Key words: Retina – Transgenic animals – Diphtheria toxin A – Diphtheria-toxin gene – Genes, cytotoxic – Opsin promoter – Cones – Rods – Interdependency, developmental – Mouse (opsin-dt-α, transgenic)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract. Transgenic mice were derived containing the cytotoxic dt-α gene driven by opsin promoter sequences. Mice expressing this construct showed progressive degeneration of rod photoreceptor cells commencing at birth, with obvious depletion of such cells by postnatal day 7. Ablation of rod photoreceptor cells in the transgenic retina was accompanied by the failure of developing cone cells to elaborate outer segments, although all other aspects of cone cell cytodifferentiation appeared normal. The results suggest that the 1.0-kb opsin promoter segment contains rod cell type specificity and that cone cells require maturation of rod cells to complete the late stages of their terminal differentiation and for their maintenance and cellular integrity.
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