HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Clues to development of eye's light-sensitive cells found

Study has implications for understanding macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa

ANN ARBOR, MI - A paper published electronically this week by Nature Genetics offers important new insights into the development and differentiation of rod and cone photoreceptors, the light-sensitive cells in the eye's retina that initiate vision and are essential for clear sight.

A team led by Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology and vision research scientist at the University of Michigan Health System's Kellogg Eye Center, has demonstrated that the retinal protein Nrl is required for rod development and, in fact, acts as a "molecular switch," signaling the cells to develop into rods rather than cones.

Working with Swaroop, research investigator Alan J. Mears, Ph.D., deleted the gene that makes Nrl in mice, creating an Nrl-knockout strain that developed a retina without rod photoreceptors.

"These findings are important because they will allow us to understand how rods are formed, and more importantly how we can save the cones," says Swaroop. "Currently, the cellular pathways and regulatory molecules that determine exactly how photoreceptors develop are poorly understood. If we learn more about this process, we may be able to pinpoint ways to intervene with gene or drug therapy to treat certain types of vision loss."

A better understanding of rods and cones may help researchers treat retinitis pigmentosa (RP) and macular degeneration, two major eye diseases that involve loss of photoreceptors, resulting in slow but progressive vision loss.

Swaroop explains that photoreceptors are post-mitotic cells; meaning that when they degenerate, they cannot be replaced and a person's vision suffers. Cone photoreceptors enable color vision and visual acuity in bright light. Rods, which dominate the retina, are responsible for night vision.

To date, most research has centered on rods, in part because they ma
'"/>

Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
6-Nov-2001


Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. How wounds heal Clues from flies
2. Shadow proteins in thymus - Clues to how immune system works?
3. Clues to the evolution of photosynthesis
4. Clues from analysis of fish bones supports theory of climate shift 5000 years ago, onset of El Nio
5. Fossilized Emu Eggshells Give Clues To 65,000 Years Of Vegetation And Climate Changes In Australia
6. Ant-Fungus Relationship May Provide New Clues About Antibiotics
7. Jumpin Jordan! Athletic Gene Yields Biological Clues
8. Structure Of Fat-Depleting Protein Reveals Important Functional Clues
9. Model Polymers Reveal New Clues to Protein Folding
10. Study Finds Protein Clues To Early Embryo Development
11. New Clues To Evolution Of Human Brain

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 25, 2021 , ... Phlexglobal announced ... Planet Group, has selected Phlexglobal and its innovative regulatory SaaS software, PhlexSubmission, as ... a comprehensive review of five regulatory software companies, with the review team including ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... 25, 2021 , ... The 2021 Virtual Conference on Clinical Trial Supply-Europe ... More and more, clinical trial supply conferences are featuring speakers and forums that ... Asymmetrex’s founder and CEO, James L. Sherley, M.D., Ph.D., presented a talk ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... ... March 23, 2021 , ... G-CON Manufacturing (G-CON), the ... by Matica Biotechnology (Matica Bio), a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) specializing ... the cleanroom build out for its new GMP production facility in College Station, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ... Life Sciences and Healthcare firms of all sizes, adds depth to its team ... specialist. Pardillo, who earned his doctorate in computational chemistry from Florida International University ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... March 24, 2021 , ... ABI Wellness, ... and reporting approach designed under CEO Mark Watson, today announced a webinar dedicated ... featuring guest speakers Dr. Cameron Clark, Neuropsychologist and Founder of Sharp Thinking, and ...
(Date:3/27/2021)... ... ... The Xtalks editorial team is pleased to announce the launch of the ... joined by editorial team members Ayesha Rashid, Sydney Perelmutter and Mira Nabulsi to discuss ... including insights from industry experts. , The Xtalks Life Science podcast will feature ...
(Date:3/23/2021)... Conn. (PRWEB) , ... March 23, 2021 , ... ... develops solutions for characterizing microbiome populations down to the strain level, recently unveiled ... applications. , Not all microbes are created equal: some are easy to ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: