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author:("fall, Edda")
1.  PARP1 Gene Knock-Out Increases Resistance to Retinal Degeneration without Affecting Retinal Function 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(11):e15495.
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a group of inherited neurodegenerative diseases affecting photoreceptors and causing blindness in humans. Previously, excessive activation of enzymes belonging to the poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) group was shown to be involved in photoreceptor degeneration in the human homologous rd1 mouse model for RP. Since there are at least 16 different PARP isoforms, we investigated the exact relevance of the predominant isoform - PARP1 - for photoreceptor cell death using PARP1 knock-out (KO) mice. In vivo and ex vivo morphological analysis using optic coherence tomography (OCT) and conventional histology revealed no major alterations of retinal phenotype when compared to wild-type (wt). Likewise, retinal function as assessed by electroretinography (ERG) was normal in PARP1 KO animals. We then used retinal explant cultures derived from wt, rd1, and PARP1 KO animals to test their susceptibility to chemically induced photoreceptor degeneration. Since photoreceptor degeneration in the rd1 retina is triggered by a loss-of-function in phosphodiesterase-6 (PDE6), we used selective PDE6 inhibition to emulate the rd1 situation on non-rd1 genotypes. While wt retina subjected to PDE6 inhibition showed massive photoreceptor degeneration comparable to rd1 retina, in the PARP1 KO situation, cell death was robustly reduced. Together, these findings demonstrate that PARP1 activity is in principle dispensable for normal retinal function, but is of major importance for photoreceptor degeneration under pathological conditions. Moreover, our results suggest that PARP dependent cell death or PARthanatos may play a major role in retinal degeneration and highlight the possibility to use specific PARP inhibitors for the treatment of RP.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0015495
PMCID: PMC2990765  PMID: 21124852
2.  Retinal Degenerative and Hypoxic Ischemic Disease 
A broad spectrum of retinal diseases affects both the retinal vasculature and the neural retina, including photoreceptor and postreceptor layers. The accepted clinical hallmarks of acute retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) are dilation and tortuosity of the retinal vasculature. Additionally, significant early and persistent effects on photoreceptor and postreceptor neural structures and function are demonstrated in ROP. In this paper, we focus on the results of longitudinal studies of electroretinographic (ERG) and vascular features in rats with induced retinopathies that model the gamut of human ROP, mild to severe. Two potential targets for pharmaceutical interventions emerge from the observations. The first target is immature photoreceptors because the status of the photoreceptors at an early age predicts later vascular outcome; this approach is appealing as it holds promise to prevent ROP. The second target is the interplay of the neural and vascular retinal networks, which develop cooperatively. Beneficial pharmaceutical interventions may be measured in improved visual outcome as well as lessening of the vascular abnormalities.
doi:10.1007/s10633-008-9127-8
PMCID: PMC2629502  PMID: 18483822
3.  Noninvasive, In Vivo Assessment of Mouse Retinal Structure Using Optical Coherence Tomography 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(10):e7507.
Background
Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a novel method of retinal in vivo imaging. In this study, we assessed the potential of OCT to yield histology-analogue sections in mouse models of retinal degeneration.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We achieved to adapt a commercial 3rd generation OCT system to obtain and quantify high-resolution morphological sections of the mouse retina which so far required in vitro histology. OCT and histology were compared in models with developmental defects, light damage, and inherited retinal degenerations. In conditional knockout mice deficient in retinal retinoblastoma protein Rb, the gradient of Cre expression from center to periphery, leading to a gradual reduction of retinal thickness, was clearly visible and well topographically quantifiable. In Nrl knockout mice, the layer involvement in the formation of rosette-like structures was similarly clear as in histology. OCT examination of focal light damage, well demarcated by the autofluorescence pattern, revealed a practically complete loss of photoreceptors with preservation of inner retinal layers, but also more subtle changes like edema formation. In Crb1 knockout mice (a model for Leber's congenital amaurosis), retinal vessels slipping through the outer nuclear layer towards the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) due to the lack of adhesion in the subapical region of the photoreceptor inner segments could be well identified.
Conclusions/Significance
We found that with the OCT we were able to detect and analyze a wide range of mouse retinal pathology, and the results compared well to histological sections. In addition, the technique allows to follow individual animals over time, thereby reducing the numbers of study animals needed, and to assess dynamic processes like edema formation. The results clearly indicate that OCT has the potential to revolutionize the future design of respective short- and long-term studies, as well as the preclinical assessment of therapeutic strategies.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0007507
PMCID: PMC2759518  PMID: 19838301
4.  Role of IFN-gamma and IL-6 in a protective immune response to Yersinia enterocolitica in mice 
BMC Microbiology  2008;8:153.
Background
Yersinia outer protein (Yop) H is a secreted virulence factor of Yersinia enterocolitica (Ye), which inhibits phagocytosis of Ye and contributes to the virulence of Ye in mice. The aim of this study was to address whether and how YopH affects the innate immune response to Ye in mice.
Results
For this purpose, mice were infected with wild type Ye (pYV+) or a YopH-deficient Ye mutant strain (ΔyopH). CD11b+ cells were isolated from the infected spleen and subjected to gene expression analysis using microarrays. Despite the attenuation of ΔyopH in vivo, by variation of infection doses we were able to achieve conditions that allow comparison of gene expression in pYV+ and ΔyopH infection, using either comparable infection courses or splenic bacterial burden. Gene expression analysis provided evidence that expression levels of several immune response genes, including IFN-γ and IL-6, are high after pYV+ infection but low after sublethal ΔyopH infection. In line with these findings, infection of IFN-γR-/- and IL-6-/- mice with pYV+ or ΔyopH revealed that these cytokines are not necessarily required for control of ΔyopH, but are essential for defense against infection with the more virulent pYV+. Consistently, IFN-γ pretreatment of bone marrow derived macrophages (BMDM) strongly enhanced their ability in killing intracellular Ye bacteria.
Conclusion
In conclusion, this data suggests that IFN-γ-mediated effector mechanisms can partially compensate virulence exerted by YopH. These results shed new light on the protective role of IFN-γ in Ye wild type infections.
doi:10.1186/1471-2180-8-153
PMCID: PMC2556677  PMID: 18803824

Results 1-4 (4)