Light Damage in Dystrophic and Normal Rats
Albino rats of the Royal College of Surgeon (RCS) strain have a single gene mutation that causes a progressive retinal degeneration (1). The rate of degeneration is accelerated by exposure to light (2). Because the pathology of RCS rats resembles that of retinitis pigmentosa, these rats have been widely used as a model of the human condition. Over the last decade, it has become clear that light stress can also induce retinal damage in nondystrophic albino rats and that the histological picture of light-induced degeneration in RCS and nondystrophic albino rats is qualitatively similar (3) (see Discussion). In this paper, we shall review our own data on behavioral and electrophysiological measures of retinal dystrophy in normal and dystrophic albino rats. These studies together with the histopathological data suggest that one of the effects of the RCS mutation is to exaggerate the normal retinal sensitivity to light stress.
KeywordsLight Stress Retinal Degeneration Cyclic Light Retinal Dystrophy Light Damage
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