Morphological and Biochemical Studies of the Retinal Degeneration in the Vitiligo Mouse

A Model with Perturbed Retinoid Metabolism
  • Sylvia B. Smith
  • Barbara N. Wiggert


The vitiligo mouse has been studied since the mid 1980’s for the depigmentary condition of its skin and fur. As such, it is a promising model for the human skin disease vitiligo ( 1 ). Vitiligo may occur in isolation or in combination with other disorders, including retinal degeneration (Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome) (2). In 1988, Dr. Richard Sidman and co-workers provided a preliminary report in Mouse News Letter that the vitiligo mouse had a slow progressive retinal degeneration (3). We obtained breeding pairs from Dr. Sidman and set out to characterize the retinal degeneration in this mouse and to determine the etiology of the disease with the hope of eventually designing strategies to treat the disorder. This chapter will review our findings about the morphologic, electrophysiologic and biochemical characteristics of this mutant with particular emphasis on promising results from studies of retinoid metabolism.


Retinal Pigment Epithelium Outer Segment Photoreceptor Cell Retinal Degeneration Neural Retina 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvia B. Smith
    • 1
    • 2
  • Barbara N. Wiggert
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cellular Biology and Anatomy and OphthalmologyMedical College of GeorgiaAugustaUSA
  2. 2.Laboratory of Retinal Cell and Molecular BiologyNational Eye Institute, National Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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