Retinal Pigment Epithelium Atrophy 1 (rpea1): A New Mouse Model With Retinal Detachment Caused by a Disruption of Protein Kinase C, θ.

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Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016 Mar 1; 57(3):877-88.





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EY019943, EY016501, CA34196


PURPOSE: Retinal detachments (RDs), a separation of the light-sensitive tissue of the retina from its supporting layers in the posterior eye, isolate retinal cells from their normal supply of nourishment and can lead to their deterioration and death. We identified a new, spontaneous murine model of exudative retinal detachment, nm3342 (new mutant 3342, also referred to as rpea1: retinal pigment epithelium atrophy 1), which we characterize herein.

METHODS: The chromosomal position for the recessive nm3342 mutation was determined by DNA pooling, and the causative mutation was discovered by comparison of whole exome sequences of mutant and wild-type controls. The effects of the mutation were examined in longitudinal studies by clinical evaluation, electroretinography (ERG), light microscopy, and marker and Western blot analyses.

RESULTS: New mutant 3342, nm3342, also referred to as rpea1, causes an early-onset, complete RD on the ABJ/LeJ strain background, and central exudative RD and late-onset RPE atrophy on the C57BL/6J background. The ERG responses were normal at 2 months of age but deteriorate as mice age, concomitant with progressive pan-retinal photoreceptor loss. Genetic analysis localized rpea1 to mouse chromosome 2. By high-throughput sequencing of a whole exome capture library of an rpea1/rpea1 mutant and subsequent sequence analysis, a splice donor site mutation in the Prkcq (protein kinase C, θ) gene, was identified, leading to a skipping of exon 6, frame shift and premature termination. Homozygotes with a Prkcq-targeted null allele (Prkcqtm1Litt) have similar retinal phenotypes as homozygous rpea1 mice. We determined that the PKCθ protein is abundant in the lateral surfaces of RPE cells and colocalizes with both tight and adherens junction proteins. Phalloidin-stained RPE whole mounts showed abnormal RPE cell morphology with aberrant actin ring formation.

CONCLUSIONS: The homozygous Prkcqrpea1 and the null Prkcqtm1Litt mutants are reliable novel mouse models of RD and can also be used to study the effects of the disruption of PRKCQ (PKCθ) signaling in RPE cells.

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2016 Mar 1; 57(3):877-88.