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Published November 6, 2001 | Published
Journal Article Open

Gene expression profiles of light-induced apoptosis in arrestin/rhodopsin kinase-deficient mouse retinas


To examine the molecular processes that lead to light-induced retinal degeneration, mutant mice deficient in arrestin and rhodopsin kinase were raised in the dark and then subjected to relatively low doses of white light. The kinetics of the subsequent induction of apoptosis, change in mRNA transcript level, and photoreceptor cell death were monitored. Analysis of transcript profiles identified clusters of genes that responded differently to illumination, including a cluster of photoreceptor-specific genes that showed marked decreases in levels long before morphological damage could be readily ascertained. The behaviors of other gene clusters demonstrate the coordinate induction of stress gene responses early in the course of irradiation. There was little, if any, change in transcript levels corresponding to genes associated with the initiation of apoptosis or antiapoptotic effects. Transcript analysis provides insight into the patterns of gene expression that are associated with the different stages of retinal degeneration in this model system.

Additional Information

© 2001 by the National Academy of Sciences Contributed by Melvin I. Simon, August 8, 2001; Published online before print October 30, 2001, 10.1073/pnas.201417498 We thank Rebecca Udwary and Hong Dang for their invaluable assistance with data analysis and setting up the web site. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health Grant AG 12288. The publication costs of this article were defrayed in part by page charge payment. This article must therefore be hereby marked "advertisement" in accordance with 18 U.S.C. §1734 solely to indicate this fact.

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