Ultrastructural and ERG findings in mice with adenomatous polyposis coli gene disruption

Dennis M. Marcus, Anil K. Rustgi, Dennis Defoe, Raju Kucherlapati, Winfried Edelmann, Duco Hamasaki, Gregory I. Liou, Sylvia B. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: In order to continue the previous morphological studies of eyes from mice with adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene mutation at codon 1638, we determined the ultrastructural and electrophysiologic characteristics of these eyes. Methods: Thirty-eight eyes from 20 mice heterozygous for APC gene mutation and 22 eyes from 11 wild-type mice were examined by light microscopy. Six APC-modified eyes without light microscopic abnormalities, four APC-modified eyes with focal light microscopic abnormalities, and four wild-type eyes were examined by electron microscopy. Electroretinograms were recorded from four APC-modified and three wild-type mice. Results: Four of 38 APC-modified eyes demonstrated ultrastructural evidence of focal RPE cells with increased melanosome production and atrophy. Other areas of the RPE in these four eyes demonstrated no ultrastructural abnormalities. Three APC-modified eyes demonstrated electron and light microscopic evidence of RPE hyperplasia. Electron microscopic examination of APC-modified eyes without light microscopic evidence of abnormalities demonstrated no ultrastructural differences from age-matched controls. Electroretinography demonstrated no differences in the b-wave or c-wave amplitudes between APC-modified and wild-type mice. Conclusions: While light microscopic RPE alterations are observed in these APC-modified mice, the absence of a generalized, ultrastructural murine RPE defect is in contradistinction to observations in electron microscopic investigations of humans with colonic polyposis, pigmented ocular fundus lesions, and APC gene mutations between codons 463 and 1444. Our results in mice with APC mutation at codon 1638, however, are consistent with a previously identified association between the expression of pigmented ocular fundus lesions and region-specific mutation in the human APC gene. The APC protein may possess a physiologic function for both retinal and RPE development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-177
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular vision
Issue number23
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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