Characterization and identification of measurable endpoints in a mouse model featuring age-related retinal pathologies: a platform to test therapies.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Apolipoprotein B100 (apoB100) is the structural protein of cholesterol carriers including low-density lipoproteins. It is a constituent of sub-retinal pigment epithelial (sub-RPE) deposits and pro-atherogenic plaques, hallmarks of early dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), an ocular neurodegenerative blinding disease, and cardiovascular disease, respectively. Herein, we characterized the retinal pathology of transgenic mice expressing mouse apoB100 in order to catalog their functional and morphological ocular phenotypes as a function of age and establish measurable endpoints for their use as a mouse model to test potential therapies. ApoB100 mice were found to exhibit an age-related decline in retinal function, as measured by electroretinogram (ERG) recordings of their scotopic a-wave, scotopic b-wave; and c-wave amplitudes. ApoB100 mice also displayed a buildup of the cholesterol carrier, apolipoprotein E (apoE) within and below the supporting extracellular matrix, Bruch's membrane (BrM), along with BrM thickening, and accumulation of thin diffuse electron-dense sub-RPE deposits, the severity of which increased with age. Moreover, the combination of apoB100 and advanced age were found to be associated with RPE morphological changes and the presence of sub-retinal immune cells as visualized in RPE-choroid flatmounts. Finally, aged apoB100 mice showed higher levels of circulating and ocular pro-inflammatory cytokines, supporting a link between age and increased local and systemic inflammation. Collectively, the data support the use of aged apoB100 mice as a platform to evaluate potential therapies for retinal degeneration, specifically drugs intended to target removal of lipids from Bruch's membrane and/or alleviate ocular inflammation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Choudhary, M; Tayyari, F; Handa, JT; Malek, G

Published Date

  • May 19, 2022

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 35589984

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-0307

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1038/s41374-022-00795-7


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States