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RESEARCH ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 512-518

The Schlager mouse as a model of altered retinal phenotype


1 Dobney Hypertension Centre, School of Biomedical Science - Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
2 Research Centre, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Australia
3 Dobney Hypertension Centre, School of Medicine - Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
4 Neuropharmacology Laboratory, Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute, Melbourne, Australia
5 Dobney Hypertension Centre, School of Medicine - Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia; Department of Cardiology and Department of Nephrology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Australia

Correspondence Address:
Vance B Matthews
Dobney Hypertension Centre, School of Biomedical Science - Royal Perth Hospital Unit, University of Western Australia, Perth
Australia
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Source of Support: The study was generously funded by grants from the Royal Perth Hospital Medical Research Foundation (to VBM and MPS), Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1673-5374.266069

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Hypertension is a risk factor for a large number of vision-threatening eye disorders. In this study, we investigated for the first time the retinal neural structure of the hypertensive BPH/2J mouse (Schlager mouse) and compared it to its control counterpart, the normotensive BPN/3J strain. The BPH/2J mouse is a selectively inbred mouse strain that develops chronic hypertension due to elevated sympathetic nervous system activity. When compared to the BPN/3J strain, the hypertensive BPH/2J mice showed a complete loss of outer layers of the neural retina at 21 weeks of age, which was indicative of a severe vision-threatening disease potentially caused by hypertension. To elucidate whether the retinal neural phenotype in the BPH/2J strain was attributed to increased BP, we investigated the neural retina of both BPN/3J and BPH/2J mice at 4 weeks of age. Our preliminary results showed for the first time that the BPH/2J strain develops severe retinal neural damage at a young age. Our findings suggest that the retinal phenotype in the BPH/2J mouse is possibly due to elevated blood pressure and may be contributed by an early onset spontaneous mutation which is yet to be identified or a congenital defect occurring in this strain. Further characterization of the BPH/2J mouse strain is likely to i) elucidate gene defects underlying retinal disease; ii) understand mechanisms leading to neural retinal disease and iii) permit testing of molecules for translational research to interfere with the progression of retinal disease. The animal experiments were performed with the approval of the Royal Perth Hospital Animal Ethics Committee (R535/17-18) on June 1, 2017.


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