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Light Treatment Enhances Photoreceptor Survival in Dystrophic Retinas of Royal College of Surgeons Rats

By Izhak Nir, Changdong Liu and Rong Wen


PURPOSE. To determine whether treatment with bright light elicits a protective response that enhances photoreceptor survival in Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats with inherited retinal degeneration. METHODS. RCS rats were illuminated for 10 to 12 hours with 130 foot-candles (fc) of white or green light. Untreated littermates that were kept under low cyclic light levels were used as control subjects. Photoreceptor survival was determined by quantitative analysis of photoreceptor nuclei and ultrastructural assessment of cellular organization. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) gene expression were determined at the mRNA and protein levels. RESULTS. Treatments of RCS rats with a single dose of bright light on postnatal day 23 (P23) greatly enhanced photoreceptor survival. Ultrasturctural analysis revealed intact inner segments in light-treated retinas, whereas in untreated retinas only remnants of inner segments were observed. By P42, numerous viable nuclei were counted in the posterior retina of light-treated rats, whereas most of the remaining nuclei in untreated RCS rat retinas were highly pyknotic. At 2.5 days after treatment with a single dose of bright light, bFGF gene expression was significantly higher than in untreated RCS ra

Year: 2013
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