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Journal of Ophthalmology
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9721362, 13 pages
Research Article

The Degeneration and Apoptosis Patterns of Cone Photoreceptors in rd11 Mice

1School of Ophthalmology & Optometry, The Eye Hospital, Wenzhou Medical University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang 325027, China
2Department of Ophthalmology, First Affiliated Hospital of Guangxi Medical University, Nanning, Guangxi 530021, China
3Fenyang College, Shanxi Medical University, Fenyang, Shanxi 032200, China
4Qingdao Eye Hospital, Shandong Eye Institute, Shandong Academy of Medical Science, Qingdao 266000, China
5The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME, USA
6Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Ji-jing Pang

Received 17 August 2016; Revised 20 November 2016; Accepted 27 November 2016; Published 12 January 2017

Academic Editor: Ana Raquel Santiago

Copyright © 2017 Hua Zhang 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.


The retinal degeneration 11 (rd11) mouse is a new animal model with rapid photoreceptor degeneration. The long-term efficacy of gene therapy has a direct relationship with the onset of photoreceptor degeneration or apoptosis, whereas the degeneration or apoptosis patterns of photoreceptors are still unclear in rd11 mice. The distribution patterns of cone function-related L- and S-opsin were examined by immunofluorescence staining, and the apoptosis was performed by TUNEL assay in rd11 mice. The expression pattern of L-opsin or S-opsin in rd11 retina at postnatal day (P) 14 was similar to the pattern observed in wildtype retina. With increasing age, the expression of L-opsin and S-opsin, especially S-opsin, decreased significantly in rd11 mice. The degeneration of L-opsin began around the optic nerve and expanded to the periphery of the retina, from the ventral/nasal to dorsal/temporal retina, whereas the expression of S-opsin gradually decreased from the dorsal/temporal to ventral/nasal retina. Apoptotic signal appeared at P14 and was strongest at P28 of rd11 mice. The key genes associated with apoptosis confirmed those changes. These indicated that the degeneration and apoptosis of cone photoreceptors began at P14 of rd11 mice, which was a key point for gene therapy.