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Accession IconGSE22317

Distinct signature of altered homeostasis in aging rod photoreceptors: Implications for retinal diseases

Organism Icon Mus musculus
Sample Icon 12 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge Icon Affymetrix Mouse Genome 430 2.0 Array (mouse4302)

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To better understand the mechanistic basis of aging and its relationship with retinal degeneration, we examined gene expression changes in aging rod photoreceptors. Rod photoreceptor cell death is a feature of normal retinal aging and is accelerated in many retinal degenerative diseases, including AMD, the leading cause of untreatable adult blindness in the United States and other western countries. To our knowledge, the examination of age-related gene expression changes in a specific neuronal cell-type is novel, and it has allowed us to identify significant age-related changes with better resolution than is possible with whole retina samples. We used flow cytometry and a transgenic mouse with GFP-tagged rod photoreceptors to purify this specific cell population, and gene expression changes were evaluated at three time points using microarrays and quantitative RT-PCR. Our results suggest that aging is progressive, beginning even in young adult mice. Although rod photoreceptors are highly specialized neurons, our analyses revealed changes in consensus pathways of aging, including oxidative phosphorylation and stress responses affecting transcription and inflammation. In addition, we identified stress response processes that may be especially relevant for the aging retina and retinal diseases, such as angiogenesis and nuclear receptor signaling pathways that affect retinoid and lipid metabolism.
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