Purpose. To study the neuroprotective effect of experimental retinal detachment (RD) on photoreceptor degeneration in rd1 mice. Methods. RD was produced in the eyes of rd1 mice at postnatal day (P) 9. These eyes were collected and compared to controls without RD. The effects of RD on retinal degeneration were evaluated by histochemical staining of nuclei in the outer nuclear layer (ONL), rod and cone photoreceptors, and retinal vessels at P30 in retinal sections and flatmounts. Apoptotic photoreceptors were detected by TdT-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling (TUNEL) at P15. Mice with or without RD were also reared in darkness and evaluated immunohistochemically at P30. Results. The numbers of rhodopsin-positive (rod), peanut agglutinin-positive (cone), and diamino-2-phenyl-indol-stained (rodplus-cone) cells in the ONL were increased by 2.0-fold, 1.3-fold, and 1.2-fold, respectively, in the rd1 eyes with RD compared to those without RD at P30. In the detached retina, the cone photoreceptor inner/outer segment structures and the deep retinal vessels surrounding the inner nuclear layer and the ONL, but not the ganglion cell layer, were preserved. At P15, TUNEL-positive cell numbers in the ONL were significantly reduced in the eyes with RD. Light exposure had no effect on photoreceptor degeneration in the eyes with or without RD. Conclusions. RD mediates the preservation of cone and rod photoreceptors in the ONL and surrounding vascular structures by reducing the rate of apoptosis of photoreceptors in rd1 mice. Light deprivation does not appear to be one of the mechanisms of photoreceptor protection in the detached retinas in these mice.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience