Abca4 inhibition in a cone-rich rodent leads to Stargardt Disease type 1-like retinal degeneration - Archive ouverte HAL Access content directly
Preprints, Working Papers, ... Year : 2023

Abca4 inhibition in a cone-rich rodent leads to Stargardt Disease type 1-like retinal degeneration

Abstract

Mutations in the gene ABCA4 coding for photoreceptor-specific A TP- b inding c assette subfamily A member 4 , are responsible for the most common form of inherited macular degeneration known as Stargardt Disease type 1 (STGD1). STGD1 typically declares early in life and leads to severe visual handicap. Abca4 gene deletion mouse models of STGD1 show increased accumulation of lipofuscin, a hallmark of the disease, but unlike the human disease show mostly no photoreceptor degeneration or functional decline (an albino Abca4-/- mouse exhibits photoreceptor degeneration although functional parameters were not studied). Reasoning that the small cone population of mice (<3%) might compromise more faithful modelling of human maculopathies, we performed subretinal injections of CRISPR/Cas9-Abca4 recombinant Adeno-Associated Virus constructs into young Fat Sand Rats ( Psammomys obesus ), a diurnal rodent containing >30% cones. Sanger sequencing of the CRISPR-targeted sequence showed clear edition of the Abca4 gene. At 2 months post- injection, non-invasive fundus imaging showed widespread photoreceptor loss, confirmed by optical coherence tomography. Functional recording by scotopic and photopic single flash, and photopic flicker electroretinography, showed significant decline in photopic (cone) but not scotopic (rod) light responses. Post-mortem real-time PCR, immunohistochemistry and western blotting showed significant decrease of cone-specific (MW cone opsin) but not rod- specific (rhodopsin) markers. Transmission electron microscopy showed large numbers of lipid inclusions in treated but not control retinal pigmented epithelium. Finally, ultrahigh performance liquid chromatographic analysis of whole P. obesus eyes showed the presence of all-trans retinal-dimer, also seen in Abca4 -/- mice but not normal rod-rich mouse or rat eyes. In conclusion, this animal model of STGD1 more accurately reflects human STGD1 and should be valuable for characterizing pathogenic pathways and exploring treatment options.

Dates and versions

hal-04284705 , version 1 (14-11-2023)

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Fabiana Sassone, Michel J. Roux, Dominique Ciocca, Paola Rossolillo, Marie-Christine Birling, et al.. Abca4 inhibition in a cone-rich rodent leads to Stargardt Disease type 1-like retinal degeneration. 2023. ⟨hal-04284705⟩
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