Deficiency of SHP-1 protein-tyrosine phosphatase in "viable motheaten" mice results in retinal degeneration.

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Blotting-Western, Bone-Marrow-Transplantation, Crosses-Genetic, Electroretinography, Female, Intracellular-Signaling-Peptides-and-Proteins, Male, Mice-Inbred-BALB-C, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Mutant-Strains, Ophthalmoscopy, Photoreceptors-Vertebrate, Protein-Tyrosine-Phosphatase, Retinal-Degeneration

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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2006 Mar; 47(3):1201-9.


PURPOSE: Viable motheaten mutant mice (abbreviated allele symbol me(v)) are deficient in Src-homology 2-domain phosphatase (SHP)-1, a critical negative regulator of signal transduction in hematopoietic cells. These mice exhibit immune dysfunction, hyperproliferation of myeloid cells, and regenerative anemia. This study focused on the role of SHP-1 in retinal homeostasis. METHODS: Ophthalmoscopy, histology, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electroretinography (ERG), immunohistochemistry, Western blot, bone marrow transplantation, and genetic crosses were performed for phenotypic characterization and functional studies of retinal degeneration (RD) in me(v)/me(v) mice. RESULTS: Fundus examinations of me(v)/me(v) mice revealed numerous, small white spots. Histologic examination demonstrated photoreceptor loss beginning at 3 weeks of age, and TEM revealed disorganization and reduction in the number of outer segments, as well as the presence of phagocytic cells in the subretinal space. Rod- and cone-mediated ERGs were abnormal. SHP-1 protein was expressed in mouse and human retinal lysates and was localized to the outer nuclear layer of the retina in me(v)/me(v) and control mice. Autoantibodies are not necessary for RD, as B-cell-deficient me(v)/me(v) Igh-6(tm1Cgn) mice had no attenuation of photoreceptor cell loss compared with age-matched me(v)/me(v) mice. Histologic examination of lungs and retinas from normal recipients of me(v)/me(v) marrow revealed the classic acidophilic macrophage pneumonia of me(v)/me(v) mice, but no retinal degeneration. CONCLUSIONS: me(v)/me(v) mice exhibit normal retinal development with the onset of RD at 3 weeks of age and a rapidly progressive loss of photoreceptors. These findings support the hypothesis that SHP-1 plays a critical role in retinal homeostasis.