Apoptosis in Inherited Retinal Degenerations
The molecular biological descriptions of genetic defects in several forms of inherited blindness in humans, mice, and dogs leave us bewildered about the causes of photoreceptor death. Mutations of many different proteins interfere with normal development of photoreceptors or initiate a process that leads to premature photoreceptor death for obscure reasons. These mutations include the rhodopsin gene at many different sites (reviewed by Berson1), the β subunit of cyclic-GMP phosphodiesterase in rd mice and red1 Irish setters2,3, the rds I peripher in gene in mice and man4,5,6,7 and the A component of geranylgeranyl transferase in human choroideremia8,9. Two features are common to some of these retinal degenerations: the loss of the polarized distribution of rhodopsin and the absence of an inflammatory response to the dying cells.
KeywordsRetinal Pigment Epithelial Cell Outer Segment Retinal Degeneration Outer Nuclear Layer Pyknotic Nucleus
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