. In most cases, mutations have been identified in CNGA3, CNGB3, GNAT2, PDE6C or PDE6H genes. Owing to this genetic heterogeneity, mutation-independent therapeutic schemes aimed at preventing cone cell death are very attractive treatment strategies. In pde6cw59 mutant zebrafish, cone photoreceptors expressed high levels of receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIP1) and receptor-interacting protein kinase 3 (RIP3) kinases, key regulators of necroptotic cell death. In contrast, rod photoreceptor cells were alternatively immunopositive for caspase-3 indicating activation of caspase-dependent apoptosis in these cells. Morpholino gene knockdown of rip3 in pde6cw59 embryos rescued the dying cone photoreceptors by inhibiting the formation of reactive oxygen species and by inhibiting second-order neuron remodelling in the inner retina. In rip3 morphant larvae, visual function was restored in the cones by upregulation of the rod phosphodiesterase genes (pde6a and pde6b), compensating for the lack of cone pde6c suggesting that cones are able to adapt to their local environment. Furthermore, we demonstrated through pharmacological inhibition of RIP1 and RIP3 activity that cone cell death was also delayed. Collectively, these results demonstrate that the underlying mechanism of cone cell death in the pde6cw59 mutant retina is through necroptosis, whereas rod photoreceptor bystander death occurs through a caspase-dependent mechanism. This suggests that targeting the RIP kinase signalling pathway could be an effective therapeutic intervention in retinal degeneration patients. As bystander cell death is an important feature of many retinal diseases, combinatorial approaches targeting different cell death pathways may evolve as an important general principle in treatment. PMID:24413151

  11. Visual ecology and potassium conductances of insect photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Frolov, Roman; Immonen, Esa-Ville; Weckström, Matti

    2016-04-01

    Voltage-activated potassium channels (Kv channels) in the microvillar photoreceptors of arthropods are responsible for repolarization and regulation of photoreceptor signaling bandwidth. On the basis of analyzing Kv channels in dipteran flies, it was suggested that diurnal, rapidly flying insects predominantly express sustained K(+) conductances, whereas crepuscular and nocturnally active animals exhibit strongly inactivating Kv conductances. The latter was suggested to function for minimizing cellular energy consumption. In this study we further explore the evolutionary adaptations of the photoreceptor channelome to visual ecology and behavior by comparing K(+) conductances in 15 phylogenetically diverse insects, using patch-clamp recordings from dissociated ommatidia. We show that rapid diurnal flyers such as the blowfly (Calliphora vicina) and the honeybee (Apis mellifera) express relatively large noninactivating Kv conductances, conforming to the earlier hypothesis in Diptera. Nocturnal and/or slow-moving species do not in general exhibit stronger Kv conductance inactivation in the physiological membrane voltage range, but the photoreceptors in species that are known to rely more on vision behaviorally had higher densities of sustained Kv conductances than photoreceptors of less visually guided species. No statistically significant trends related to visual performance could be identified for the rapidly inactivating Kv conductances. Counterintuitively, strong negative correlations were observed between photoreceptor capacitance and specific membrane conductance for both sustained and inactivating fractions of Kv conductance, suggesting insignificant evolutionary pressure to offset negative effects of high capacitance on membrane filtering with increased conductance.

  12. Visual ecology and potassium conductances of insect photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Immonen, Esa-Ville; Weckström, Matti

    2016-01-01

    Voltage-activated potassium channels (Kv channels) in the microvillar photoreceptors of arthropods are responsible for repolarization and regulation of photoreceptor signaling bandwidth. On the basis of analyzing Kv channels in dipteran flies, it was suggested that diurnal, rapidly flying insects predominantly express sustained K+ conductances, whereas crepuscular and nocturnally active animals exhibit strongly inactivating Kv conductances. The latter was suggested to function for minimizing cellular energy consumption. In this study we further explore the evolutionary adaptations of the photoreceptor channelome to visual ecology and behavior by comparing K+ conductances in 15 phylogenetically diverse insects, using patch-clamp recordings from dissociated ommatidia. We show that rapid diurnal flyers such as the blowfly (Calliphora vicina) and the honeybee (Apis mellifera) express relatively large noninactivating Kv conductances, conforming to the earlier hypothesis in Diptera. Nocturnal and/or slow-moving species do not in general exhibit stronger Kv conductance inactivation in the physiological membrane voltage range, but the photoreceptors in species that are known to rely more on vision behaviorally had higher densities of sustained Kv conductances than photoreceptors of less visually guided species. No statistically significant trends related to visual performance could be identified for the rapidly inactivating Kv conductances. Counterintuitively, strong negative correlations were observed between photoreceptor capacitance and specific membrane conductance for both sustained and inactivating fractions of Kv conductance, suggesting insignificant evolutionary pressure to offset negative effects of high capacitance on membrane filtering with increased conductance. PMID:26864762

  13. Cone photoreceptor definition on adaptive optics retinal imaging

    PubMed Central

    Muthiah, Manickam Nick; Gias, Carlos; Chen, Fred Kuanfu; Zhong, Joe; McClelland, Zoe; Sallo, Ferenc B; Peto, Tunde; Coffey, Peter J; da Cruz, Lyndon

    2014-01-01

    Aims To quantitatively analyse cone photoreceptor matrices on images captured on an adaptive optics (AO) camera and assess their correlation to well-established parameters in the retinal histology literature. Methods High resolution retinal images were acquired from 10 healthy subjects, aged 20–35 years old, using an AO camera (rtx1, Imagine Eyes, France). Left eye images were captured at 5° of retinal eccentricity, temporal to the fovea for consistency. In three subjects, images were also acquired at 0, 2, 3, 5 and 7° retinal eccentricities. Cone photoreceptor density was calculated following manual and automated counting. Inter-photoreceptor distance was also calculated. Voronoi domain and power spectrum analyses were performed for all images. Results At 5° eccentricity, the cone density (cones/mm2 mean±SD) was 15.3±1.4×103 (automated) and 13.9±1.0×103 (manual) and the mean inter-photoreceptor distance was 8.6±0.4 μm. Cone density decreased and inter-photoreceptor distance increased with increasing retinal eccentricity from 2 to 7°. A regular hexagonal cone photoreceptor mosaic pattern was seen at 2, 3 and 5° of retinal eccentricity. Conclusions Imaging data acquired from the AO camera match cone density, intercone distance and show the known features of cone photoreceptor distribution in the pericentral retina as reported by histology, namely, decreasing density values from 2 to 7° of eccentricity and the hexagonal packing arrangement. This confirms that AO flood imaging provides reliable estimates of pericentral cone photoreceptor distribution in normal subjects. PMID:24729030

  14. Cone photoreceptor definition on adaptive optics retinal imaging.

    PubMed

    Muthiah, Manickam Nick; Gias, Carlos; Chen, Fred Kuanfu; Zhong, Joe; McClelland, Zoe; Sallo, Ferenc B; Peto, Tunde; Coffey, Peter J; da Cruz, Lyndon

    2014-08-01

    To quantitatively analyse cone photoreceptor matrices on images captured on an adaptive optics (AO) camera and assess their correlation to well-established parameters in the retinal histology literature. High resolution retinal images were acquired from 10 healthy subjects, aged 20-35 years old, using an AO camera (rtx1, Imagine Eyes, France). Left eye images were captured at 5° of retinal eccentricity, temporal to the fovea for consistency. In three subjects, images were also acquired at 0, 2, 3, 5 and 7° retinal eccentricities. Cone photoreceptor density was calculated following manual and automated counting. Inter-photoreceptor distance was also calculated. Voronoi domain and power spectrum analyses were performed for all images. At 5° eccentricity, the cone density (cones/mm(2) mean±SD) was 15.3±1.4×10(3) (automated) and 13.9±1.0×10(3) (manual) and the mean inter-photoreceptor distance was 8.6±0.4 μm. Cone density decreased and inter-photoreceptor distance increased with increasing retinal eccentricity from 2 to 7°. A regular hexagonal cone photoreceptor mosaic pattern was seen at 2, 3 and 5° of retinal eccentricity. Imaging data acquired from the AO camera match cone density, intercone distance and show the known features of cone photoreceptor distribution in the pericentral retina as reported by histology, namely, decreasing density values from 2 to 7° of eccentricity and the hexagonal packing arrangement. This confirms that AO flood imaging provides reliable estimates of pericentral cone photoreceptor distribution in normal subjects. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  15. Adaptive Optics Reveals Photoreceptor Abnormalities in Diabetic Macular Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Nesper, Peter L.; Scarinci, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Diabetic macular ischemia (DMI) is a phenotype of diabetic retinopathy (DR) associated with chronic hypoxia of retinal tissue. The goal of this prospective observational study was to report evidence of photoreceptor abnormalities using adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) in eyes with DR in the setting of deep capillary plexus (DCP) non-perfusion. Eleven eyes from 11 patients (6 women, age 31–68), diagnosed with DR without macular edema, underwent optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) and AOSLO imaging. One patient without OCTA imaging underwent fluorescein angiography to characterize the enlargement of the foveal avascular zone. The parameters studied included photoreceptor heterogeneity packing index (HPi) on AOSLO, as well as DCP non-perfusion and vessel density on OCTA. Using AOSLO, OCTA and spectral domain (SD)-OCT, we observed that photoreceptor abnormalities on AOSLO and SD-OCT were found in eyes with non-perfusion of the DCP on OCTA. All eight eyes with DCP non-flow on OCTA showed photoreceptor abnormalities on AOSLO. Six of the eight eyes also had outer retinal abnormalities on SD-OCT. Three eyes with DR and robust capillary perfusion of the DCP had normal photoreceptors on SD-OCT and AOSLO. Compared to eyes with DR without DCP non-flow, the eight eyes with DCP non-flow had significantly lower HPi (P = 0.013) and parafoveal DCP vessel density (P = 0.016). We found a significant correlation between cone HPi and parafoveal DCP vessel density (r = 0.681, P = 0.030). Using a novel approach with AOSLO and OCTA, this study shows an association between capillary non-perfusion of the DCP and abnormalities in the photoreceptor layer in eyes with DR. This observation is important in confirming the significant contribution of the DCP to oxygen requirements of photoreceptors in DMI, while highlighting the ability of AOSLO to detect subtle photoreceptor changes not always visible on SD-OCT. PMID:28068435

  16. The two-step development of a duplex retina involves distinct events of cone and rod neurogenesis and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Valen, Ragnhild; Eilertsen, Mariann; Edvardsen, Rolf Brudvik; Furmanek, Tomasz; Rønnestad, Ivar; van der Meeren, Terje; Karlsen, Ørjan; Nilsen, Tom Ole; Helvik, Jon Vidar

    2016-08-15

    Unlike in mammals, persistent postembryonic retinal growth is a characteristic feature of fish, which includes major remodeling events that affect all cell types including photoreceptors. Consequently, visual capabilities change during development, where retinal sensitivity to different wavelengths of light (photopic vision), -and to limited photons (scotopic vision) are central capabilities for survival. Differently from well-established model fish, Atlantic cod has a prolonged larval stage where only cone photoreceptors are present. Rods do not appear until juvenile transition (metamorphosis), a hallmark of indirect developing species. Previously we showed that whole gene families of lws (red-sensitive) and sws1 (UV-sensitive) opsins have been lost in cod, while rh2a (green-sensitive) and sws2 (blue-sensitive) genes have tandem duplicated. Here, we provide a comprehensive characterization of a two-step developing duplex retina in Atlantic cod. The study focuses on cone subtype dynamics and delayed rod neurogenesis and differentiation in all cod life stages. Using transcriptomic and histological approaches we show that different opsins disappear in a topographic manner during development where central to peripheral retina is a key axis of expressional change. Early cone differentiation was initiated in dorso-temporal retina different from previously described in fish. Rods first appeared during initiation of metamorphosis and expression of the nuclear receptor transcription factor nr2e3-1, suggest involvement in rod specification. The indirect developmental strategy thus allows for separate studies of cones and rods development, which in nature correlates with visual changes linked to habitat shifts. The clustering of key retinal genes according to life stage, suggests that Atlantic cod with its sequenced genome may be an important resource for identification of underlying factors required for development and function of photopic and scotopic vision. Copyright

  17. Brief report: self-organizing neuroepithelium from human pluripotent stem cells facilitates derivation of photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Boucherie, Cédric; Mukherjee, Sayandip; Henckaerts, Els; Thrasher, Adrian J; Sowden, Jane C; Ali, Robin R

    2013-02-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa, other inherited retinal diseases, and age-related macular degeneration lead to untreatable blindness because of the loss of photoreceptors. We have recently shown that transplantation of mouse photoreceptors can result in improved vision. It is therefore timely to develop protocols for efficient derivation of photoreceptors from human pluripotent stem (hPS) cells. Current methods for photoreceptor derivation from hPS cells require long periods of culture and are rather inefficient. Here, we report that formation of a transient self-organized neuroepithelium from human embryonic stem cells cultured together with extracellular matrix is sufficient to induce a rapid conversion into retinal progenitors in 5 days. These retinal progenitors have the ability to differentiate very efficiently into Crx(+) photoreceptor precursors after only 10 days and subsequently acquire rod photoreceptor identity within 4 weeks. Directed differentiation into photoreceptors using this protocol is also possible with human-induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells, facilitating the use of patient-specific hiPS cell lines for regenerative medicine and disease modeling.

  18. Expression of Synaptic and Phototransduction Markers During Photoreceptor Development in the Marmoset Monkey Callithrix jacchus

    PubMed Central

    HENDRICKSON, ANITA; TROILO, DAVID; DJAJADI, HIDAYAT; POSSIN, DANIEL; SPRINGER, ALAN

    2009-01-01

    Marmoset photoreceptor development was studied to determine the expression sequence for synaptic, opsin, and phototransduction proteins. All markers appear first in cones within the incipient foveal center or in rods at the foveal edge. Recoverin appears in cones across 70% of the retina at fetal day (Fd) 88, indicating that it is expressed shortly after photoreceptors are generated. Synaptic markers synaptophysin, SV2, glutamate vesicular transporter 1, and CTBP2 label foveal cones at Fd 88 and cones at the retinal edge around birth. Cones and rods have distinctly different patterns of synaptic protein and opsin expression. Synaptic markers are expressed first in cones, with a considerable delay before they appear in rods at the same eccentricity. Cones express synaptic markers 2–3 weeks before they express opsin, but rods express opsin 2–4 weeks before rod synaptic marker labeling is detected. Medium/long-wavelength-selective (M&L) opsin appears in foveal cones and rod opsin in rods around the fovea at Fd 100. Very few cones expressing short-wavelength-selective (S) opsin are found in the Fd 105 fovea. Across peripheral retina, opsin appears first in rods, followed about 1 week later by M&L cone opsin. S cone opsin appears last, and all opsins reach the retinal edge by 1 week after birth. Cone transducin and rod arrestin are expressed concurrently with opsin, but cone arrestin appears slightly later. Marmoset photoreceptor development differs from that in Macaca and humans. It starts relatively late, at 56% gestation, compared with Macaca at 32% gestation. The marmoset opsin expression sequence is also different from that of either Macaca or human. PMID:19003975

  19. CONTROL ROD

    DOEpatents

    Zinn, W.H.; Ross, H.V.

    1958-11-18

    A control rod is described for a nuclear reactor. In certaln reactor designs it becomes desirable to use a control rod having great width but relatively llttle thickness. This patent is addressed to such a need. The neutron absorbing material is inserted in a triangular tube, leaving volds between the circular insert and the corners of the triangular tube. The material is positioned within the tube by the use of dummy spacers to achleve the desired absorption pattern, then the ends of the tubes are sealed with suitable plugs. The tubes may be welded or soldered together to form two flat surfaces of any desired width, and covered with sheetmetal to protect the tubes from damage. This design provides a control member that will not distort under the action of outside forces or be ruptured by gases generated within the jacketed control member.

  20. Optical combing to align photoreceptors in detached retinas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yin, Shizhuo; Gardner, Thomas W.; Wu, Fei; Cholker, Milind S.

    2004-07-01

    In this paper, we presented a novel micro-manipulating method, called 'optical combing', that could improve the retina reattachment surgery results. Optical combing adopts the working principle of optical tweezers (i.e., focused Gaussian beam produces a trapping force when it incidents onto a micro-object. The trapping force can pull the micro-object to the central point of focused laser beam. Optical combing is implemented by scanning a focused laser beam on the misaligned micro objects (such as misaligned photoreceptors). In our preliminary experiment, a set of misaligned micro glass rods was re-aligned by applying this optical combing technology, which verified our theory. In the future, this technique will be used to re-align misaligned photoreceptors in real retina.

  1. The transcription factor neural retina leucine zipper (NRL) controls photoreceptor-specific expression of myocyte enhancer factor Mef2c from an alternative promoter.

    PubMed

    Hao, Hong; Tummala, Padmaja; Guzman, Eduardo; Mali, Raghuveer S; Gregorski, Janina; Swaroop, Anand; Mitton, Kenneth P

    2011-10-07

    Neural retina leucine zipper (NRL) is an essential transcription factor for cell fate specification and functional maintenance of rod photoreceptors in the mammalian retina. In the Nrl(-/-) mouse retina, photoreceptor precursors fail to produce rods and generate functional cone photoreceptors that predominantly express S-opsin. Previous global expression analysis using microarrays revealed dramatically reduced expression of myocyte enhancer factor Mef2c in the adult Nrl(-/-) retina. We undertook this study to examine the biological relevance of Mef2c expression in retinal rod photoreceptors. Bioinformatics analysis, rapid analysis of cDNA ends (5'-RACE), and reverse transcription coupled with qPCR using splice site-specific oligonucleotides suggested that Mef2c is expressed in the mature retina from an alternative promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies showed the association of active RNA polymerase II and acetylated histone H3 just upstream of Mef2c exon 4, providing additional evidence for the utilization of an alternative promoter in the retina. In concordance, we observed the binding of NRL to a putative NRL-response element (NRE) at this location by ChIP-seq and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. NRL also activated the Mef2c alternative promoter in vitro and in vivo. Notably, MEF2C could support Rhodopsin promoter activity in rod photoreceptors. We conclude that Mef2c expression from an alternative promoter in the retina is regulated by NRL. Our studies also implicate MEF2C as a transcriptional regulator of homeostasis in rod photoreceptor cells.

  2. Cone-like morphological, molecular, and electrophysiological features of the photoreceptors of the Nrl knockout mouse.

    PubMed

    Daniele, Lauren L; Lillo, Concepcion; Lyubarsky, Arkady L; Nikonov, Sergei S; Philp, Nancy; Mears, Alan J; Swaroop, Anand; Williams, David S; Pugh, Edward N

    2005-06-01

    To test the hypothesis that Nrl(-)(/)(-) photoreceptors are cones, by comparing them with WT rods and cones using morphological, molecular, histochemical, and electrophysiological criteria. The photoreceptor layer of fixed retinal tissue of 4- to 6-week-old mice was examined in plastic sections by electron microscopy, and by confocal microscopy in frozen sections immunolabeled for the mouse UV-cone pigment and colabeled with PNA. Quantitative immunoblot analysis was used to determine the levels of expression of key cone-specific proteins. Single- and paired-flash methods were used to extract the spectral sensitivity, kinetics, and amplification of the a-wave of the ERG. Outer segments of Nrl(-/-) photoreceptors ( approximately 7 mum) are shorter than those of wild-type (WT) rods ( approximately 25 mum) and cones ( approximately 15 mum); but, like WT cones, they have 25 or more basal discs open to the extracellular space, extracellular matrix sheaths stained by PNA, chromatin "clumping" in their nuclei, and mitochondria two times shorter than rods. Nrl(-/-) photoreceptors express the mouse UV cone pigment, cone transducin, and cone arrestin in amounts expected, given the relative size and density of cones in the two retinas. The ERG a-wave was used to assay the properties of the photocurrent response. The sensitivity of the Nrl(-/-) a-wave is at its maximum at 360 nm, with a secondary mode at 510 nm having approximately one-tenth the maximum sensitivity. These wavelengths are the lambda(max) of the two mouse cone pigments. The time to peak of the dim-flash photocurrent response was approximately 50 ms, more than two times faster than that of rods. Many morphological, molecular, and electrophysiological features of the Nrl(-/-) photoreceptors are cone-like, and strongly distinguish these cells from rods. This retina provides a model for the investigation of cone function and cone-specific genetic disease.

  3. Fly Photoreceptors Encode Phase Congruency

    PubMed Central

    Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A.; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    More than five decades ago it was postulated that sensory neurons detect and selectively enhance behaviourally relevant features of natural signals. Although we now know that sensory neurons are tuned to efficiently encode natural stimuli, until now it was not clear what statistical features of the stimuli they encode and how. Here we reverse-engineer the neural code of Drosophila photoreceptors and show for the first time that photoreceptors exploit nonlinear dynamics to selectively enhance and encode phase-related features of temporal stimuli, such as local phase congruency, which are invariant to changes in illumination and contrast. We demonstrate that to mitigate for the inherent sensitivity to noise of the local phase congruency measure, the nonlinear coding mechanisms of the fly photoreceptors are tuned to suppress random phase signals, which explains why photoreceptor responses to naturalistic stimuli are significantly different from their responses to white noise stimuli. PMID:27336733

  4. Photoreceptor types and distributions in the retinae of insectivores.

    PubMed

    Peichl, L; Künzle, H; Vogel, P

    2000-01-01

    The retinae of insectivores have been rarely studied, and their photoreceptor arrangements and expression patterns of visual pigments are largely unknown. We have determined the presence and distribution of cones in three species of shrews (common shrew Sorex araneus, greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula, dark forest shrew Crocidura poensis; Soricidae) and in the lesser hedgehog tenrec Echinops telfairi (Tenrecidae). Special cone types were identified and quantified in flattened whole retinae by antisera/antibodies recognizing the middle-to-long-wavelength-sensitive (M/L-)cone opsin and the short-wavelength-sensitive (S-)cone opsin, respectively. A combination of immunocytochemistry with conventional histology was used to assess rod densities and cone/rod ratios. In all four species the rods dominate at densities of about 230,000-260,000/mm2. M/L- and S-cones are present, comprising between 2% of the photoreceptors in the nocturnal Echinops telfairi and 13% in Sorex araneus that has equal diurnal and nocturnal activity phases. This suggests dichromatic color vision like in many other mammals. A striking feature in all four species are dramatically higher S-cone proportions in ventral than in dorsal retina (0.5% vs. 2.5-12% in Sorex, 5-15% vs. 30-45% in Crocidura poensis, 3-12% vs. 20-50% in Crocidura russula, 10-30% vs. 40-70% in Echinops). The functional and comparative aspects of these structural findings are discussed.

  5. The functional cycle of visual arrestins in photoreceptor cells

    PubMed Central

    Gurevich, Vsevolod V.; Hanson, Susan M.; Song, Xiufeng; Vishnivetskiy, Sergey A.; Gurevich, Eugenia V.

    2011-01-01

    Visual arrestin-1 plays a key role in the rapid and reproducible shutoff of rhodopsin signaling. Its highly selective binding to light-activated phosphorylated rhodopsin is an integral part of the functional perfection of rod photoreceptors. Structure-function studies revealed key elements of the sophisticated molecular mechanism ensuring arrestin-1 selectivity and paved the way to the targeted manipulation of the arrestin-1 molecule to design mutants that can compensate for congenital defects in rhodopsin phosphorylation. Arrestin-1 self-association and light-dependent translocation in photoreceptor cells work together to keep a constant supply of active rhodopsin-binding arrestin-1 monomer in the outer segment. Recent discoveries of arrestin-1 interaction with other signaling proteins suggest that it is a much more versatile signaling regulator than previously thought, affecting the function of the synaptic terminals and rod survival. Elucidation of the fine molecular mechanisms of arrestin-1 interactions with rhodopsin and other binding partners is necessary for the comprehensive understanding of rod function and for devising novel molecular tools and therapeutic approaches to the treatment of visual disorders. PMID:21824527

  6. CREB1/ATF1 Activation in Photoreceptor Degeneration and Protection

    PubMed Central

    Beltran, William A.; Allore, Heather G.; Johnson, Elizabeth; Towle, Virginia; Tao, Weng; Acland, Gregory M.; Aguirre, Gustavo D.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose. The cAMP response element binding protein 1 (CREB1) and activating transcription factor 1 (ATF1) are closely related members of the bZIP superfamily of transcription factors. Both are activated in response to a wide array of stimuli, including cellular stress. This study was conducted to assess the CREB1/ATF1 pathway in photoreceptor disease and protection. Methods. The expression levels of p-CREB1, CREB1, and ATF1 were examined by immunoblot and immunohistochemistry in normal canine retina and retinas of several canine models of retinal degeneration (rcd1, rcd2, erd, prcd, XLPRA1, XLPRA2, T4R RHO). Humans retinas affected with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) were also examined. p-CREB1/ATF1 immunolabeling was assessed in normal and rcd1 dogs treated with ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), to examine the effect of a neuroprotective stimulus on activation of CREB1/ATF1. Results. Native CREB1 and ATF1 as well as phosphorylated CREB1/ATF1 was examined in normal canine retina by immunoblot. The p-CREB1 antibody identified phosphorylated CREB1 and ATF1 and labeled the inner retina only in normal dogs. In degenerate canine and human retinas, strong immunolabeling appeared in rod and cone photoreceptors, indicating increased expression of native CREB1 and ATF1, as well as increased phosphorylation of these proteins. Retinal protection by CNTF in rcd1 dogs was accompanied by a significant increase in the number of p-CREB1/ATF1-labeled photoreceptor nuclei. Conclusions. Positive association of CREB1/ATF1 phosphorylation with photoreceptor protection suggests that it may contribute to an innate protective response. These data identify a signaling mechanism in rods and cones of potential importance for therapies of RP and AMD. PMID:19643965

  7. Lateral suppression of mesopic rod and cone flicker detection

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Dingcai; Lu, Yolanda H.

    2012-01-01

    This study investigated the mechanisms of flicker detection suppression by measuring mesopic rod and cone critical flicker frequencies (CFFs) at different center and surround illuminance levels. Stimuli were generated with a four-primary photostimulator that provided independent control of rod and cone excitations. The results showed that dim surrounds ≤0.2 Td suppressed cone-mediated CFFs at ≥20 Td but not rod-mediated CFFs. These results can be understood in terms of peak amplitudes of photoreceptor impulse response functions under different stimulation conditions. PMID:22330377

  8. Gene therapy rescues photoreceptor blindness in dogs and paves the way for treating human X-linked retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Beltran, William A; Cideciyan, Artur V; Lewin, Alfred S; Iwabe, Simone; Khanna, Hemant; Sumaroka, Alexander; Chiodo, Vince A; Fajardo, Diego S; Román, Alejandro J; Deng, Wen-Tao; Swider, Malgorzata; Alemán, Tomas S; Boye, Sanford L; Genini, Sem; Swaroop, Anand; Hauswirth, William W; Jacobson, Samuel G; Aguirre, Gustavo D

    2012-02-07

    Hereditary retinal blindness is caused by mutations in genes expressed in photoreceptors or retinal pigment epithelium. Gene therapy in mouse and dog models of a primary retinal pigment epithelium disease has already been translated to human clinical trials with encouraging results. Treatment for common primary photoreceptor blindness, however, has not yet moved from proof of concept to the clinic. We evaluated gene augmentation therapy in two blinding canine photoreceptor diseases that model the common X-linked form of retinitis pigmentosa caused by mutations in the retinitis pigmentosa GTPase regulator (RPGR) gene, which encodes a photoreceptor ciliary protein, and provide evidence that the therapy is effective. After subretinal injections of adeno-associated virus-2/5-vectored human RPGR with human IRBP or GRK1 promoters, in vivo imaging showed preserved photoreceptor nuclei and inner/outer segments that were limited to treated areas. Both rod and cone photoreceptor function were greater in treated (three of four) than in control eyes. Histopathology indicated normal photoreceptor structure and reversal of opsin mislocalization in treated areas expressing human RPGR protein in rods and cones. Postreceptoral remodeling was also corrected: there was reversal of bipolar cell dendrite retraction evident with bipolar cell markers and preservation of outer plexiform layer thickness. Efficacy of gene therapy in these large animal models of X-linked retinitis pigmentosa provides a path for translation to human treatment.

  9. Loss of retinitis pigmentosa 2 (RP2) protein affects cone photoreceptor sensory cilium elongation in mice.

    PubMed

    Li, Linjing; Rao, Kollu Nageswara; Zheng-Le, Yun; Hurd, Toby W; Lillo, Concepción; Khanna, Hemant

    2015-09-01

    Degeneration of photoreceptors (rods and cones) results in blindness. As we rely almost entirely on our daytime vision mediated by the cones, it is the loss of these photoreceptors that results in legal blindness and poor quality of life. Cone dysfunction is usually observed due to two mechanisms: noncell-autonomous due to the secondary effect of rod death if the causative gene is specifically expressed in rods and cell autonomous, if the mutation is in a cone-specific gene. However, it is difficult to dissect cone autonomous effect of mutations in the genes that are expressed in both rods and cones. Here we report a property of murine cone photoreceptors, which is a cone-autonomous effect of the genetic perturbation of the retinitis pigmentosa 2 (Rp2) gene mutated in human X-linked RP. Constitutive loss of Rp2 results in abnormal extension of the cone outer segment (COS). This effect is phenocopied when the Rp2 gene is ablated specifically in cones but not when ablated in rods. Furthermore, the elongated COS exhibits abnormal ultrastructure with disorganized lamellae. Additionally, elongation of both the outer segment membrane and the microtubule cytoskeleton was observed in the absence of RP2. Taken together, our studies identify a cone morphological defect in retinal degeneration due to ablation of RP2 and will assist in understanding cone-autonomous responses during disease and develop targeted therapies. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Circadian and light-driven regulation of rod dark adaptation.

    PubMed

    Xue, Yunlu; Shen, Susan Q; Corbo, Joseph C; Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2015-12-02

    Continuous visual perception and the dark adaptation of vertebrate photoreceptors after bright light exposure require recycling of their visual chromophore through a series of reactions in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE visual cycle). Light-driven chromophore consumption by photoreceptors is greater in daytime vs. nighttime, suggesting that correspondingly higher activity of the visual cycle may be required. However, as rod photoreceptors are saturated in bright light, the continuous turnover of their chromophore by the visual cycle throughout the day would not contribute to vision. Whether the recycling of chromophore that drives rod dark adaptation is regulated by the circadian clock and light exposure is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that mouse rod dark adaptation is slower during the day or after light pre-exposure. This surprising daytime suppression of the RPE visual cycle was accompanied by light-driven reduction in expression of Rpe65, a key enzyme of the RPE visual cycle. Notably, only rods in melatonin-proficient mice were affected by this daily visual cycle modulation. Our results demonstrate that the circadian clock and light exposure regulate the recycling of chromophore in the RPE visual cycle. This daily melatonin-driven modulation of rod dark adaptation could potentially protect the retina from light-induced damage during the day.

  11. Circadian and light-driven regulation of rod dark adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Yunlu; Shen, Susan Q.; Corbo, Joseph C.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.

    2015-01-01

    Continuous visual perception and the dark adaptation of vertebrate photoreceptors after bright light exposure require recycling of their visual chromophore through a series of reactions in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE visual cycle). Light-driven chromophore consumption by photoreceptors is greater in daytime vs. nighttime, suggesting that correspondingly higher activity of the visual cycle may be required. However, as rod photoreceptors are saturated in bright light, the continuous turnover of their chromophore by the visual cycle throughout the day would not contribute to vision. Whether the recycling of chromophore that drives rod dark adaptation is regulated by the circadian clock and light exposure is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that mouse rod dark adaptation is slower during the day or after light pre-exposure. This surprising daytime suppression of the RPE visual cycle was accompanied by light-driven reduction in expression of Rpe65, a key enzyme of the RPE visual cycle. Notably, only rods in melatonin-proficient mice were affected by this daily visual cycle modulation. Our results demonstrate that the circadian clock and light exposure regulate the recycling of chromophore in the RPE visual cycle. This daily melatonin-driven modulation of rod dark adaptation could potentially protect the retina from light-induced damage during the day. PMID:26626567

  12. Knock-in strategy at 3'-end of Crx gene by CRISPR/Cas9 system shows the gene expression profiles during human photoreceptor differentiation.

    PubMed

    Homma, Kohei; Usui, Sumiko; Kaneda, Makoto

    2017-03-01

    Fluorescent reporter gene knock-in induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) lines have been used to evaluate the efficiency of differentiation into specific cell lineages. Here, we report a knock-in strategy for the generation of human iPSC reporter lines in which a 2A peptide sequence and a red fluorescent protein (E2-Crimson) gene were inserted at the termination codon of the cone-rod homeobox (Crx) gene, a photoreceptor-specific transcriptional factor gene. The knock-in iPSC lines were differentiated into fluorescence-expressing cells in 3D retinal differentiation culture, and the fluorescent cells also expressed Crx specifically in the nucleus. We found that the fluorescence intensity was positively correlated with the expression levels of Crx mRNA and that fluorescent cells expressed rod photoreceptor-specific genes in the later stage of differentiation. Finally, we treated the fluorescent cells with DAPT, a Notch inhibitor, and found that DAPT-enhanced retinal differentiation was associated with up-regulation of Crx, Otx2 and NeuroD1, and down-regulation of Hes5 and Ngn2. These suggest that this knock-in strategy at the 3'-end of the target gene, combined with the 2A peptide linked to fluorescent proteins, offers a useful tool for labeling specific cell lineages or monitoring expression of any marker genes without affecting the function of the target gene. © 2017 Molecular Biology Society of Japan and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  13. Retinal cone photoreceptors of the deer mouse Peromyscus maniculatus: development, topography, opsin expression and spectral tuning.

    PubMed

    Arbogast, Patrick; Glösmann, Martin; Peichl, Leo

    2013-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of photoreceptor properties was performed in the retina of the nocturnal deer mouse, Peromyscus maniculatus, using pigmented (wildtype) and albino animals. The aim was to establish whether the deer mouse is a more suitable model species than the house mouse for photoreceptor studies, and whether oculocutaneous albinism affects its photoreceptor properties. In retinal flatmounts, cone photoreceptors were identified by opsin immunostaining, and their numbers, spectral types, and distributions across the retina were determined. Rod photoreceptors were counted using differential interference contrast microscopy. Pigmented P. maniculatus have a rod-dominated retina with rod densities of about 450.000/mm(2) and cone densities of 3000-6500/mm(2). Two cone opsins, shortwave sensitive (S) and middle-to-longwave sensitive (M), are present and expressed in distinct cone types. Partial sequencing of the S opsin gene strongly supports UV sensitivity of the S cone visual pigment. The S cones constitute a 5-15% minority of the cones. Different from house mouse, S and M cone distributions do not have dorsoventral gradients, and coexpression of both opsins in single cones is exceptional (<2% of the cones). In albino P. maniculatus, rod densities are reduced by approximately 40% (270.000/mm(2)). Overall, cone density and the density of cones exclusively expressing S opsin are not significantly different from pigmented P. maniculatus. However, in albino retinas S opsin is coexpressed with M opsin in 60-90% of the cones and therefore the population of cones expressing only M opsin is significantly reduced to 5-25%. In conclusion, deer mouse cone properties largely conform to the general mammalian pattern, hence the deer mouse may be better suited than the house mouse for the study of certain basic cone properties, including the effects of albinism on cone opsin expression.

  14. Bifurcation analysis of a photoreceptor interaction model for Retinitis Pigmentosa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camacho, Erika T.; Radulescu, Anca; Wirkus, Stephen

    2016-09-01

    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the term used to describe a diverse set of degenerative eye diseases affecting the photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the retina. This work builds on an existing mathematical model of RP that focused on the interaction of the rods and cones. We non-dimensionalize the model and examine the stability of the equilibria. We then numerically investigate other stable modes that are present in the system for various parameter values and relate these modes to the original problem. Our results show that stable modes exist for a wider range of parameter values than the stability of the equilibrium solutions alone, suggesting that additional approaches to preventing cone death may exist.

  15. The guanylate cyclase signaling system in zebrafish photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Koch, Karl-Wilhelm

    2013-06-27

    Zebrafish express in the retina a large variety of three different membrane-bound guanylate cyclases and six different guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (zGCAPs) belonging to the family of neuronal calcium sensor proteins. Although these proteins are predominantly localized in rod and cone photoreceptor cells of the retina, they differ in their spatial-temporal expression profiles. Further, each zGCAP has a different affinity for Ca(2+) and displays different Ca(2+)-sensitivities of guanylate cyclase activation. Thus, zGCAPs operate as cytoplasmic Ca(2+)-sensors that sense incremental changes of cytoplasmic Ca(2+)-concentration in rod and cone cells and control the activity of their target guanylate cyclases in a Ca(2+)-relay mode fashion. Copyright © 2013 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Control rod

    SciTech Connect

    Dixon, R.C.; Cearley, J.E.; VanDiemen, P.; Sayre, E.D.; Gordon, G.M.

    1990-02-20

    This patent describes in a nuclear reactor control rod having elongate planar members for absorption of neutrons within a nuclear reactor for control of the nuclear reaction, the elongate planar members being formed of a plurality of tubes arranged side-by-side in abutting contact and joined together. The tube comprises: a tube defining a cylindrical pressure vessel for containment of neutron absorbing poisons. The tube defining constant side wall thickness sufficient to define there within a cylindrical volume for the containment of neutron absorbing poisons and having sufficient side wall thickness to retain the poisons under all anticipated pressures from decomposition of the neutron absorbing poisons; and the tube integrally defining in addition to the cylindrical pressure vessel four discrete right angle corner sections placed at 90{degree} intervals to the side wall of the constant side wall thickness tube; and neutron absorbing poisons confined within the tube for absorption of neutrons for control of the nuclear reaction.

  17. Photoreceptor cells display a daily rhythm in the orphan receptor Esrrβ

    PubMed Central

    Kunst, Stefanie; Wolloscheck, Tanja; Grether, Markus; Trunsch, Patricia; Wolfrum, Uwe

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Nuclear orphan receptors are critical for the development and long-term survival of photoreceptor cells. In the present study, the expression of the nuclear orphan receptor Esrrβ—a transcriptional regulator of energy metabolism that protects rod photoreceptors from dystrophy—was tested under daily regulation in the retina and photoreceptor cells. Methods The daily transcript and protein amount profiles were recorded in preparations of the whole retina and microdissected photoreceptor cells using quantitative PCR (qPCR) and western blot analysis. Results Esrrβ displayed a daily rhythm with elevated values at night in the whole retina and enriched photoreceptor cells. Daily regulation of Esrrβ mRNA depended on light input but not on melatonin, and evoked a corresponding rhythm in the Esrrβ protein. Conclusions The data presented in this study indicate that daily regulation of Esrrβ in photoreceptor cells may contribute to their adaptation to 24-h changes in metabolic demands. PMID:25737630

  18. Imaging Ca2+ dynamics in cone photoreceptor axon terminals of the mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Manoj; Schubert, Timm; Baden, Tom; Wissinger, Bernd; Euler, Thomas; Paquet-Durand, Francois

    2015-05-06

    Retinal cone photoreceptors (cones) serve daylight vision and are the basis of color discrimination. They are subject to degeneration, often leading to blindness in many retinal diseases. Calcium (Ca(2+)), a key second messenger in photoreceptor signaling and metabolism, has been proposed to be indirectly linked with photoreceptor degeneration in various animal models. Systematically studying these aspects of cone physiology and pathophysiology has been hampered by the difficulties of electrically recording from these small cells, in particular in the mouse where the retina is dominated by rod photoreceptors. To circumvent this issue, we established a two-photon Ca(2+) imaging protocol using a transgenic mouse line that expresses the genetically encoded Ca(2+) biosensor TN-XL exclusively in cones and can be crossbred with mouse models for photoreceptor degeneration. The protocol described here involves preparing vertical sections ("slices") of retinas from mice and optical imaging of light stimulus-evoked changes in cone Ca(2+) level. The protocol also allows "in-slice measurement" of absolute Ca(2+) concentrations; as the recordings can be followed by calibration. This protocol enables studies into functional cone properties and is expected to contribute to the understanding of cone Ca(2+) signaling as well as the potential involvement of Ca(2+) in photoreceptor death and retinal degeneration.

  19. Bipolar Cell-Photoreceptor Connectivity in the Zebrafish (Danio rerio) Retina

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yong N.; Tsujimura, Taro; Kawamura, Shoji; Dowling, John E.

    2013-01-01

    Bipolar cells convey luminance, spatial and color information from photoreceptors to amacrine and ganglion cells. We studied the photoreceptor connectivity of 321 bipolar cells in the adult zebrafish retina. 1,1'-Dioctadecyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine perchlorate (DiI) was inserted into whole-mounted transgenic zebrafish retinas to label bipolar cells. The photoreceptors that connect to these DiI-labeled cells were identified by transgenic fluorescence or their positions relative to the fluorescent cones, as cones are arranged in a highly-ordered mosaic: rows of alternating blue- (B) and ultraviolet-sensitive (UV) single cones alternate with rows of red- (R) and green-sensitive (G) double cones. Rod terminals intersperse among cone terminals. As many as 18 connectivity subtypes were observed, 9 of which – G, GBUV, RG, RGB, RGBUV, RGRod, RGBRod, RGBUVRod and RRod bipolar cells – accounted for 96% of the population. Based on their axon terminal stratification, these bipolar cells could be further sub-divided into ON, OFF, and ON-OFF cells. The dendritic spread size, soma depth and size, and photoreceptor connections of the 308 bipolar cells within the 9 common connectivity subtypes were determined, and their dendritic tree morphologies and axonal stratification patterns compared. We found that bipolar cells with the same axonal stratification patterns could have heterogeneous photoreceptor connectivity whereas bipolar cells with the same dendritic tree morphology usually had the same photoreceptor connectivity, although their axons might stratify on different levels. PMID:22907678

  20. The dynamic range and domain-specific signals of intracellular calcium in photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Szikra, T; Krizaj, D

    2006-08-11

    Vertebrate photoreceptors consist of strictly delimited subcellular domains: the outer segment, ellipsoid, cell body and synaptic terminal, each hosting crucial cellular functions, including phototransduction, oxidative metabolism, gene expression and transmitter release. We used optical imaging to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics of Ca(2+) signaling in non-outer segment regions of rods and cones. Sustained depolarization, designed to emulate photoreceptor activation in the darkness, evoked a standing Ca(2+) gradient in tiger salamander photoreceptors with spatially-averaged intracellular Ca(2+) concentration within synaptic terminals of approximately 2 microM and lower (approximately 750 nM) intracellular calcium concentration in the ellipsoid. Measurements from axotomized cell bodies and isolated ellipsoids showed that Ca(2+) enters the two compartments via both local L-type Ca(2+) channels and diffusion. The results from optical imaging studies were supported by immunostaining analysis. L-type voltage-operated Ca(2+) channels and plasma membrane Ca(2+) ATPases were highly expressed in synaptic terminals with progressively lower expression levels in the cell body and ellipsoid. These results show photoreceptor Ca(2+) homeostasis is controlled in a region-specific manner by direct Ca(2+) entry and diffusion as well as Ca(2+) extrusion. Moreover, quantitative measurement of intracellular calcium concentration levels in different photoreceptor compartments indicates that the dynamic range of Ca(2+) signaling in photoreceptors is approximately 40-fold, from approximately 50 nM in the light to approximately 2 microM in darkness.

  1. THE DYNAMIC RANGE AND DOMAIN-SPECIFIC SIGNALS OF INTRACELLULAR CALCIUM IN PHOTORECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    SZIKRA, T.; KRIŽAJ, D.

    2007-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptors consist of strictly delimited subcellular domains: the outer segment, ellipsoid, cell body and synaptic terminal, each hosting crucial cellular functions, including phototransduction, oxidative metabolism, gene expression and transmitter release. We used optical imaging to explore the spatiotemporal dynamics of Ca2+ signaling in non-outer segment regions of rods and cones. Sustained depolarization, designed to emulate photoreceptor activation in the darkness, evoked a standing Ca2+ gradient in tiger salamander photoreceptors with spatially-averaged intracellular Ca2+ concentration within synaptic terminals of ∼2 μM and lower (∼750 nM) intracellular calcium concentration in the ellipsoid. Measurements from axotomized cell bodies and isolated ellipsoids showed that Ca2+ enters the two compartments via both local L-type Ca2+ channels and diffusion. The results from optical imaging studies were supported by immunostaining analysis. L-type voltage-operated Ca2+ channels and plasma membrane Ca2+ ATPases were highly expressed in synaptic terminals with progressively lower expression levels in the cell body and ellipsoid. These results show photoreceptor Ca2+ homeostasis is controlled in a region-specific manner by direct Ca2+ entry and diffusion as well as Ca2+ extrusion. Moreover, quantitative measurement of intracellular calcium concentration levels in different photoreceptor compartments indicates that the dynamic range of Ca2+ signaling in photoreceptors is approximately 40-fold, from ∼50 nM in the light to ∼2 μM in darkness. PMID:16682126

  2. Lateral diffusion of rhodopsin in photoreceptor membrane: a reappraisal

    PubMed Central

    Korenyak, Darya A.; Shukolyukov, Sergei A.; Zueva, Lidia V.

    2009-01-01

    Purpose In a series of works between 1972 and 1984, it was established that rhodopsin undergoes rotational and lateral Brownian motion in the plane of photoreceptor membrane. The concept of free movement of proteins of phototransduction cascade is an essential principle of the present scheme of vertebrate phototransduction. This has recently been challenged by findings that show that in certain conditions rhodopsin in the membrane may be dimeric and form extended areas of paracrystalline organization. Such organization seems incompatible with earlier data on free rhodopsin diffusion. Thus we decided to reinvestigate lateral diffusion of rhodopsin and products of its photolysis in photoreceptor membrane specifically looking for indications of possible oligomeric organization. Methods Diffusion exchange by rhodopsin and its photoproducts between bleached and unbleached halves of rod outer segment was traced using high-speed dichroic microspectrophotometer. Measurements were conducted on amphibian (frog, toad, and salamander) and gecko rods. Results We found that the curves that are supposed to reflect the process of diffusion equilibration of rhodopsin in nonuniformly bleached outer segment largely show production of long-lived bleaching intermediate, metarhodopsin III (Meta III). After experimental elimination of Meta III contribution, we observed rhodopsin equilibration time constant was threefold to tenfold longer than estimated previously. However, after proper correction for the geometry of rod discs, it translates into generally accepted value of diffusion constant of approximately 5×10−9 cm2 s−1. Yet, we found that there exists an immobile rhodopsin fraction whose size can vary from virtually zero to 100%, depending on poorly defined factors. Controls suggest that the formation of the immobile fraction is not due to fragmentation of rod outer segment discs but supposedly reflects oligomerization of rhodopsin. Conclusions Implications of the new findings

  3. The Influence of Photoreceptor Size and Distribution on Optical Sensitivity in the Eyes of Lanternfishes (Myctophidae)

    PubMed Central

    de Busserolles, Fanny; Fitzpatrick, John L.; Marshall, N. Justin; Collin, Shaun P.

    2014-01-01

    The mesopelagic zone of the deep-sea (200-1000 m) is characterised by exponentially diminishing levels of downwelling sunlight and by the predominance of bioluminescence emissions. The ability of mesopelagic organisms to detect and behaviourally react to downwelling sunlight and/or bioluminescence will depend on the visual task and ultimately on the eyes and their capacity for detecting low levels of illumination and intermittent point sources of bioluminescent light. In this study, we investigate the diversity of the visual system of the lanternfish (Myctophidae). We focus specifically on the photoreceptor cells by examining their size, arrangement, topographic distribution and contribution to optical sensitivity in 53 different species from 18 genera. We also examine the influence(s) of both phylogeny and ecology on these photoreceptor variables using phylogenetic comparative analyses in order to understand the constraints placed on the visual systems of this large group of mesopelagic fishes at the first stage of retinal processing. We report great diversity in the visual system of the Myctophidae at the level of the photoreceptors. Photoreceptor distribution reveals clear interspecific differences in visual specialisations (areas of high rod photoreceptor density), indicating potential interspecific differences in interactions with prey, predators and/or mates. A great diversity in photoreceptor design (length and diameter) and density is also present. Overall, the myctophid eye is very sensitive compared to other teleosts and each species seems to be specialised for the detection of a specific signal (downwelling light or bioluminescence), potentially reflecting different visual demands for survival. Phylogenetic comparative analyses highlight several relationships between photoreceptor characteristics and the ecological variables tested (depth distribution and luminous tissue patterns). Depth distribution at night was a significant factor in most of the

  4. A method for isolation of cone photoreceptors from adult zebrafish retinae.

    PubMed

    Glaviano, Antonino; Smith, Andrew J; Blanco, Alfonso; McLoughlin, Sarah; Cederlund, Maria L; Heffernan, Theresa; Sapetto-Rebow, Beata; Alvarez, Yolanda; Yin, Jun; Kennedy, Breandán N

    2016-11-07

    Cone photoreceptors are specialised sensory retinal neurons responsible for photopic vision, colour perception and visual acuity. Retinal degenerative diseases are a heterogeneous group of eye diseases in which the most severe vision loss typically arises from cone photoreceptor dysfunction or degeneration. Establishing a method to purify cone photoreceptors from retinal tissue can accelerate the identification of key molecular determinants that underlie cone photoreceptor development, survival and function. The work herein describes a new method to purify enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP)-labelled cone photoreceptors from adult retina of Tg(3.2gnat2:EGFP) zebrafish. Methods for dissecting adult zebrafish retinae, cell dissociation, cell sorting, RNA isolation and RNA quality control were optimised. The dissociation protocol, carried out with ~30 retinae from adult zebrafish, yielded approximately 6 × 10(6) cells. Flow cytometry cell sorting subsequently distinguished 1 × 10(6) EGFP(+) cells and 4 × 10(6) EGFP(-) cells. Electropherograms confirmed downstream isolation of high-quality RNA with RNA integrity number (RIN) >7.6 and RNA concentration >5.7 ng/µl obtained from both populations. Reverse Transcriptase-PCR confirmed that the EGFP-positive cell populations express known genetic markers of cone photoreceptors that were not expressed in the EGFP-negative cell population whereas a rod opsin amplicon was only detected in the EGFP-negative retinal cell population. This work describes a valuable adult zebrafish cone photoreceptor isolation methodology enabling future identification of cone photoreceptor-enriched genes, proteins and signalling networks responsible for their development, survival and function. In addition, this advancement facilitates the identification of novel candidate genes for inherited human blindness.

  5. Physiological studies of the interaction between opsin and chromophore in rod and cone visual pigments.

    PubMed

    Kefalov, Vladimir J; Cornwall, M Carter; Fain, Gordon L

    2010-01-01

    The visual pigment in vertebrate photoreceptors is a G protein-coupled receptor that consists of a protein, opsin, covalently attached to a chromophore, 11-cis-retinal. Activation of the visual pigment by light triggers a transduction cascade that produces experimentally measurable electrical responses in photoreceptors. The interactions between opsin and chromophore can be investigated with electrophysiologial recordings in intact amphibian and mouse rod and cone photoreceptor cells. Here we describe methods for substituting the native chromophore with various chromophore analogs to investigate how specific parts of the chromophore affect the signaling properties of the visual pigment and the function of photoreceptors. We also describe methods for genetically substituting the native rod opsin gene with cone opsins or with mutant rod opsins to investigate and compare their signaling properties. These methods are useful not only for understanding the relation between the properties of visual pigments and the function of photoreceptors but also for understanding the mechanisms by which mutations in rod opsin produce night blindness and other visual disorders.

  6. Retinal remodeling in inherited photoreceptor degenerations.

    PubMed

    Marc, Robert E; Jones, Bryan W

    2003-10-01

    Photoreceptor degenerations initiated in rods or the retinal pigmented epithelium usually evoke secondary cone death and sensory deafferentation of the surviving neural retina. In the mature central nervous system, deafferentation evokes atrophy and connective re-patterning. It has been assumed that the neural retina does not remodel, and that it is a passive survivor. Screening of advanced stages of human and rodent retinal degenerations with computational molecular phenotyping has exposed a prolonged period of aggressive negative remodeling in which neurons migrate along aberrant glial columns and seals, restructuring the adult neural retina (1). Many neurons die, but survivors rewire the remnant inner plexiform layer (IPL), forming thousands of novel ectopic microneuromas in the remnant inner nuclear layer (INL). Bipolar and amacrine cells engage in new circuits that are most likely corruptive. Remodeling in human and rodent retinas emerges regardless of the molecular defects that initially trigger retinal degenerations. Although remodeling may constrain therapeutic intervals for molecular, cellular, or bionic rescue, the exposure of intrinsic retinal remodeling by the removal of sensory control in retinal degenerations suggests that neuronal organization in the normal retina may be more plastic than previously believed.

  7. Retinal remodeling triggered by photoreceptor degenerations.

    PubMed

    Jones, Bryan W; Watt, Carl B; Frederick, Jeanne M; Baehr, Wolfgang; Chen, Ching-Kang; Levine, Edward M; Milam, Ann H; Lavail, Matthew M; Marc, Robert E

    2003-09-08

    Many photoreceptor degenerations initially affect rods, secondarily leading to cone death. It has long been assumed that the surviving neural retina is largely resistant to this sensory deafferentation. New evidence from fast retinal degenerations reveals that subtle plasticities in neuronal form and connectivity emerge early in disease. By screening mature natural, transgenic, and knockout retinal degeneration models with computational molecular phenotyping, we have found an extended late phase of negative remodeling that radically changes retinal structure. Three major transformations emerge: 1) Müller cell hypertrophy and elaboration of a distal glial seal between retina and the choroid/retinal pigmented epithelium; 2) apparent neuronal migration along glial surfaces to ectopic sites; and 3) rewiring through evolution of complex neurite fascicles, new synaptic foci in the remnant inner nuclear layer, and new connections throughout the retina. Although some neurons die, survivors express molecular signatures characteristic of normal bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cells. Remodeling in human and rodent retinas is independent of the initial molecular targets of retinal degenerations, including defects in the retinal pigmented epithelium, rhodopsin, or downstream phototransduction elements. Although remodeling may constrain therapeutic intervals for molecular, cellular, or bionic rescue, it suggests that the neural retina may be more plastic than previously believed.

  8. Large variation among photoreceptors as the basis of visual flexibility in the common backswimmer

    PubMed Central

    Immonen, Esa-Ville; Ignatova, Irina; Gislen, Anna; Warrant, Eric; Vähäsöyrinki, Mikko; Weckström, Matti; Frolov, Roman

    2014-01-01

    The common backswimmer, Notonecta glauca, uses vision by day and night for functions such as underwater prey animal capture and flight in search of new habitats. Although previous studies have identified some of the physiological mechanisms facilitating such flexibility in the animal's vision, neither the biophysics of Notonecta photoreceptors nor possible cellular adaptations are known. Here, we studied Notonecta photoreceptors using patch-clamp and intracellular recording methods. Photoreceptor size (approximated by capacitance) was positively correlated with absolute sensitivity and acceptance angles. Information rate measurements indicated that large and more sensitive photoreceptors performed better than small ones. Our results suggest that backswimmers are adapted for vision in both dim and well-illuminated environments by having open-rhabdom eyes with large intrinsic variation in absolute sensitivity among photoreceptors, exceeding those found in purely diurnal or nocturnal species. Both electrophysiology and microscopic analysis of retinal structure suggest two retinal subsystems: the largest peripheral photoreceptors provide vision in dim light and the smaller peripheral and central photoreceptors function primarily in sunlight, with light-dependent pigment screening further contributing to adaptation in this system by dynamically recruiting photoreceptors with varying sensitivity into the operational pool. PMID:25274359

  9. Large variation among photoreceptors as the basis of visual flexibility in the common backswimmer.

    PubMed

    Immonen, Esa-Ville; Ignatova, Irina; Gislen, Anna; Warrant, Eric; Vähäsöyrinki, Mikko; Weckström, Matti; Frolov, Roman

    2014-11-22

    The common backswimmer, Notonecta glauca, uses vision by day and night for functions such as underwater prey animal capture and flight in search of new habitats. Although previous studies have identified some of the physiological mechanisms facilitating such flexibility in the animal's vision, neither the biophysics of Notonecta photoreceptors nor possible cellular adaptations are known. Here, we studied Notonecta photoreceptors using patch-clamp and intracellular recording methods. Photoreceptor size (approximated by capacitance) was positively correlated with absolute sensitivity and acceptance angles. Information rate measurements indicated that large and more sensitive photoreceptors performed better than small ones. Our results suggest that backswimmers are adapted for vision in both dim and well-illuminated environments by having open-rhabdom eyes with large intrinsic variation in absolute sensitivity among photoreceptors, exceeding those found in purely diurnal or nocturnal species. Both electrophysiology and microscopic analysis of retinal structure suggest two retinal subsystems: the largest peripheral photoreceptors provide vision in dim light and the smaller peripheral and central photoreceptors function primarily in sunlight, with light-dependent pigment screening further contributing to adaptation in this system by dynamically recruiting photoreceptors with varying sensitivity into the operational pool.

  10. Molecular chaperones and photoreceptor function

    PubMed Central

    Kosmaoglou, Maria; Schwarz, Nele; Bett, John S.; Cheetham, Michael E.

    2008-01-01

    Molecular chaperones facilitate and regulate protein conformational change within cells. This encompasses many fundamental cellular processes: including the correct folding of nascent chains; protein transport and translocation; signal transduction and protein quality control. Chaperones are, therefore, important in several forms of human disease, including neurodegeneration. Within the retina, the highly specialized photoreceptor cell presents a fascinating paradigm to investigate the specialization of molecular chaperone function and reveals unique chaperone requirements essential to photoreceptor function. Mutations in several photoreceptor proteins lead to protein misfolding mediated neurodegeneration. The best characterized of these are mutations in the molecular light sensor, rhodopsin, which cause autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Rhodopsin biogenesis is likely to require chaperones, while rhodopsin misfolding involves molecular chaperones in quality control and the cellular response to protein aggregation. Furthermore, the specialization of components of the chaperone machinery to photoreceptor specific roles has been revealed by the identification of mutations in molecular chaperones that cause inherited retinal dysfunction and degeneration. These chaperones are involved in several important cellular pathways and further illuminate the essential and diverse roles of molecular chaperones. PMID:18490186

  11. Bleaching of mouse rods: microspectrophotometry and suction-electrode recording

    PubMed Central

    Nymark, S; Frederiksen, R; Woodruff, M L; Cornwall, M C; Fain, G L

    2012-01-01

    When a substantial fraction of rhodopsin in a rod photoreceptor is exposed to bright light, the rod is desensitized by a process known as bleaching adaptation. Experiments on isolated photoreceptors in amphibians have revealed many of the features of bleaching adaptation, but such experiments have not so far been possible in mammals. We now describe a method for making microspectrophotometric measurements of pigment concentration and suction-electrode recording of electrical responses over a wide range of bleaching exposures from isolated mouse rods or pieces of mouse retina. We show that if pigment is bleached at a low rate in the presence of bovine serum albumin (BSA), and intermediate photoproducts are allowed to decay, mouse rods are stably desensitized; subsequent treatment with exogenous 11-cis retinal results in pigment regeneration and substantial recovery of sensitivity to the dark-adapted value. Stably bleached wild-type (WT) rods show a decrease in circulating current and acceleration of the time course of decay, much as in steady background light; similar effects are seen in guanylyl cyclase-activating protein knockout (GCAPs−/−) rods, indicating that regulation of guanylyl cyclase is not necessary for at least a part of the adaptation produced by bleaching. Our experiments demonstrate that in mammalian rods, as in amphibian rods, steady-state desensitization after bleaching is produced by two components: (1) a reduction in the probability of photon absorption produced by a decrease in rhodopsin concentration; and (2) an equivalent background light whose intensity is proportional to the fraction of bleached pigment, and which adapts the rod like real background light. These two mechanisms together fully account for the ‘log-linear’ relationship in mammalian retina between sensitivity and per cent bleach, which can be measured in the steady state following exposure to bright light. Our methods will now make possible an examination of bleaching

  12. Protein and Signaling Networks in Vertebrate Photoreceptor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Karl-Wilhelm; Dell’Orco, Daniele

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptor cells are exquisite light detectors operating under very dim and bright illumination. The photoexcitation and adaptation machinery in photoreceptor cells consists of protein complexes that can form highly ordered supramolecular structures and control the homeostasis and mutual dependence of the secondary messengers cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and Ca2+. The visual pigment in rod photoreceptors, the G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin is organized in tracks of dimers thereby providing a signaling platform for the dynamic scaffolding of the G protein transducin. Illuminated rhodopsin is turned off by phosphorylation catalyzed by rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) under control of Ca2+-recoverin. The GRK1 protein complex partly assembles in lipid raft structures, where shutting off rhodopsin seems to be more effective. Re-synthesis of cGMP is another crucial step in the recovery of the photoresponse after illumination. It is catalyzed by membrane bound sensory guanylate cyclases (GCs) and is regulated by specific neuronal Ca2+-sensor proteins called guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs). At least one GC (ROS-GC1) was shown to be part of a multiprotein complex having strong interactions with the cytoskeleton and being controlled in a multimodal Ca2+-dependent fashion. The final target of the cGMP signaling cascade is a cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel that is a hetero-oligomeric protein located in the plasma membrane and interacting with accessory proteins in highly organized microdomains. We summarize results and interpretations of findings related to the inhomogeneous organization of signaling units in photoreceptor outer segments. PMID:26635520

  13. Bcl-xL-mediated remodeling of rod and cone synaptic mitochondria after postnatal lead exposure: Electron microscopy, tomography and oxygen consumption

    PubMed Central

    Perkins, Guy A.; Scott, Ray; Perez, Alex; Ellisman, Mark H.; Johnson, Jerry E.

    2012-01-01

    Purpose Postnatal lead exposure produces rod-selective and Bax-mediated apoptosis, decreased scotopic electroretinograms (ERGs), and scotopic and mesopic vision deficits in humans and/or experimental animals. Rod, but not cone, inner segment mitochondria were considered the primary site of action. However, photoreceptor synaptic mitochondria were not examined. Thus, our experiments investigated the structural and functional effects of environmentally relevant postnatal lead exposure on rod spherule and cone pedicle mitochondria and whether Bcl-xL overexpression provided neuroprotection. Methods C57BL/6N mice pups were exposed to lead only during lactation via dams drinking water containing lead acetate. The blood [Pb] at weaning was 20.6±4.7 µg/dl, which decreased to the control value by 2 months. To assess synaptic mitochondrial structural differences and vulnerability to lead exposure, wild-type and transgenic mice overexpressing Bcl-xL in photoreceptors were used. Electron microscopy, three-dimensional electron tomography, and retinal and photoreceptor synaptic terminal oxygen consumption (QO2) studies were conducted in adult control, Bcl-xL, lead, and Bcl-xL/lead mice. Results The spherule and pedicle mitochondria in lead-treated mice were swollen, and the cristae structure was markedly changed. In the lead-treated mice, the mitochondrial cristae surface area and volume (abundance: measure correlated with ATP (ATP) synthesis) were decreased in the spherules and increased in the pedicles. Pedicles also had an increased number of crista segments per volume. In the lead-treated mice, the number of segments/crista and fraction of cristae with multiple segments (branching) similarly increased in spherule and pedicle mitochondria. Lead-induced remodeling of spherule mitochondria produced smaller cristae with more branching, whereas pedicle mitochondria had larger cristae with more branching and increased crista junction (CJ) diameter. Lead decreased dark- and light

  14. Rod and cone visual pigments and phototransduction through pharmacological, genetic, and physiological approaches.

    PubMed

    Kefalov, Vladimir J

    2012-01-13

    Activation of the visual pigment by light in rod and cone photoreceptors initiates our visual perception. As a result, the signaling properties of visual pigments, consisting of a protein, opsin, and a chromophore, 11-cis-retinal, play a key role in shaping the light responses of photoreceptors. The combination of pharmacological, physiological, and genetic tools has been a powerful approach advancing our understanding of the interactions between opsin and chromophore and how they affect the function of visual pigments. The signaling properties of the visual pigments modulate many aspects of the function of rods and cones, producing their unique physiological properties.

  15. AAV Vectors for FRET-Based Analysis of Protein-Protein Interactions in Photoreceptor Outer Segments

    PubMed Central

    Becirovic, Elvir; Böhm, Sybille; Nguyen, Ong N. P.; Riedmayr, Lisa M.; Hammelmann, Verena; Schön, Christian; Butz, Elisabeth S.; Wahl-Schott, Christian; Biel, Martin; Michalakis, Stylianos

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a powerful method for the detection and quantification of stationary and dynamic protein-protein interactions. Technical limitations have hampered systematic in vivo FRET experiments to study protein-protein interactions in their native environment. Here, we describe a rapid and robust protocol that combines adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated in vivo delivery of genetically encoded FRET partners with ex vivo FRET measurements. The method was established on acutely isolated outer segments of murine rod and cone photoreceptors and relies on the high co-transduction efficiency of retinal photoreceptors by co-delivered AAV vectors. The procedure can be used for the systematic analysis of protein-protein interactions of wild type or mutant outer segment proteins in their native environment. Conclusively, our protocol can help to characterize the physiological and pathophysiological relevance of photoreceptor specific proteins and, in principle, should also be transferable to other cell types. PMID:27516733

  16. Ultrastructural diurnal changes of the retinal photoreceptors in the embryo of a viviparous teleost (Poecilia reticulata P.).

    PubMed

    Kunz, Y W; Ennis, S

    1983-10-01

    All diurnal changes studied - ellipsosome excepted - start at midgestation, following differentiation of photoreceptors and pigment-epithelium cells. These are: (1) shedding of the tips of the light-sensitive photoreceptor outer segments and subsequent phagocytosis by the pigment-epithelium; (2) retinomotor movements of pigment-epithelium processes, rods and cones; (3) changes of cone square-mosaics into row-mosaics at night. Newly-differentiated photoreceptors in the embryo are, therefore, already vulnerable to disruption of cyclical systems. Several inherited human retinal diseases, such as Retinitis pigmentosa, are thought not to affect differentiation of photoreceptors but their cyclical renewal pathways. The retina of the guppy-embryo is, therefore, a valuable model for such studies.

  17. Photoreceptors of Nrl -/- mice coexpress functional S- and M-cone opsins having distinct inactivation mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Nikonov, Sergei S; Daniele, Lauren L; Zhu, Xuemei; Craft, Cheryl M; Swaroop, Anand; Pugh, Edward N

    2005-03-01

    The retinas of mice null for the neural retina leucine zipper transcription factor (Nrl-/-) contain no rods but are populated instead with photoreceptors that on ultrastructural, histochemical, and molecular criteria appear cone like. To characterize these photoreceptors functionally, responses of single photoreceptors of Nrl-/- mice were recorded with suction pipettes at 35-37 degrees C and compared with the responses of rods of WT mice. Recordings were made either in the conventional manner, with the outer segment (OS) drawn into the pipette ("OS in"), or in a novel configuration with a portion of the inner segment drawn in ("OS out"). Nrl-/- photoreceptor responses recorded in the OS-out configuration were much faster than those of WT rods: for dim-flash responses tpeak = 91 ms vs. 215 ms; for saturating flashes, dominant recovery time constants, tau(D) = 110 ms vs. 240 ms, respectively. Nrl-/- photoreceptors in the OS-in configuration had reduced amplification, sensitivity, and slowed recovery kinetics, but the recording configuration had no effect on rod response properties, suggesting Nrl-/- outer segments to be more susceptible to damage. Functional coexpression of two cone pigments in a single mammalian photoreceptor was established for the first time; the responses of every Nrl-/- cell were driven by both the short-wave (S, lambda(max) approximately 360 nm) and the mid-wave (M, lambda(max) approximately 510 nm) mouse cone pigment; the apparent ratio of coexpressed M-pigment varied from 1:1 to 1:3,000 in a manner reflecting a dorso-ventral retinal position gradient. The role of the G-protein receptor kinase Grk1 in cone pigment inactivation was investigated in recordings from Nrl-/-/Grk1-/- photoreceptors. Dim-flash responses of cells driven by either the S- or the M-cone pigment were slowed 2.8-fold and 7.5-fold, respectively, in the absence of Grk1; the inactivation of the M-pigment response was much more seriously retarded. Thus, Grk1 is essential to

  18. Genetic Dissection of Dual Roles for the Transcription Factor six7 in Photoreceptor Development and Patterning in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Sotolongo-Lopez, Mailin; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Saade, Carole J.; Vera, Daniel L.; Fadool, James M.

    2016-01-01

    The visual system of a particular species is highly adapted to convey detailed ecological and behavioral information essential for survival. The consequences of structural mutations of opsins upon spectral sensitivity and environmental adaptation have been studied in great detail, but lacking is knowledge of the potential influence of alterations in gene regulatory networks upon the diversity of cone subtypes and the variation in the ratio of rods and cones observed in numerous diurnal and nocturnal species. Exploiting photoreceptor patterning in cone-dominated zebrafish, we uncovered two independent mechanisms by which the sine oculis homeobox homolog 7 (six7) regulates photoreceptor development. In a genetic screen, we isolated the lots-of-rods-junior (ljrp23ahub) mutation that resulted in an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in otherwise normal appearing larvae. Sequence analysis, genome editing using TALENs and knockdown strategies confirm ljrp23ahub as a hypomorphic allele of six7, a teleost orthologue of six3, with known roles in forebrain patterning and expression of opsins. Based on the lack of predicted protein-coding changes and a deletion of a conserved element upstream of the transcription start site, a cis-regulatory mutation is proposed as the basis of the reduced expression of six7 in ljrp23ahub. Comparison of the phenotypes of the hypomorphic and knock-out alleles provides evidence of two independent roles in photoreceptor development. EdU and PH3 labeling show that the increase in rod number is associated with extended mitosis of photoreceptor progenitors, and TUNEL suggests that the lack of green-sensitive cones is the result of cell death of the cone precursor. These data add six7 to the small but growing list of essential genes for specification and patterning of photoreceptors in non-mammalian vertebrates, and highlight alterations in transcriptional regulation as a potential source of photoreceptor variation across species

  19. Lazy eyes zebrafish mutation affects Müller glial cells, compromising photoreceptor function and causing partial blindness.

    PubMed

    Kainz, Pamela M; Adolph, Alan R; Wong, Kwoon Y; Dowling, John E

    2003-08-25

    A behavioral assay based on the optokinetic reflex was used to screen chemically mutagenized zebrafish larvae for deficits in visual function. A homozygous recessive mutation, lazy eyes (lze), was isolated based on the observation that 5-day postfertilization (dpf) mutants displayed weaker and less frequent eye movements than wild-type fish in response to moving stripes. Electroretinographic (ERG) recordings revealed that mutants had severely reduced a- and b-wave amplitudes relative to wild-type fish, indicating outer retinal dysfunction. Retinal lamination and cellular differentiation were normal in the lze retina; however, mutant photoreceptor cells had small outer segments and pyknotic nuclei were occasionally observed in the outer retina and the marginal zone of lze. Cone, rod, amacrine, bipolar, and Müller cell marker analyses indicated that the typical lze retina contained fewer rod photoreceptors and fewer Müller cells than wild-type fish at 5 dpf. At 3 dpf, however, mutant retinas had normal numbers of rod photoreceptors and Müller cells, suggesting that the initial differentiation of these cell types occurred normally. Rod photoreceptor histology was normal at this early stage, but Müller cells were often hypertrophied, suggesting that they were unhealthy. Constant light rearing of mutant animals accelerated the Müller cell degeneration, severely worsened the visual deficit, but had no obvious affect on the photoreceptors. When ERG responses and Müller cell degeneration from the same mutant animals were analyzed, the extent of the Müller cell loss matched closely the degree to which ERG responses were reduced. In summary, the lze gene appears to be required for Müller cell viability and normal visual function. The lze mutant may be a model for the study of the involvement of Müller cells in photoreceptor development and function. Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  20. Genetic Dissection of Dual Roles for the Transcription Factor six7 in Photoreceptor Development and Patterning in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sotolongo-Lopez, Mailin; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Saade, Carole J; Vera, Daniel L; Fadool, James M

    2016-04-01

    The visual system of a particular species is highly adapted to convey detailed ecological and behavioral information essential for survival. The consequences of structural mutations of opsins upon spectral sensitivity and environmental adaptation have been studied in great detail, but lacking is knowledge of the potential influence of alterations in gene regulatory networks upon the diversity of cone subtypes and the variation in the ratio of rods and cones observed in numerous diurnal and nocturnal species. Exploiting photoreceptor patterning in cone-dominated zebrafish, we uncovered two independent mechanisms by which the sine oculis homeobox homolog 7 (six7) regulates photoreceptor development. In a genetic screen, we isolated the lots-of-rods-junior (ljrp23ahub) mutation that resulted in an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in otherwise normal appearing larvae. Sequence analysis, genome editing using TALENs and knockdown strategies confirm ljrp23ahub as a hypomorphic allele of six7, a teleost orthologue of six3, with known roles in forebrain patterning and expression of opsins. Based on the lack of predicted protein-coding changes and a deletion of a conserved element upstream of the transcription start site, a cis-regulatory mutation is proposed as the basis of the reduced expression of six7 in ljrp23ahub. Comparison of the phenotypes of the hypomorphic and knock-out alleles provides evidence of two independent roles in photoreceptor development. EdU and PH3 labeling show that the increase in rod number is associated with extended mitosis of photoreceptor progenitors, and TUNEL suggests that the lack of green-sensitive cones is the result of cell death of the cone precursor. These data add six7 to the small but growing list of essential genes for specification and patterning of photoreceptors in non-mammalian vertebrates, and highlight alterations in transcriptional regulation as a potential source of photoreceptor variation across species.

  1. Sumoylation of bZIP transcription factor NRL modulates target gene expression during photoreceptor differentiation.

    PubMed

    Roger, Jerome E; Nellissery, Jacob; Kim, Douglas S; Swaroop, Anand

    2010-08-13

    Development of rod photoreceptors in the mammalian retina is critically dependent on the basic motif-leucine zipper transcription factor NRL (neural retina leucine zipper). In the absence of NRL, photoreceptor precursors in mouse retina produce only cones that primarily express S-opsin. Conversely, ectopic expression of NRL in post-mitotic precursors leads to a rod-only retina. To explore the role of signaling molecules in modulating NRL function, we identified putative sites of post-translational modification in the NRL protein by in silico analysis. Here, we demonstrate the sumoylation of NRL in vivo and in vitro, with two small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) molecules attached to the Lys-20 residue. NRL-K20R and NRL-K20R/K24R sumoylation mutants show reduced transcriptional activation of Nr2e3 and rhodopsin promoters (two direct targets of NRL) in reporter assays when compared with wild-type NRL. Consistent with this, in vivo electroporation of the NRL-K20R/K24R mutant into newborn Nrl(-/-) mouse retina leads to reduced Nr2e3 activation and only a partial rescue of the Nrl(-/-) phenotype in contrast to the wild-type NRL that is able to convert cones to rod photoreceptors. Although PIAS3 (protein inhibitor of activated STAT3), an E3-SUMO ligase implicated in photoreceptor differentiation, can be immunoprecipitated with NRL, there appears to be redundancy in E3 ligases, and PIAS3 does not seem to be essential for NRL sumoylation. Our studies suggest an important role of sumoylation in fine-tuning the activity of NRL and thereby incorporating yet another layer of control in gene regulatory networks involved in photoreceptor development and homeostasis.

  2. Sumoylation of bZIP Transcription Factor NRL Modulates Target Gene Expression during Photoreceptor Differentiation*

    PubMed Central

    Roger, Jerome E.; Nellissery, Jacob; Kim, Douglas S.; Swaroop, Anand

    2010-01-01

    Development of rod photoreceptors in the mammalian retina is critically dependent on the basic motif-leucine zipper transcription factor NRL (neural retina leucine zipper). In the absence of NRL, photoreceptor precursors in mouse retina produce only cones that primarily express S-opsin. Conversely, ectopic expression of NRL in post-mitotic precursors leads to a rod-only retina. To explore the role of signaling molecules in modulating NRL function, we identified putative sites of post-translational modification in the NRL protein by in silico analysis. Here, we demonstrate the sumoylation of NRL in vivo and in vitro, with two small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) molecules attached to the Lys-20 residue. NRL-K20R and NRL-K20R/K24R sumoylation mutants show reduced transcriptional activation of Nr2e3 and rhodopsin promoters (two direct targets of NRL) in reporter assays when compared with wild-type NRL. Consistent with this, in vivo electroporation of the NRL-K20R/K24R mutant into newborn Nrl−/− mouse retina leads to reduced Nr2e3 activation and only a partial rescue of the Nrl−/− phenotype in contrast to the wild-type NRL that is able to convert cones to rod photoreceptors. Although PIAS3 (protein inhibitor of activated STAT3), an E3-SUMO ligase implicated in photoreceptor differentiation, can be immunoprecipitated with NRL, there appears to be redundancy in E3 ligases, and PIAS3 does not seem to be essential for NRL sumoylation. Our studies suggest an important role of sumoylation in fine-tuning the activity of NRL and thereby incorporating yet another layer of control in gene regulatory networks involved in photoreceptor development and homeostasis. PMID:20551322

  3. Retinoic Acid Protects and Rescues the Development of Zebrafish Embryonic Retinal Photoreceptor Cells from Exposure to Paclobutrazol

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wen-Der; Hsu, Hwei-Jan; Li, Yi-Fang; Wu, Chang-Yi

    2017-01-01

    Paclobutrazol (PBZ) is a widely used fungicide that shows toxicity to aquatic embryos, probably through rain-wash. Here, we specifically focus on its toxic effect on eye development in zebrafish, as well as the role of retinoic acid (RA), a metabolite of vitamin A that controls proliferation and differentiation of retinal photoreceptor cells, in this toxicity. Embryos were exposed to PBZ with or without RA from 2 to 72 h post-fertilization (hpf), and PBZ-treated embryos (2–72 hpf) were exposed to RA for additional hours until 120 hpf. Eye size and histology were examined. Expression levels of gnat1 (rod photoreceptor marker), gnat2 (cone photoreceptor marker), aldehyde dehydrogenases (encoding key enzymes for RA synthesis), and phospho-histone H3 (an M-phase marker) in the eyes of control and treated embryos were examined. PBZ exposure dramatically reduces photoreceptor proliferation, thus resulting in a thinning of the photoreceptor cell layer and leading to a small eye. Co-treatment of PBZ with RA, or post-treatment of PBZ-treated embryos with RA, partially rescues photoreceptor cells, revealed by expression levels of marker proteins and by retinal cell proliferation. PBZ has strong embryonic toxicity to retinal photoreceptors, probably via suppressing the production of RA, with effects including impaired retinal cell division. PMID:28085063

  4. Photoreceptor precursors derived from three-dimensional embryonic stem cell cultures integrate and mature within adult degenerate retina.

    PubMed

    Gonzalez-Cordero, Anai; West, Emma L; Pearson, Rachael A; Duran, Yanai; Carvalho, Livia S; Chu, Colin J; Naeem, Arifa; Blackford, Samuel J I; Georgiadis, Anastasios; Lakowski, Jorn; Hubank, Mike; Smith, Alexander J; Bainbridge, James W B; Sowden, Jane C; Ali, Robin R

    2013-08-01

    Irreversible blindness caused by loss of photoreceptors may be amenable to cell therapy. We previously demonstrated retinal repair and restoration of vision through transplantation of photoreceptor precursors obtained from postnatal retinas into visually impaired adult mice. Considerable progress has been made in differentiating embryonic stem cells (ESCs) in vitro toward photoreceptor lineages. However, the capability of ESC-derived photoreceptors to integrate after transplantation has not been demonstrated unequivocally. Here, to isolate photoreceptor precursors fit for transplantation, we adapted a recently reported three-dimensional (3D) differentiation protocol that generates neuroretina from mouse ESCs. We show that rod precursors derived by this protocol and selected via a GFP reporter under the control of a Rhodopsin promoter integrate within degenerate retinas of adult mice and mature into outer segment-bearing photoreceptors. Notably, ESC-derived precursors at a developmental stage similar to postnatal days 4-8 integrate more efficiently compared with cells at other stages. This study shows conclusively that ESCs can provide a source of photoreceptors for retinal cell transplantation.

  5. Retinal photoreceptor fine structure in the great blue heron (Ardea herodias).

    PubMed

    Braekevelt, C R

    1994-09-01

    The morphology of the retinal photoreceptors of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) has been investigated by light and electron microscopy. They consist of rods, single cones and double (unequal) cones present in a ratio of about 2:1:1 respectively. The rods are slender elongated cells with outer segments that reach to the retinal epithelial (RPE) cells and are surrounded by pigment-rich apical processes of the RPE cells in the light-adapted state. The rod inner segment displays an ellipsoid of mitochondria, an hyperboloid of glycogen, much rough ER, numerous polysomes, Golgi zones and autophagic vacuoles. The rod nucleus is located deep in the outer nuclear layer and the rod synaptic pedicle displays both invaginated and superficial synaptic sites. Single cones display a slightly tapered outer segment, a large electron lucent oil droplet and an ellipsoid of mitochondria in the apex of the inner segment. Double cones consist of a long thin chief member which shows an electron dense oil droplet and a shorter, stouter accessory cone with no oil droplet but a paraboloid of glycogen below the ellipsoid. As in the single cone, polysomes, RER and Golgi zones are present in the myoid region of both members of the double cone. All photoreceptor types have a connecting cilium joining inner and outer segments. Near the external limiting membrane, the chief and accessory cones show intercellular junctions. All cone photoreceptors are relatively small in diameter and hence tightly packed. While rods are felt to undergo retinomotor movements, cones are felt to move minimally or not at all. Both single and double cones display several invaginated (ribbon) synapses as well as numerous superficial (conventional) synaptic sites.

  6. Rod examination gauge

    SciTech Connect

    Bacvinskas, W.S.; Bayer, J.E.; Davis, W.W.; Fodor, G.; Kikta, T.J.; Matchett, R.L.; Nilsen, R.J.; Wilczynski, R.

    1991-12-31

    The present invention is directed to a semi-automatic rod examination gauge for performing a large number of exacting measurements on radioactive fuel rods. The rod examination gauge performs various measurements underwater with remote controlled machinery of high reliability. The rod examination gauge includes instruments and a closed circuit television camera for measuring fuel rod length, free hanging bow measurement, diameter measurement, oxide thickness measurement, cladding defect examination, rod ovality measurement, wear mark depth and volume measurement, as well as visual examination. A control system is provided including a programmable logic controller and a computer for providing a programmed sequence of operations for the rod examination and collection of data.

  7. Ectopic Expression of a Microbial-Type Rhodopsin Restores Visual Responses in Mice with Photoreceptor Degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Bi, Anding; Cui, Jinjuan; Ma, Yu-Ping; Olshevskaya, Elena; Pu, Mingliang; Dizhoor, Alexander M.; Pan, Zhuo-Hua

    2006-01-01

    Summary The death of photoreceptor cells caused by retinal degenerative diseases often results in a complete loss of retinal responses to light. We explore the feasibility of converting inner retinal neurons to photosensitive cells as a possible strategy for imparting light sensitivity to retinas lacking rods and cones. Using delivery by an adeno-associated viral vector, here, we show that long-term expression of a microbial-type rhodopsin, channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), can be achieved in rodent inner retinal neurons in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrate that expression of ChR2 in surviving inner retinal neurons of a mouse with photoreceptor degeneration can restore the ability of the retina to encode light signals and transmit the light signals to the visual cortex. Thus, expression of microbial-type channelrhodopsins, such as ChR2, in surviving inner retinal neurons is a potential strategy for the restoration of vision after rod and cone degeneration. PMID:16600853

  8. Estimating photoreceptor excitations from spectral outputs of a personal light exposure measurement device.

    PubMed

    Cao, Dingcai; Barrionuevo, Pablo A

    2015-03-01

    The intrinsic circadian clock requires photoentrainment to synchronize the 24-hour solar day. Therefore, light stimulation is an important component of chronobiological research. Currently, the chronobiological research field overwhelmingly uses photopic illuminance that is based on the luminous efficiency function, V(λ), to quantify light levels. However, recent discovery of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which are activated by self-contained melanopsin photopigment and also by inputs from rods and cones, makes light specification using a one-dimensional unit inadequate. Since the current understanding of how different photoreceptor inputs contribute to the circadian system through ipRGCs is limited, it is recommended to specify light in terms of the excitations of five photoreceptors (S-, M-, L-cones, rods and ipRGCs; Lucas et al., 2014). In the current study, we assessed whether the spectral outputs from a commercially available spectral watch (i.e. Actiwatch Spectrum) could be used to estimate photoreceptor excitations. Based on the color sensor spectral sensitivity functions from a previously published work, as well as from our measurements, we computed spectral outputs in the long-wavelength range (R), middle-wavelength range (G), short-wavelength range (B) and broadband range (W) under 52 CIE illuminants (25 daylight illuminants, 27 fluorescent lights). We also computed the photoreceptor excitations for each illuminant using human photoreceptor spectral sensitivity functions. Linear regression analyses indicated that the Actiwatch spectral outputs could predict photoreceptor excitations reliably, under the assumption of linear responses of the Actiwatch color sensors. In addition, R, G, B outputs could classify illuminant types (fluorescent versus daylight illuminants) satisfactorily. However, the assessment of actual Actiwatch recording under several testing light sources showed that the spectral outputs were subject to

  9. Ionic aspects of excitation in rod outer segments.

    PubMed

    Hagins, W A; Robinson, W E; Yoshikami, S

    1975-01-01

    The current status of the problem of ionic mechanisms underlying excitation of vertebrate photoreceptors is reviewed. Evidence is presented that the ionic dark current of retinal rods is sustained by the action of a ouabain-sensitive Na-K exchange pump driven by oxidative metabolism. The photoreceptors are depleted of K when the pump is stopped by ouabain. Considerations of cell membrane topology, kinetics of the light response, and signal amplification indicate that the light-induced suppression of the ionic dark current is mediated by a diffusible internal chemical transmitter substance. The desensitizing effect of low CA2+ Ringer's on the light responses of vertebrate rods, along with other indirect evidence, suggests that the transmitter substance may be calcium ions released from the internal membranous disks of the outer segments.

  10. Human cone visual pigment deletions spare sufficient photoreceptors to warrant gene therapy.

    PubMed

    Cideciyan, Artur V; Hufnagel, Robert B; Carroll, Joseph; Sumaroka, Alexander; Luo, Xunda; Schwartz, Sharon B; Dubra, Alfredo; Land, Megan; Michaelides, Michel; Gardner, Jessica C; Hardcastle, Alison J; Moore, Anthony T; Sisk, Robert A; Ahmed, Zubair M; Kohl, Susanne; Wissinger, Bernd; Jacobson, Samuel G

    2013-12-01

    Human X-linked blue-cone monochromacy (BCM), a disabling congenital visual disorder of cone photoreceptors, is a candidate disease for gene augmentation therapy. BCM is caused by either mutations in the red (OPN1LW) and green (OPN1MW) cone photoreceptor opsin gene array or large deletions encompassing portions of the gene array and upstream regulatory sequences that would predict a lack of red or green opsin expression. The fate of opsin-deficient cone cells is unknown. We know that rod opsin null mutant mice show rapid postnatal death of rod photoreceptors. Using in vivo histology with high-resolution retinal imaging, we studied a cohort of 20 BCM patients (age range 5-58) with large deletions in the red/green opsin gene array. Already in the first years of life, retinal structure was not normal: there was partial loss of photoreceptors across the central retina. Remaining cone cells had detectable outer segments that were abnormally shortened. Adaptive optics imaging confirmed the existence of inner segments at a spatial density greater than that expected for the residual blue cones. The evidence indicates that human cones in patients with deletions in the red/green opsin gene array can survive in reduced numbers with limited outer segment material, suggesting potential value of gene therapy for BCM.

  11. Retinoid requirements for recovery of sensitivity after visual-pigment bleaching in isolated photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Jones, G J; Crouch, R K; Wiggert, B; Cornwall, M C; Chader, G J

    1989-01-01

    After visual-pigment bleaching, single isolated rod photoreceptors of Ambystoma tigrinum recover their sensitivity to light when supplied with 11-cis-retinal from liposomes or with 11-cis-retinal bound to interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein. Bleached rods do not recover sensitivity, or do so only very slowly, after exposure to 11-cis-retinol. The latter retinoid is "toxic" in that rods actually lose sensitivity in its presence. In contrast, bleached isolated cone cells recover sensitivity when either retinoid is supplied. It is suggested that the major pathway for rhodopsin regeneration during dark adaptation in the intact eye is transport of 11-cis-retinal from the pigment epithelium to the retina. The results also suggest that there may be separate pathways for visual-pigment regeneration in rods and cones during dark adaptation. PMID:2594788

  12. FUEL ROD ASSEMBLY

    DOEpatents

    Hutter, E.

    1959-09-01

    A cluster of nuclear fuel rods aod a tubular casing through which a coolant flows in heat-change contact with the ruel rods are described. The casting is of trefoil section and carries the fuel rods, each of which has two fin engaging the serrated fins of the other two fuel rods, whereby the fuel rods are held in the casing and are interlocked against relative longitudinal movement.

  13. Tamoxifen Provides Structural and Functional Rescue in Murine Models of Photoreceptor Degeneration.

    PubMed

    Wang, Xu; Zhao, Lian; Zhang, Yikui; Ma, Wenxin; Gonzalez, Shaimar R; Fan, Jianguo; Kretschmer, Friedrich; Badea, Tudor C; Qian, Hao-Hua; Wong, Wai T

    2017-03-22

    Photoreceptor degeneration is a cause of irreversible vision loss in incurable blinding retinal diseases including retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and atrophic age-related macular degeneration. We found in two separate mouse models of photoreceptor degeneration that tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator and a drug previously linked with retinal toxicity, paradoxically provided potent neuroprotective effects. In a light-induced degeneration model, tamoxifen prevented onset of photoreceptor apoptosis and atrophy and maintained near-normal levels of electroretinographic responses. Rescue effects were correlated with decreased microglial activation and inflammatory cytokine production in the retina in vivo and a reduction of microglia-mediated toxicity to photoreceptors in vitro, indicating a microglia-mediated mechanism of rescue. Tamoxifen also rescued degeneration in a genetic (Pde6b(rd10)) model of RP, significantly improving retinal structure, electrophysiological responses, and visual behavior. These prominent neuroprotective effects warrant the consideration of tamoxifen as a drug suitable for being repurposed to treat photoreceptor degenerative disease.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Photoreceptor degeneration is a cause of irreversible blindness in a number of retinal diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and atrophic age-related macular degeneration. Tamoxifen, a selective estrogen receptor modulator approved for the treatment of breast cancer and previously linked to a low incidence of retinal toxicity, was unexpectedly found to exert marked protective effects against photoreceptor degeneration. Structural and functional protective effects were found for an acute model of light-induced photoreceptor injury and for a genetic model for RP. The mechanism of protection involved the modulation of microglial activation and the production of inflammatory cytokines, highlighting the role of inflammatory mechanisms in photoreceptor degeneration. Tamoxifen may be

  14. Dendrites of rod bipolar cells sprout in normal aging retina.

    PubMed

    Liets, Lauren C; Eliasieh, Kasra; van der List, Deborah A; Chalupa, Leo M

    2006-08-08

    The aging nervous system is known to manifest a variety of degenerative and regressive events. Here we report the unexpected growth of dendrites in the retinas of normal old mice. The dendrites of many rod bipolar cells in aging mice were observed to extend well beyond their normal strata within the outer plexiform layer to innervate the outer nuclear layer where they appeared to form contacts with the spherules of rod photoreceptors. Such dendritic sprouting increased with age and was evident at all retinal eccentricities. These results provide evidence of retinal plasticity associated with normal aging.

  15. Efficacy and selectivity of phosphodiesterase-targeted drugs to inhibit photoreceptor phosphodiesterase (PDE6) in retinal photoreceptors*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiujun; Feng, Qing; Cote, Rick H.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors are important therapeutic agents, but their effects on photoreceptor PDE (PDE6) and photoreceptor cells are poorly understood. We characterized the potency and selectivity of various classes of PDE inhibitors on purified rod and cone PDE6 and on intact rod outer segments (ROS). Methods: The inhibition constant (KI) of isozyme-selective PDE inhibitors was determined for purified rod and cone PDE6. Perturbations of cGMP levels in isolated ROS suspensions by PDE inhibitors were quantitated by a cGMP enzyme-linked immunoassay. Results: Most PDE5-selective inhibitors are excellent PDE6 inhibitors. Vardenafil, a potent PDE5 inhibitor (KI = 0.2 nM), is the most potent PDE6 inhibitor tested (KI = 0.7 nM). Zaprinast is the only drug that inhibits PDE6 more potently than PDE5. PDE1-selective inhibitors were equally effective in inhibiting PDE6. In intact ROS, PDE inhibitors elevated cGMP levels but none fully inhibited PDE6. Their potency to elevate cGMP levels in ROS was much lower than their ability to inhibit the purified enzyme. Competition between PDE5/6-selective drugs and the inhibitory γ subunit for the active site of PDE6 is proposed to reduce the effectiveness of drugs at the enzyme active site. Conclusions: Several classes of PDE inhibitors equally well inhibit PDE6 as the PDE family to which they are targeted. In intact ROS, high PDE6 concentrations, binding of the γ subunit to the active site, and calcium feedback mechanisms attenuate the effectiveness of PDE inhibitors to inhibit PDE6 and disrupt the cGMP signaling pathway during visual transduction. PMID:16123402

  16. Rhodopsin molecular contrast imaging by optical coherence tomography for functional assessment of photoreceptors (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nafra, Zahra; Liu, Tan; Jiao, Shuliang

    2016-03-01

    Rhodopsin, the light-sensing molecule in the outer segments of rod photoreceptors, is responsible for converting light into neuronal signals in a process known as phototransduction. Rhodopsin is thus a functional biomarker for rod photoreceptors. We developed a novel technology based on visible-light optical coherence tomography (VIS-OCT) for in vivo molecular imaging of rhodopsin. The depth resolution of OCT allows the visualization of the location where the change of optical absorption occurs and provides a potentially accurate assessment of rhodopsin content by segmentation of the image at the location. A broadband supercontinuum laser, whose filtered output was centered at 520 nm, was used as the illuminating light source. To test the capabilities of the system on rhodopsin mapping we imaged the retina of albino rats. The rats were dark adapted before imaging. An integrated near infrared OCT was used to guide the alignment in dark. VIS-OCT three-dimensional images were then acquired under dark- and light- adapted states sequentially. Rhodopsin distribution was calculated from the differential image. The rhodopsin distributions can be displayed in both en face view and depth-resolved cross-sectional image. Rhodopsin OCT can be used to quantitatively image rhodopsin distribution and thus assess the distribution of functional rod photoreceptors in the retina. Rhodopsin OCT can bring significant impact into ophthalmic clinics by providing a tool for the diagnosis and severity assessment of a variety of retinal conditions.

  17. Taurine deficiency damages retinal neurones: cone photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells.

    PubMed

    Gaucher, David; Arnault, Emilie; Husson, Zoé; Froger, Nicolas; Dubus, Elisabeth; Gondouin, Pauline; Dherbécourt, Diane; Degardin, Julie; Simonutti, Manuel; Fouquet, Stéphane; Benahmed, M A; Elbayed, K; Namer, Izzie-Jacques; Massin, Pascale; Sahel, José-Alain; Picaud, Serge

    2012-11-01

    In 1970s, taurine deficiency was reported to induce photoreceptor degeneration in cats and rats. Recently, we found that taurine deficiency contributes to the retinal toxicity of vigabatrin, an antiepileptic drug. However, in this toxicity, retinal ganglion cells were degenerating in parallel to cone photoreceptors. The aim of this study was to re-assess a classic mouse model of taurine deficiency following a treatment with guanidoethane sulfonate (GES), a taurine transporter inhibitor to determine whether retinal ganglion cells are also affected. GES treatment induced a significant reduction in the taurine plasma levels and a lower weight increase. At the functional level, photopic electroretinograms were reduced indicating a dysfunction in the cone pathway. A change in the autofluorescence appearance of the eye fundus was explained on histological sections by an increased autofluorescence of the retinal pigment epithelium. Although the general morphology of the retina was not affected, cell damages were indicated by the general increase in glial fibrillary acidic protein expression. When cell quantification was achieved on retinal sections, the number of outer/inner segments of cone photoreceptors was reduced (20 %) as the number of retinal ganglion cells (19 %). An abnormal synaptic plasticity of rod bipolar cell dendrites was also observed in GES-treated mice. These results indicate that taurine deficiency can not only lead to photoreceptor degeneration but also to retinal ganglion cell loss. Cone photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells appear as the most sensitive cells to taurine deficiency. These results may explain the recent therapeutic interest of taurine in retinal degenerative pathologies.

  18. The locations of mitochondria in mammalian photoreceptors: relation to retinal vasculature.

    PubMed

    Stone, Jonathan; van Driel, Diana; Valter, Krisztina; Rees, Sandra; Provis, Jan

    2008-01-16

    Adult mammalian photoreceptors are elongated cells, and their mitochondria are sequestered to the ends of the cell, to the inner segments and (in some species) to axon terminals in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). We hypothesised that mitochondria migrate to these locations towards sources of oxygen, from the choroid and (in some species) from the deep capillaries of the retinal circulation. Six mammalian species were surveyed, using electron and light microscopy, including immunohistochemistry for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase (CO). In all 6 species, mitochondria were absent from photoreceptor somas and were numerous in inner segments. Mitochondria were prominent in axon terminals in 3 species (mouse, rat, human) with a retinal circulation and were absent from those terminals in 3 species (wallaby, rat, guinea pig) with avascular retinas. Further, in a human developmental series, it was evident that mitochondria migrate within rods and cones, towards and eventually past the outer limiting membrane (OLM), into the inner segment. In Müller and RPE cells also, mitochondria concentrated at the external surface of the cells. Neurones located in the inner layers of avascular retinas have mitochondria, but their expression of CO is low. Mitochondrial locations in photoreceptors, Müller and RPE cells are economically explained as the result of migration within the cell towards sources of oxygen. In photoreceptors, this migration results in a separation of mitochondria from the nuclear genome; this separation may be a factor in the vulnerability of photoreceptors to mutations, toxins and environmental stresses, which other retinal neurones survive.

  19. Horizontal cells expressing melanopsin x are novel photoreceptors in the avian inner retina

    PubMed Central

    Morera, Luis P.; Díaz, Nicolás M.; Guido, Mario E.

    2016-01-01

    In the vertebrate retina, three types of photoreceptors—visual photoreceptor cones and rods and the intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs)—converged through evolution to detect light and regulate image- and nonimage-forming activities such as photic entrainment of circadian rhythms, pupillary light reflexes, etc. ipRGCs express the nonvisual photopigment melanopsin (OPN4), encoded by two genes: the Xenopus (Opn4x) and mammalian (Opn4m) orthologs. In the chicken retina, both OPN4 proteins are found in ipRGCs, and Opn4x is also present in retinal horizontal cells (HCs), which connect with visual photoreceptors. Here we investigate the intrinsic photosensitivity and functioning of HCs from primary cultures of embryonic retinas at day 15 by using calcium fluorescent fluo4 imaging, pharmacological inhibitory treatments, and Opn4x knockdown. Results show that HCs are avian photoreceptors with a retinal-based OPN4X photopigment conferring intrinsic photosensitivity. Light responses in HCs appear to be driven through an ancient type of phototransduction cascade similar to that in rhabdomeric photoreceptors involving a G-protein q, the activation of phospholipase C, calcium mobilization, and the release of the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. Based on their intrinsic photosensitivity, HCs may have a key dual function in the retina of vertebrates, potentially regulating nonvisual tasks together with their sister cells, ipRGCs, and with visual photoreceptors, modulating lateral interactions and retinal processing. PMID:27789727

  20. Light Adaptation in the Ventral Photoreceptor of Limulus

    PubMed Central

    Srebro, Richard; Behbehani, Michael

    1974-01-01

    Light adaptation in both the ventral photoreceptor and the lateral eye photoreceptor is a complex process consisting of at least two phases. One phase, which we call the rapid phase of adaptation, occurs whenever there is temporal overlap of the discrete waves that compose a light response. The recovery from the rapid phase of adaptation follows an exponential time-course with a time constant of approximately 75 ms at 21°C. The rapid phase of adaptation occurs at light intensities barely above discrete wave threshold as well as at substantially higher light intensities with the same recovery time-course at all intensities. It occurs in voltage-clamped and unclamped photoreceptors. The kinetics of the rapid phase of adaptation is closely correlated to the photocurrent which appears to initiate it after a short delay. The rapid phase of adaptation is probably identical to what is called the "adapting bump" process. At light intensities greater than about 10 times discrete wave threshold another phase of light adaptation occurs. It develops slowly over a period of ½ s or so, and decays even more slowly over a period of several seconds. It is graded with light intensity and occurs in both voltage-clamped and unclamped photoreceptors. We call this the slow phase of light adaptation. PMID:4846765

  1. Sp4 is expressed in retinal neurons, activates transcription of photoreceptor-specific genes, and synergizes with Crx.

    PubMed

    Lerner, Leonid E; Peng, Guang-Hua; Gribanova, Yekaterina E; Chen, Shiming; Farber, Debora B

    2005-05-27

    To investigate the molecular mechanisms of photoreceptor-specific gene transcription, we examined the role of the neuronal-enriched Sp4 nuclear protein in transcription from the rod-specific beta-PDE and rod opsin gene promoters and compared it to the ubiquitous members of the Sp family, Sp1 and Sp3. Sp4 activates both the rod opsin and beta-PDE promoters, whereas Sp1 activates only the rod opsin promoter and Sp3 activates neither promoter. Interestingly, Sp1 and Sp3 competitively repress Sp4-mediated activation of the beta-PDE promoter. In addition, Sp4, Sp1, and Sp3 each show functional synergy with the photoreceptor-enriched Crx transcriptional regulator on the rod opsin promoter but not the beta-PDE promoter, although Sp4-mediated activation was the most significant. Sp4, Sp1, and Sp3 bind Crx in co-immunoprecipitation experiments, and their zinc finger domains as well as the Crx homedomain are necessary and sufficient for these interactions. Chromatin immunoprecipitation showed that the rod opsin and beta-PDE promoters are targets of both Sp4 and Crx, which further supports Sp4-Crx interactions in vivo in the context of retinal chromatin environment. In situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry demonstrated that Sp4 is abundantly expressed in various neurons of all retinal layers, and thus co-localizes or overlaps with multiple retina-restricted and -enriched genes, its putative targets. Our results indicate that photoreceptor-specific gene transcription is controlled by the combinatorial action of Sp4 and Crx. The other Sp family members may be involved in photoreceptor-specific transcription directly or through their competition with Sp4. These data suggest the potential importance of Sp4 in retinal neurobiology and pathology.

  2. [Photoreceptors and visual pigments in three species of newts].

    PubMed

    Koremiak, D A; Govardovskiĭ, V I

    2013-01-01

    Photoreceptor complement and retinal visual pigments in three newt (Caudata, Salamandridae, Pleurodelinae) species (Pleurodeles waltl, Lissotriton (Triturus) vulgaris and Cynops orientalis) were studied by light mucroscopy and microspectrophotometry. Retinas of all three species contain "red" (rhodopsin/porphyropsin) rods, large and small single cones, and double cones. Large single cones and both components of double cones contain red-sensitive (presumably LWS) visual pigment whose absorbance spectrum peaks between 593 and 611 nm. Small single cones are either blue- (SWS2, maximum absorbance between 470 and 489 nm) or UV-sensitive (SWS1, maximum absorbance between 340 and 359 nm). Chromophore composition of visual pigments (A1 vs. A2) was assessed both from template fitting of absorption spectra and by the method of selective bleaching. All pigments contained a mixture of A1 (11-cis retinal) and A2 (11-cis-3,4-dehydroretinal) chromophore in the proportion depending on the species and cell type. In all cases, A2 was dominant. However, in C. orientalis rods the fraction of A1 could reach 45%, while in P. waltl and L. vulgaris cones it did not exceed 5%. Remarkably, the absorbance of the newt blue-sensitive visual pigment was shifted by up to 45 nm toward the longer wavelength, as compared with all other amphibian SWS2-pigments. We found no "green" rods typical of retinas of Anura and some Caudata (ambystomas) in the three newt species studied.

  3. Insulinoma-associated 1a (Insm1a) is required for photoreceptor differentiation in the zebrafish retina

    PubMed Central

    Forbes-Osborne, Marie A.; Wilson, Stephen G.; Morris, Ann C.

    2013-01-01

    The zinc-finger transcription factor Insulinoma-associated 1 (Insm1, previously IA-1) is expressed in the developing nervous and neuroendocrine systems, and is required for cell type specific differentiation. Expression of Insm1 is largely absent in the adult, although it is present in neurogenic regions of the adult brain and zebrafish retina. While expression of Insm1 has also been observed in the embryonic retina of numerous vertebrate species, its function during retinal development has remained unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that in the developing zebrafish retina, insm1a is required for photoreceptor differentiation. Insm1a-deficient embryos were microphthalmic and displayed defects in rod and cone photoreceptor differentiation. Rod photoreceptor cells were more sensitive to loss of insm1a expression than were cone photoreceptor cells. Additionally, we provide evidence that insm1a regulates cell cycle progression of retinoblasts, and functions upstream of the bHLH transcription factors ath5/atoh7 and neurod, and the photoreceptor specification genes crx and nr2e3. Finally, we show that insm1a is negatively regulated by Notch-Delta signaling. Taken together, our data demonstrate that Insm1 influences neuronal subtype differentiation during retinal development. PMID:23747542

  4. STRUCTURAL ORGANIZATION AND FUNCTION OF MOUSE PHOTORECEPTOR RIBBON SYNAPSES INVOLVE THE IMMUNOGLOBULIN ADHESION PROTEIN SYNCAM 1

    PubMed Central

    Ribic, Adema; Liu, Xinran; Crair, Michael C.; Biederer, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    Adhesive interactions in the retina instruct the developmental specification of inner retinal layers. However, potential roles of adhesion in the development and function of photoreceptor synapses remain incompletely understood. This contrasts with our understanding of synapse development in the central nervous system (CNS), which can be guided by select adhesion molecules such as the Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecule 1 (SynCAM 1/CADM1/Nectin-like 2 protein). This immunoglobulin superfamily protein modulates the development and plasticity of classical excitatory synapses. We now show by immuno-electron microscopy and immunoblotting that SynCAM 1 is expressed on mouse rod photoreceptors and their terminals in the outer nuclear and plexiform layers (ONL and OPL) in a developmentally regulated manner. Expression of SynCAM 1 on rods is low in early postnatal stages (P3-P7), but increases after eye opening (P14). In support of functional roles in the photoreceptors, electroretinogram recordings demonstrate impaired responses to light stimulation in SynCAM 1 knockout (KO) mice. In addition, the structural integrity of synapses in the OPL requires SynCAM 1. Quantitative ultrastructural analysis of SynCAM 1 KO retina measured fewer fully assembled, triadic rod ribbon synapses. Further, rod synapse ribbons are shortened in KO mice and protein levels of Ribeye, a major structural component of ribbons, are reduced in SynCAM 1 KO retina. Together, our results implicate SynCAM 1 in the synaptic organization of the rod visual pathway and provide evidence for novel roles of synaptic adhesion in the structural and functional integrity of ribbon synapses. PMID:23982969

  5. Photoreceptor damage following exposure to excess riboflavin.

    PubMed

    Eckhert, C D; Hsu, M H; Pang, N

    1993-12-15

    Flavins generate oxidants during metabolism and when exposed to light. Here we report that the photoreceptor layer of retinas from black-eyed rats is reduced in size by a dietary regime containing excess riboflavin. The effect of excess riboflavin was dose-dependent and was manifested by a decrease in photoreceptor length. This decrease was due in part to a reduction in the thickness of the outer nuclear layer, a structure formed from stacked photoreceptor nuclei. These changes were accompanied by an increase in photoreceptor outer segment autofluorescence following illumination at 328 nm, a wavelength that corresponds to the excitation maxima of oxidized lipopigments of the retinal pigment epithelium.

  6. Quantification of photoreceptor layer thickness in different macular pathologies using ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drexler, Wolfgang; Hermann, Boris; Unterhuber, Angelika; Sattmann, Harald; Wirtitsch, Matthias; Stur, Michael; Scholda, Christoph; Ergun, Erdem; Anger, Elisabeth; Ko, Tony H.; Schubert, Christian; Ahnelt, Peter K.; Fujimoto, James G.; Fercher, Adolf F.

    2004-07-01

    In vivo ultrahigh resolution ophthalmic OCT has been performed in more than 300 eyes of 200 patients with several retinal pathologies, demonstrating unprecedented visualization of all major intraretinal layers, in particular the photoreceptor layer. Visualization as well as quantification of the inner and outer segment of the photoreceptor layer especially in the foveal region has been acvhieved. In normal subjects the photoreceptor layer thickness in the center of the fovea is about of 90 μm, approximately equally distributed to the inner and the outer photoreceptor segment. In the parafoveal region this thickness is reduced to ~50 μm (~30 μm for the inner and ~20 μm for the outer segment). This is in good agreement with well known increase of cone outer segments in the central foveal region. Photoreceptor layer impairment in different macular pathologies like macular hole, central serous chorioretinopathy, age related macular degeneration, foveomacular dystrophies, Stargardt dystrophy as well as retinitis pigmentosa has been investigated. Photoreceptor layer loss significantly correlated with visual acuity (R2 = 0.6, p < 0.001) and microperimetry findings for the first time in 22 eyes with Stargardt dystrophy. Visualization and quantification of photoreceptor inner and outer segment using ultrahigh resolution OCT has the potential to improve early ophthalmic diagnosis, contributes to a better understanding of pathogenesis of retinal diseases as well as might have impact in the development and monitoring of novel therapy approaches.

  7. Function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived photoreceptor progenitors in blind mice

    PubMed Central

    Barnea-Cramer, Alona O.; Wang, Wei; Lu, Shi-Jiang; Singh, Mandeep S.; Luo, Chenmei; Huo, Hongguang; McClements, Michelle E.; Barnard, Alun R.; MacLaren, Robert E.; Lanza, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Photoreceptor degeneration due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a primary cause of inherited retinal blindness. Photoreceptor cell-replacement may hold the potential for repair in a completely degenerate retina by reinstating light sensitive cells to form connections that relay information to downstream retinal layers. This study assessed the therapeutic potential of photoreceptor progenitors derived from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs and iPSCs) using a protocol that is suitable for future clinical trials. ESCs and iPSCs were cultured in four specific stages under defined conditions, resulting in generation of a near-homogeneous population of photoreceptor-like progenitors. Following transplantation into mice with end-stage retinal degeneration, these cells differentiated into photoreceptors and formed a cell layer connected with host retinal neurons. Visual function was partially restored in treated animals, as evidenced by two visual behavioral tests. Furthermore, the magnitude of functional improvement was positively correlated with the number of engrafted cells. Similar efficacy was observed using either ESCs or iPSCs as source material. These data validate the potential of human pluripotent stem cells for photoreceptor replacement therapies aimed at photoreceptor regeneration in retinal disease. PMID:27405580

  8. Characteristics of rod regeneration in a novel zebrafish retinal degeneration model using N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU).

    PubMed

    Tappeiner, Christoph; Balmer, Jasmin; Iglicki, Matias; Schuerch, Kaspar; Jazwinska, Anna; Enzmann, Volker; Tschopp, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Primary loss of photoreceptors caused by diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa is one of the main causes of blindness worldwide. To study such diseases, rodent models of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced retinal degeneration are widely used. As zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a popular model system for visual research that offers persistent retinal neurogenesis throughout the lifetime and retinal regeneration after severe damage, we have established a novel MNU-induced model in this species. Histology with staining for apoptosis (TUNEL), proliferation (PCNA), activated Müller glial cells (GFAP), rods (rhodopsin) and cones (zpr-1) were performed. A characteristic sequence of retinal changes was found. First, apoptosis of rod photoreceptors occurred 3 days after MNU treatment and resulted in a loss of rod cells. Consequently, proliferation started in the inner nuclear layer (INL) with a maximum at day 8, whereas in the outer nuclear layer (ONL) a maximum was observed at day 15. The proliferation in the ONL persisted to the end of the follow-up (3 months), interestingly, without ongoing rod cell death. We demonstrate that rod degeneration is a sufficient trigger for the induction of Müller glial cell activation, even if only a minimal number of rod cells undergo cell death. In conclusion, the use of MNU is a simple and feasible model for rod photoreceptor degeneration in the zebrafish that offers new insights into rod regeneration.

  9. Characteristics of Rod Regeneration in a Novel Zebrafish Retinal Degeneration Model Using N-Methyl-N-Nitrosourea (MNU)

    PubMed Central

    Tappeiner, Christoph; Balmer, Jasmin; Iglicki, Matias; Schuerch, Kaspar; Jazwinska, Anna; Enzmann, Volker; Tschopp, Markus

    2013-01-01

    Primary loss of photoreceptors caused by diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa is one of the main causes of blindness worldwide. To study such diseases, rodent models of N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU)-induced retinal degeneration are widely used. As zebrafish (Danio rerio) are a popular model system for visual research that offers persistent retinal neurogenesis throughout the lifetime and retinal regeneration after severe damage, we have established a novel MNU-induced model in this species. Histology with staining for apoptosis (TUNEL), proliferation (PCNA), activated Müller glial cells (GFAP), rods (rhodopsin) and cones (zpr-1) were performed. A characteristic sequence of retinal changes was found. First, apoptosis of rod photoreceptors occurred 3 days after MNU treatment and resulted in a loss of rod cells. Consequently, proliferation started in the inner nuclear layer (INL) with a maximum at day 8, whereas in the outer nuclear layer (ONL) a maximum was observed at day 15. The proliferation in the ONL persisted to the end of the follow-up (3 months), interestingly, without ongoing rod cell death. We demonstrate that rod degeneration is a sufficient trigger for the induction of Müller glial cell activation, even if only a minimal number of rod cells undergo cell death. In conclusion, the use of MNU is a simple and feasible model for rod photoreceptor degeneration in the zebrafish that offers new insights into rod regeneration. PMID:23951079

  10. Kinetics of Inhibitory Feedback from Horizontal Cells to Photoreceptors: Implications for an Ephaptic Mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Warren, Ted J.; Van Hook, Matthew J.; Tranchina, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory feedback from horizontal cells (HCs) to cones generates center-surround receptive fields and color opponency in the retina. Mechanisms of HC feedback remain unsettled, but one hypothesis proposes that an ephaptic mechanism may alter the extracellular electrical field surrounding photoreceptor synaptic terminals, thereby altering Ca2+ channel activity and photoreceptor output. An ephaptic voltage change produced by current flowing through open channels in the HC membrane should occur with no delay. To test for this mechanism, we measured kinetics of inhibitory feedback currents in Ambystoma tigrinum cones and rods evoked by hyperpolarizing steps applied to synaptically coupled HCs. Hyperpolarizing HCs stimulated inward feedback currents in cones that averaged 8–9 pA and exhibited a biexponential time course with time constants averaging 14–17 ms and 120–220 ms. Measurement of feedback-current kinetics was limited by three factors: (1) HC voltage-clamp speed, (2) cone voltage-clamp speed, and (3) kinetics of Ca2+ channel activation or deactivation in the photoreceptor terminal. These factors totaled ∼4–5 ms in cones meaning that the true fast time constants for HC-to-cone feedback currents were 9–13 ms, slower than expected for ephaptic voltage changes. We also compared speed of feedback to feedforward glutamate release measured at the same cone/HC synapses and found a latency for feedback of 11–14 ms. Inhibitory feedback from HCs to rods was also significantly slower than either measurement kinetics or feedforward release. The finding that inhibitory feedback from HCs to photoreceptors involves a significant delay indicates that it is not due to previously proposed ephaptic mechanisms. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Lateral inhibitory feedback from horizontal cells (HCs) to photoreceptors creates center-surround receptive fields and color-opponent interactions. Although underlying mechanisms remain unsettled, a longstanding hypothesis proposes that

  11. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Shaun P.; Davies, Wayne L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.

    2009-01-01

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these ‘living fossils’, we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land. PMID:19720654

  12. Control rod drive

    SciTech Connect

    Hawke, Basil C.

    1986-01-01

    A control rod drive uses gravitational forces to insert one or more control rods upwardly into a reactor core from beneath the reactor core under emergency conditions. The preferred control rod drive includes a vertically movable weight and a mechanism operatively associating the weight with the control rod so that downward movement of the weight is translated into upward movement of the control rod. The preferred control rod drive further includes an electric motor for driving the control rods under normal conditions, an electrically actuated clutch which automatically disengages the motor during a power failure and a decelerator for bringing the control rod to a controlled stop when it is inserted under emergency conditions into a reactor core.

  13. Piston rod seal

    DOEpatents

    Lindskoug, Stefan

    1984-01-01

    In a piston rod seal of the type comprising a gland through which the piston rod is passed the piston is provided with a sleeve surrounding the piston rod and extending axially so as to axially partly overlap the gland when the piston is in its bottom dead center position.

  14. Derivation of neurons with functional properties from adult limbal epithelium: implications in autologous cell therapy for photoreceptor degeneration.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xing; Das, Ani V; Bhattacharya, Sumitra; Thoreson, Wallace B; Sierra, Jorge Rodriguez; Mallya, Kavita B; Ahmad, Iqbal

    2008-04-01

    The limbal epithelium (LE), a circular and narrow epithelium that separates cornea from conjunctiva, harbors stem cells/progenitors in its basal layer that regenerate cornea. We have previously demonstrated that cells in the basal LE, when removed from their niche and cultured in reduced bond morphogenetic protein signaling, acquire properties of neural progenitors. Here, we demonstrate that LE-derived neural progenitors generate neurons with functional properties and can be directly differentiated along rod photoreceptor lineage in vitro and in vivo. These observations posit the LE as a potential source of neural progenitors for autologous cell therapy to treat photoreceptor degeneration in age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa.

  15. Modeling Mesopic Vision Based on Measured Photoreceptor Sensitivity

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-07-01

    smaller threshold u’v’ distance relative to the largest photoreceptor projections). Those correlations (Pearson Product - Moment Coefficient) are...as 0. The mean across participants of the cross- products of the number of color names and hue angle definitions produced that stimulus’s hue angle...The mean across participants of the cross- products of the number of color descriptors and the chromaticity definitions produced that stimulus’s

  16. The Transcription Factor Neural Retina Leucine Zipper (NRL) Controls Photoreceptor-specific Expression of Myocyte Enhancer Factor Mef2c from an Alternative Promoter*

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Hong; Tummala, Padmaja; Guzman, Eduardo; Mali, Raghuveer S.; Gregorski, Janina; Swaroop, Anand; Mitton, Kenneth P.

    2011-01-01

    Neural retina leucine zipper (NRL) is an essential transcription factor for cell fate specification and functional maintenance of rod photoreceptors in the mammalian retina. In the Nrl−/− mouse retina, photoreceptor precursors fail to produce rods and generate functional cone photoreceptors that predominantly express S-opsin. Previous global expression analysis using microarrays revealed dramatically reduced expression of myocyte enhancer factor Mef2c in the adult Nrl−/− retina. We undertook this study to examine the biological relevance of Mef2c expression in retinal rod photoreceptors. Bioinformatics analysis, rapid analysis of cDNA ends (5′-RACE), and reverse transcription coupled with qPCR using splice site-specific oligonucleotides suggested that Mef2c is expressed in the mature retina from an alternative promoter. Chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) studies showed the association of active RNA polymerase II and acetylated histone H3 just upstream of Mef2c exon 4, providing additional evidence for the utilization of an alternative promoter in the retina. In concordance, we observed the binding of NRL to a putative NRL-response element (NRE) at this location by ChIP-seq and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. NRL also activated the Mef2c alternative promoter in vitro and in vivo. Notably, MEF2C could support Rhodopsin promoter activity in rod photoreceptors. We conclude that Mef2c expression from an alternative promoter in the retina is regulated by NRL. Our studies also implicate MEF2C as a transcriptional regulator of homeostasis in rod photoreceptor cells. PMID:21849497

  17. Retbindin Is an Extracellular Riboflavin-binding Protein Found at the Photoreceptor/Retinal Pigment Epithelium Interface*

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Ryan A.; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R.; Naash, Muna I.

    2015-01-01

    Retbindin is a novel retina-specific protein of unknown function. In this study, we have used various approaches to evaluate protein expression, localization, biochemical properties, and function. We find that retbindin is secreted by the rod photoreceptors into the inter-photoreceptor matrix where it is maintained via electrostatic forces. Retbindin is predominantly localized at the interface between photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium microvilli, a region critical for retinal function and homeostasis. Interestingly, although it is associated with photoreceptor outer segments, retbindin's expression is not dependent on their presence. In vitro, retbindin is capable of binding riboflavin, thus implicating the protein as a metabolite carrier between the retina and the retinal pigment epithelium. Altogether, our data show that retbindin is a novel photoreceptor-specific protein with a unique localization and function. We hypothesize that retbindin is an excellent candidate for binding retinal flavins and possibly participating in their transport from the extracellular space to the photoreceptors. Further investigations are warranted to determine the exact function of retbindin in retinal homeostasis and disease. PMID:25542898

  18. Retbindin is an extracellular riboflavin-binding protein found at the photoreceptor/retinal pigment epithelium interface.

    PubMed

    Kelley, Ryan A; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R; Naash, Muna I

    2015-02-20

    Retbindin is a novel retina-specific protein of unknown function. In this study, we have used various approaches to evaluate protein expression, localization, biochemical properties, and function. We find that retbindin is secreted by the rod photoreceptors into the inter-photoreceptor matrix where it is maintained via electrostatic forces. Retbindin is predominantly localized at the interface between photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium microvilli, a region critical for retinal function and homeostasis. Interestingly, although it is associated with photoreceptor outer segments, retbindin's expression is not dependent on their presence. In vitro, retbindin is capable of binding riboflavin, thus implicating the protein as a metabolite carrier between the retina and the retinal pigment epithelium. Altogether, our data show that retbindin is a novel photoreceptor-specific protein with a unique localization and function. We hypothesize that retbindin is an excellent candidate for binding retinal flavins and possibly participating in their transport from the extracellular space to the photoreceptors. Further investigations are warranted to determine the exact function of retbindin in retinal homeostasis and disease.

  19. Light-dependent GTP-binding proteins in squid photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, P R; Wood, S F; Szuts, E Z; Fein, A; Hamm, H E; Lisman, J E

    1990-01-01

    Previous biochemical and electrophysiological evidence suggests that in invertebrate photoreceptors, a GTP-binding protein (G-protein) mediates the actions of photoactivated rhodopsin in the initial stages of transduction. We find that squid photoreceptors contain more than one protein (molecular masses 38, 42 and 46 kDa) whose ADP-ribosylation by bacterial exotoxins is light-sensitive. Several lines of evidence suggest that these proteins represent distinct alpha subunits of G-proteins. (1) Pertussis toxin and cholera toxin react with distinct subsets of these polypeptides. (2) Only the 42 kDa protein immunoreacts with the monoclonal antibody 4A, raised against the alpha subunit of the G-protein of vertebrate rods [Hamm & Bownds (1984) J. Gen. Physiol. 84. 265-280]. (3) In terms of ADP-ribosylation, the 42 kDa protein is the least labile to freezing. (4) Of the 38 kDa and 42 kDa proteins, the former is preferentially extracted with hypo-osmotic solutions, as demonstrated by the solubility of its ADP-ribosylated state and by the solubility of the light-dependent binding of guanosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate. The specific target enzymes for the observed G-proteins have not been established. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. PMID:2124806

  20. Mouse rods signal through gap junctions with cones

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Gargini, Claudia; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptors are coupled by gap junctions (GJs), relatively large channels able to mediate both electrical and molecular communication. Despite their critical location in our visual system and evidence that they are dynamically gated for dark/light adaptation, the full impact that rod–cone GJs can have on cone function is not known. We recorded the photovoltage of mouse cones and found that the initial level of rod input increased spontaneously after obtaining intracellular access. This process allowed us to explore the underlying coupling capacity to rods, revealing that fully coupled cones acquire a striking rod-like phenotype. Calcium, a candidate mediator of the coupling process, does not appear to be involved on the cone side of the junctional channels. Our findings show that the anatomical substrate is adequate for rod–cone coupling to play an important role in vision and, possibly, in biochemical signaling among photoreceptors. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01386.001 PMID:24399457

  1. Restoration of Vision with Ectopic Expression of Human Rod Opsin.

    PubMed

    Cehajic-Kapetanovic, Jasmina; Eleftheriou, Cyril; Allen, Annette E; Milosavljevic, Nina; Pienaar, Abigail; Bedford, Robert; Davis, Katherine E; Bishop, Paul N; Lucas, Robert J

    2015-08-17

    Many retinal dystrophies result in photoreceptor loss, but the inner retinal neurons can survive, making them potentially amenable to emerging optogenetic therapies. Here, we show that ectopically expressed human rod opsin, driven by either a non-selective or ON-bipolar cell-specific promoter, can function outside native photoreceptors and restore visual function in a mouse model of advanced retinal degeneration. Electrophysiological recordings from retinal explants and the visual thalamus revealed changes in firing (increases and decreases) induced by simple light pulses, luminance increases, and naturalistic movies in treated mice. These responses could be elicited at light intensities within the physiological range and substantially below those required by other optogenetic strategies. Mice with rod opsin expression driven by the ON-bipolar specific promoter displayed behavioral responses to increases in luminance, flicker, coarse spatial patterns, and elements of a natural movie at levels of contrast and illuminance (≈50-100 lux) typical of natural indoor environments. These data reveal that virally mediated ectopic expression of human rod opsin can restore vision under natural viewing conditions and at moderate light intensities. Given the inherent advantages in employing a human protein, the simplicity of this intervention, and the quality of vision restored, we suggest that rod opsin merits consideration as an optogenetic actuator for treating patients with advanced retinal degeneration. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  2. CONTROL ROD DRIVE

    DOEpatents

    Chapellier, R.A.; Rogers, I.

    1961-06-27

    Accurate and controlled drive for the control rod is from an electric motor. A hydraulic arrangement is provided to balance a piston against which a control rod is urged by the application of fluid pressure. The electric motor drive of the control rod for normal operation is made through the aforementioned piston. In the event scramming is required, the fluid pressure urging the control rod against the piston is relieved and an opposite fluid pressure is applied. The lack of mechanical connection between the electric motor and control rod facilitates the scramming operation.

  3. The signal transducing photoreceptors of plants.

    PubMed

    Franklin, Keara A; Larner, Victoria S; Whitelam, Garry C

    2005-01-01

    Light signals are amongst the most important environmental cues regulating plant development. In addition to light quantity, plants measure the quality, direction and periodicity of incident light and use the information to optimise growth and development to the prevailing environmental conditions. Red and far-red wavelengths are perceived by the photoreversible phytochrome family of photoreceptors, whilst the detection of blue and ultraviolet (UV)-A wavelengths is conferred by the cryptochromes and phototropins. Higher plants contain multiple discrete phytochromes, the apoproteins of which are encoded by a small divergent gene family. In Arabidopsis, two cryptochrome and two phototropin family members have been identified and characterized. Photoreceptor action regulates development throughout the lifecycle of plants, from seed germination through to architecture of the mature plant and the onset of reproduction. The roles of individual photoreceptors in mediating plant development have, however, often been confounded by redundant, synergistic and in some cases mutually antagonistic mechanisms of action. The isolation of mutants null for individual photoreceptors and the construction of mutants null for multiple photoreceptors have therefore been paramount in elucidating photoreceptor functions. Photoreceptor action does not, however, operate in isolation from other signalling systems. The integration of light signals with other environmental cues enables plants to adapt their physiology to changing seasonal environments. This paper summarises current understanding of photoreceptor families and their functions throughout the lifecycle of plants. The integration of light signals with other environmental stimuli is also discussed.

  4. Glutamine-Expanded Ataxin-7 Alters TFTC/STAGA Recruitment and Chromatin Structure Leading to Photoreceptor Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Helmlinger, Dominique; Eberlin, Adrien; Bowman, Aaron B; Gansmüller, Anne; Picaud, Serge; Zoghbi, Huda Y; Trottier, Yvon

    2006-01-01

    Spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCA7) is one of several inherited neurodegenerative disorders caused by a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion, but it is the only one in which the retina is affected. Increasing evidence suggests that transcriptional alterations contribute to polyQ pathogenesis, although the mechanism is unclear. We previously demonstrated that theSCA7 gene product, ataxin-7 (ATXN7), is a subunit of the GCN5 histone acetyltransferase–containing coactivator complexes TFTC/STAGA. We show here that TFTC/STAGA complexes purified from SCA7 mice have normal TRRAP, GCN5, TAF12, and SPT3 levels and that their histone or nucleosomal acetylation activities are unaffected. However, rod photoreceptors from SCA7 mouse models showed severe chromatin decondensation. In agreement, polyQ-expanded ataxin-7 induced histone H3 hyperacetylation, resulting from an increased recruitment of TFTC/STAGA to specific promoters. Surprisingly, hyperacetylated genes were transcriptionally down-regulated, and expression analysis revealed that nearly all rod-specific genes were affected, leading to visual impairment in SCA7 mice. In conclusion, we describe here a set of events accounting for SCA7 pathogenesis in the retina, in which polyQ-expanded ATXN7 deregulated TFTC/STAGA recruitment to a subset of genes specifically expressed in rod photoreceptors, leading to chromatin alterations and consequent progressive loss of rod photoreceptor function. PMID:16494529

  5. Sucker rod construction

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, R.A.; Goodman, J.L.; Tickle, J.D.; Liskey, A.K.

    1987-03-31

    A sucker rod construction is described comprising: a connector member being formed to define a rod receptacle having a closed axially inner end and an open axially outer end, the rod receptacle having axially spaced, tapered annular surfaces, a cylindrical fiberglass rod having an end having an outer surface being received within the rod receptacle through the outer end and cooperating therewith to define an annular chamber between the outer surface of the end of the rod and the tapered annular surfaces, and a bonding means positioned in the annular chamber for bonding to the outer surface of the end of the rod to confront the tapered annular surfaces, each annular surface having an angle of taper with respect to the outer surface of the fiberglass rod, and each angle of taper being progressively and uniformly less toward the open end by an amount between one and one-half degrees and two degrees, inclusive, and a collet connected to the connector member adjacent the open axially outer end of the rod receptacle and having an axial bore therethrough retaining the end of the rod in coaxial position within the rod receptacle.

  6. CRUCIFORM CONTROL ROD JOINT

    DOEpatents

    Thorp, A.G. II

    1962-08-01

    An invention is described which relates to nuclear reactor control rod components and more particularly to a joint between cruciform control rod members and cruciform control rod follower members. In one embodiment this invention provides interfitting crossed arms at adjacent ends of a control rod and its follower in abutting relation. This holds the members against relative opposite longitudinal movement while a compression member keys the arms against relative opposite rotation around a common axis. Means are also provided for centering the control rod and its follower on a common axis and for selectively releasing the control rod from its follower for the insertion of a replacement of the control rod and reuse of the follower. (AEC)

  7. Confirming a prediction of the calcium hypothesis of photoreceptor aging in mice.

    PubMed

    Berkowitz, Bruce A; Grady, Edmund Michael; Roberts, Robin

    2014-08-01

    Prior work in healthy rats supported a calcium hypothesis of photoreceptor aging, wherein progressive age-related declines in photopic vision are explainable by the extent of earlier escalating d-cis-diltiazem-insensitive increases in photoreceptor L-type calcium channel (LTCC) activity in vivo. Unlike rats, healthy mice have relatively stable photopic vision until after 18 months of age. We therefore hypothesized that photoreceptor LTCC activity in mice would not progressively increase until after 18 months. In 2-5, 10, 18, and 26 months male C57Bl/6J mice, photoreceptor LTCC activity and retinal thickness were evaluated in vivo (manganese-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging) with some groups also treated with d-cis-diltiazem; visual performance was evaluated (optokinetic tracking). Data were calibrated for cone-only responses using mice without rod transducin (GNAT1-/-). Photopic vision was stable until after 18 months without retinal thinning or progressive increases in retinal manganese uptake. We measured an uptake spike at 10 months. This spike, unlike that in the rat, was diltiazem sensitive in the dark and diltiazem insensitive in the light. Between dark and light, uptake in inner retina of older mice was unequal (unlike that in 2-5 months mice); outer retinal uptake was similar to that in 2-5 months mice. Stable murine photopic visual performance and nonescalating photoreceptor LTCC activity before 18 months of age were consistent with a prediction of the calcium hypothesis. Stark differences in the temporal evolution of mouse and rat photoreceptor LTCC activity suggest the need for personalized identification of the retinal mechanisms contributing to declines in photopic vision to ensure success of future treatment efforts. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  8. Identification and Subcellular Localization of the RP1 Protein in Human and Mouse Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qin; Zhou, Jie; Daiger, Stephen P.; Farber, Debora B.; Heckenlively, John R.; Smith, Julie E.; Sullivan, Lori S.; Zuo, Jian; Milam, Ann H.; Pierce, Eric A.

    2007-01-01

    PURPOSE Mutations in the RP1gene account for 6% to 10% of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). Previous studies have shown that the RP1gene is expressed specifically in photoreceptor cells. So far, little is known about the RP1 protein or how mutations in RP1lead to photoreceptor cell death. The goal of this study was to identify the RP1 protein and investigate its location in photoreceptor cells. METHODS A combination of RT-PCR and rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) was used to isolate the full-length mouse Rp1cDNA. Antibodies against different regions of the predicted mouse Rp1 protein were generated. Western blot analyses were used to identify the RP1/Rp1 proteins. The subcel-lular location of RP1 in human and mouse retinas was determined by immunostaining retinal sections. RESULTS The full-length mouse Rp1cDNA is 6944 bp, encoding a predicted protein of 2095 amino acids. Rp1 was found to be a soluble protein of approximately 240 kDa, consistent with predictions based on the cDNA sequence. Immunofluores-cence analyses revealed that both the human RP1 and mouse Rp1 proteins are specifically localized in the connecting cilia of rod and cone photoreceptors. CONCLUSIONS The presence of RP1/Rp1 in connecting cilia suggests that it may participate in transport of proteins between the inner and outer segments of photoreceptors or in maintenance of cilial structure. This study forms the basis for further investigation of the function of RP1 in retina and the mechanism by which mutations in RP1lead to photoreceptor cell death.(Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2002;43:22–2032) PMID:11773008

  9. NEW EVIDENCE SUPPORTING THE LINKAGE TO EXTRACELLULAR SPACE OF OUTER SEGMENT SACCULES OF FROG CONES BUT NOT RODS

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Adolph I.

    1968-01-01

    Previous electron microscopic examinations of outer segments of photoreceptors suggest that many flattened saccules of cones are continuous with the cell membrane and that their lumina connect with the extracellular compartment but that most saccules in rods appear to lack these connections. The saccules probably contain photolabile pigment, and certain potentials appear to result from dipole formation during pigment bleaching. The detection of dipoles from rod saccules may require that the lumina of rod saccules connect with extracellular space, and questions have been raised whether the interpretation of micrographs is correct or the isolation of rod saccules is the result of artifact. Accordingly, lanthanum and barium precipitates were produced near fixed and unfixed frog photoreceptors. Lanthanum precipitates appeared to infiltrate the saccules of fixed cones and the few surviving cones exposed prior to fixation, but no rod saccules were infiltrated except occasional, most basal saccules or saccules within narrow zones of probable damage. Barium precipitates did not infiltrate saccules of either variety of unfixed photoreceptor, but they did occasionally infiltrate around the saccules at points of damage in rod outer segments. The results thus support the view of the patency of saccules of frog cones and are consistent with, but do not prove, the isolation of saccules of frog rods. PMID:5656400

  10. Genomic evidence for rod monochromacy in sloths and armadillos suggests early subterranean history for Xenarthra.

    PubMed

    Emerling, Christopher A; Springer, Mark S

    2015-02-07

    Rod monochromacy is a rare condition in vertebrates characterized by the absence of cone photoreceptor cells. The resulting phenotype is colourblindness and low acuity vision in dim-light and blindness in bright-light conditions. Early reports of xenarthrans (armadillos, sloths and anteaters) suggest that they are rod monochromats, but this has not been tested with genomic data. We searched the genomes of Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillo), Choloepus hoffmanni (Hoffmann's two-toed sloth) and Mylodon darwinii (extinct ground sloth) for retinal photoreceptor genes and examined them for inactivating mutations. We performed PCR and Sanger sequencing on cone phototransduction genes of 10 additional xenarthrans to test for shared inactivating mutations and estimated the timing of inactivation for photoreceptor pseudogenes. We concluded that a stem xenarthran became an long-wavelength sensitive-cone monochromat following a missense mutation at a critical residue in SWS1, and a stem cingulate (armadillos, glyptodonts and pampatheres) and stem pilosan (sloths and anteaters) independently acquired rod monochromacy early in their evolutionary history following the inactivation of LWS and PDE6C, respectively. We hypothesize that rod monochromacy in armadillos and pilosans evolved as an adaptation to a subterranean habitat in the early history of Xenarthra. The presence of rod monochromacy has major implications for understanding xenarthran behavioural ecology and evolution. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  11. Genomic evidence for rod monochromacy in sloths and armadillos suggests early subterranean history for Xenarthra

    PubMed Central

    Emerling, Christopher A.; Springer, Mark S.

    2015-01-01

    Rod monochromacy is a rare condition in vertebrates characterized by the absence of cone photoreceptor cells. The resulting phenotype is colourblindness and low acuity vision in dim-light and blindness in bright-light conditions. Early reports of xenarthrans (armadillos, sloths and anteaters) suggest that they are rod monochromats, but this has not been tested with genomic data. We searched the genomes of Dasypus novemcinctus (nine-banded armadillo), Choloepus hoffmanni (Hoffmann's two-toed sloth) and Mylodon darwinii (extinct ground sloth) for retinal photoreceptor genes and examined them for inactivating mutations. We performed PCR and Sanger sequencing on cone phototransduction genes of 10 additional xenarthrans to test for shared inactivating mutations and estimated the timing of inactivation for photoreceptor pseudogenes. We concluded that a stem xenarthran became an long-wavelength sensitive-cone monochromat following a missense mutation at a critical residue in SWS1, and a stem cingulate (armadillos, glyptodonts and pampatheres) and stem pilosan (sloths and anteaters) independently acquired rod monochromacy early in their evolutionary history following the inactivation of LWS and PDE6C, respectively. We hypothesize that rod monochromacy in armadillos and pilosans evolved as an adaptation to a subterranean habitat in the early history of Xenarthra. The presence of rod monochromacy has major implications for understanding xenarthran behavioural ecology and evolution. PMID:25540280

  12. Cone and Rod Loss in Stargardt Disease Revealed by Adaptive Optics Scanning Light Ophthalmoscopy

    PubMed Central

    Song, Hongxin; Rossi, Ethan A.; Latchney, Lisa; Bessette, Angela; Stone, Edwin; Hunter, Jennifer J.; Williams, David R.; Chung, Mina

    2015-01-01

    Importance Stargardt disease (STGD1) is characterized by macular atrophy and flecks in the retinal pigment epithelium. The causative ABCA4 gene encodes a protein localizing to photoreceptor outer segments. The pathologic steps by which ABCA4 mutations lead to clinically detectable retinal pigment epithelium changes remain unclear. We investigated early STGD1 using adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy. Observations Adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy imaging of 2 brothers with early STGD1 and their unaffected parents was compared with conventional imaging. Cone and rod spacing were increased in both patients (P <.001) with a dark cone appearance. No foveal cones were detected in the older brother. In the younger brother, foveal cones were enlarged with low density (peak cone density, 48.3 × 103 cones/mm2). The ratio of cone to rod spacing was increased in both patients, with greater divergence from normal approaching the foveal center, indicating that cone loss predominates centrally and rod loss increases peripherally. Both parents had normal photoreceptor mosaics. Genetic testing revealed 3 disease-causing mutations. Conclusions and Relevance This study provides in vivo images of rods and cones in STGD1. Although the primary clinical features of STGD1 are retinal pigment epithelial lesions, adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy reveals increased cone and rod spacing in areas that appear normal in conventional images, suggesting that photoreceptor loss precedes clinically detectable retinal pigment epithelial disease in STGD1. PMID:26247787

  13. Excess cones in the retinal degeneration rd7 mouse, caused by the loss of function of orphan nuclear receptor Nr2e3, originate from early-born photoreceptor precursors

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Hong; Khan, Naheed W.; Roger, Jerome E.; Swaroop, Anand

    2011-01-01

    The orphan nuclear receptor NR2E3 is a direct transcriptional target of NRL, the key basic motif leucine zipper transcription factor that dictates rod versus cone photoreceptor cell fate in the mammalian retina. The lack of NR2E3 function in humans and in retinal degeneration rd7 mutant mouse leads to increased S-cones accompanied by rod degeneration, whereas ectopic expression of Nr2e3 in the cone-only Nrl−/− retina generates rod-like cells that do not exhibit any visual function. Using GFP to tag the newborn rods and by 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine birthdating, we demonstrate that early-born post-mitotic photoreceptor precursors in the rd7 retina express cone-specific genes. Transgenic mouse studies in the rd7 background show that Nr2e3 when expressed under the control of Crx promoter can restore rod photoreceptor function and suppress cone gene expression. Furthermore, Nr2e3 expression in photoreceptor precursors committed to be rods (driven by the Nrl promoter) could completely rescue the retinal phenotype of the rd7 mice. We conclude that excess of S-cones in the rd7 retina originate from photoreceptor precursors with a ‘default’ fate and not from proliferation of cones and that Nr2e3 is required to suppress the expression of S-cone genes during normal rod differentiation. These studies further support the ‘transcriptional dominance’ model of photoreceptor cell fate determination and provide insights into the pathogenesis of retinal disease phenotypes caused by NR2E3 mutations. PMID:21813656

  14. The Ciliopathy Gene ahi1 Is Required for Zebrafish Cone Photoreceptor Outer Segment Morphogenesis and Survival

    PubMed Central

    Lessieur, Emma M.; Fogerty, Joseph; Gaivin, Robert J.; Song, Ping; Perkins, Brian D.

    2017-01-01

    Purpose Joubert syndrome (JBTS) is an autosomal recessive ciliopathy with considerable phenotypic variability. In addition to central nervous system abnormalities, a subset of JBTS patients exhibit retinal dystrophy and/or kidney disease. Mutations in the AHI1 gene are causative for approximately 10% of all JBTS cases. The purpose of this study was to generate ahi1 mutant alleles in zebrafish and to characterize the retinal phenotypes. Methods Zebrafish ahi1 mutants were generated using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Expression analysis was performed by whole-mount in situ hybridization. Anatomic and molecular characterization of photoreceptors was investigated by histology, electron microscopy, and immunohistochemistry. The optokinetic response (OKR) behavior assay was used to assess visual function. Kidney cilia were evaluated by whole-mount immunostaining. Results The ahi1lri46 mutation in zebrafish resulted in shorter cone outer segments but did not affect visual behavior at 5 days after fertilization (dpf). No defects in rod morphology or rhodopsin localization were observed at 5 dpf. By 5 months of age, cone degeneration and rhodopsin mislocalization in rod photoreceptors was observed. The connecting cilium formed normally and Cc2d2a and Cep290 localized properly. Distal pronephric duct cilia were absent in mutant fish; however, only 9% of ahi1 mutants had kidney cysts by 5 dpf, suggesting that the pronephros remained largely functional. Conclusions The results indicate that Ahi1 is required for photoreceptor disc morphogenesis and outer segment maintenance in zebrafish. PMID:28118669

  15. DNA methylation and differential gene regulation in photoreceptor cell death.

    PubMed

    Farinelli, P; Perera, A; Arango-Gonzalez, B; Trifunovic, D; Wagner, M; Carell, T; Biel, M; Zrenner, E; Michalakis, S; Paquet-Durand, F; Ekström, P A R

    2014-12-04

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) defines a group of inherited degenerative retinal diseases causing progressive loss of photoreceptors. To this day, RP is still untreatable and rational treatment development will require a thorough understanding of the underlying cell death mechanisms. Methylation of the DNA base cytosine by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) is an important epigenetic factor regulating gene expression, cell differentiation, cell death, and survival. Previous studies suggested an involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in RP, and in this study, increased cytosine methylation was detected in dying photoreceptors in the rd1, rd2, P23H, and S334ter rodent models for RP. Ultrastructural analysis of photoreceptor nuclear morphology in the rd1 mou