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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2015, Article ID 816329, 7 pages
Research Article

Knocking Down Snrnp200 Initiates Demorphogenesis of Rod Photoreceptors in Zebrafish

1Department of Ophthalmology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanjing Medical University and State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Medicine, Nanjing Medical University, Nanjing 210029, China
2Department of Ophthalmology, The First People’s Hospital of Suqian, Suqian 223000, China
3Department of Ophthalmology, Tianjin Medical University, Tianjin Eye Hospital, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Tianjin 300040, China
4Model Animal Research Center, MOE Key Laboratory of Model Animal for Disease Study, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210061, China
5Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, 920 E. 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA

Received 31 October 2014; Revised 17 December 2014; Accepted 29 December 2014

Academic Editor: Patrik Schatz

Copyright © 2015 Yuan Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Purpose. The small nuclear ribonucleoprotein 200 kDa (SNRNP200) gene is a fundamental component for precursor message RNA (pre-mRNA) splicing and has been implicated in the etiology of autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP). This study aims to determine the consequences of knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Methods. Expression of the Snrnp200 transcript in zebrafish was determined via whole mount in situ hybridization. Morpholino oligonucleotide (MO) aiming to knock down the expression of Snrnp200 was injected into zebrafish embryos, followed by analyses of aberrant splicing and expression of the U4/U6-U5 tri-small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs) components and retina-specific transcripts. Systemic changes and retinal phenotypes were further characterized by histological study and immunofluorescence staining. Results. Snrnp200 was ubiquitously expressed in zebrafish. Knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish triggered aberrant splicing of the cbln1 gene, upregulation of other U4/U6-U5 tri-snRNP components, and downregulation of a panel of retina-specific transcripts. Systemic defects were found correlated with knockdown of Snrnp200 in zebrafish. Only demorphogenesis of rod photoreceptors was detected in the initial stage, mimicking the disease characteristics of RP. Conclusions. We conclude that knocking down Snrnp200 in zebrafish could alter regular splicing and expression of a panel of genes, which may eventually trigger rod defects.