Investigative ophthalmology & visual science

Contributions of Second- and Third-Order Retinal Neurons to Cone Electroretinograms After Loss of Rod Function in Rhodopsin P347L Transgenic Rabbits.

PMID 28253405


To determine the contribution of second- and third-order retinal neurons to the photopic electroretinograms (ERGs) after the degeneration of the rods in rhodopsin P347L transgenic rabbits (Tg). Four wild-type (WT) rabbits and four Tg rabbits were studied at 18 months of age. The photopic ERGs elicited at stimulus onset and offset were analyzed. To block different retinal pathways, 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid (APB), 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2, 3 (1H,4H)-dione (CNQX), tetrodotoxin (TTX), and N-methyl-DL-aspartic acid (NMDA) were injected intravitreally. Digital subtraction of the postdrug ERGs from the predrug ERGs was used to determine the contributions of the ON-components blocked by APB, the OFF-components blocked by CNQX, and the third-order neurons blocked by TTX+NMDA. Contribution of the cone photoreceptors to the photopic ERGs in Tg rabbits was approximately 10% of that in WT rabbits. The amplitudes of the positive waves of the ON-components at stimulus onset in Tg rabbits were approximately one-half as large as those in WT. On the other hand, the amplitudes of the positive waves of the OFF-components at stimulus offset in Tg rabbits were approximately 1.4 to 2.3 times larger than those in WT. Transgenic rabbits had a positive wave at stimulus offset, which was reduced after the TTX+NMDA injection. A reduced ON-component and an augmented OFF-component with abnormal responses of the third-order neurons contributed to the cone ERGs after the loss of rod function in Tg rabbits. Our results suggest a complex synaptic remodeling of the residual retinal cells in the advanced stage in Tg rabbits.

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(±)-2-Amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid, solid