Aberrant retinal tight junction and adherens junction protein expression in an animal model of autosomal recessive Retinitis pigmentosa: the Rho(-/-) mouse

Matthew Campbell, Marian Humphries, Avril Kennan, Paul Kenna, Peter Humphries, Brenda Brankin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) comprises a heterogenous group of inherited diseases that are characterised by primary degeneration of rod photoreceptors and secondary degeneration of cone photoreceptors in the retina. Additional pathological changes include vascular changes and invasion of the inner retina by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. RP represents a major cause of progressive retinal disease worldwide. Using a mouse model of autosomal dominant Retinitis pigmentosa (adRP) with retinopathy induced by targeted disruption of the rhodopsin gene Rho(−/−), we have analysed the levels of expression of a range of tight and adherens junction associated proteins, in order to further elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms occurring at an early stage of this condition. Using western blot analysis and indirect immunostaining of retinal cryosections from 6-week-old mice from a C-129 background we have determined changes, if any, in the levels of expression and localisation of a series of tight and adherens junction associated proteins, including Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1), occludin, N-Cadherin, p120-Catenin, α-Catenin, γ-Catenin, β-Catenin, and E-Cadherin. We have found an up-regulation of the tight junction and adherens junction associated protein Zonula Occludens-1 (ZO-1) in the neural retina of 6-week-old Rho(−/−) knockout mice compared with 6-week-old Wild-Type (WT) mice. Following immunohistochemistry, however, it appears, that ZO-1, β-Catenin and p120-Catenin expression at the Outer Limiting Membrane (OLM) of the Rho(−/−) retina is compromised, in part, compared to WT animals of the same age. We hypothesise that these retinal changes following photoreceptor cell death may contribute to the pathogenesis of adRP. Our findings of changes in the levels of expression of ZO-1 and associated adherens junction proteins β-Catenin and p120-Catenin at the OLM in 6-week-old Rho(−/−) mice provide evidence for tight junction and adherens junction associated protein modifications in an animal model of autosomal dominant RP (adRP).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-492
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Eye Research
Volume83
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Retinitis pigmentosa
  • tight junctions
  • adherens junctions
  • Zonula Occludens-1
  • β-Catenin
  • p120-Catenin
  • Outer Limiting Membrane
  • retina
  • photoreceptor
  • retinal vasculature

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