Non-human primate models of cone disorders and other heritable retinal diseases


Non-human primate models of cone disorders and other heritable retinal diseases

Principal Investigator

Thomasy, Sara

Research Team

  • Drs. Rui Chen (Baylor)
  • Ala Moshiri (UCD)
  • Jeffrey Rogers (Baylor)
  • Timothy Stout (Baylor)

Sponsor

Baylor College of Medicine

Award Amount

$846,631

Abstract

Rogers and colleagues are exploring cases where animals have naturally occurring ocular diseases. The team will use these animal models to help develop therapies for diseases that cause the loss of cone photoreceptors—cells in the retina that detect color. In humans, cones are concentrated in an area of the retina responsible for central vision called the macula. Few models of cone disorders exist because many of the animals most commonly used in research have primarily rod photoreceptors, which cannot detect color, and few cone photoreceptors. The investigators at the CNPRC have discovered several animals with naturally occurring visual impairment and cone dysfunction. The Baylor team has identified specific mutations in those impaired animals in genes like PDE6C that in humans cause cone photoreceptor degeneration. The project will characterize retinal degeneration in these animals, explore ways to replace cone photoreceptors and restore visual function, and survey additional animals to identify other valuable naturally occurring disease models.

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