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Ramdas W.D.,Erasmus Medical Center | Wolfs R.C.W.,Erasmus Medical Center | Hofman A.,Erasmus Medical Center | de Jong Paulus T.V.M.,Erasmus Medical Center | And 4 more authors.
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2011

Purpose. To determine the association between the ocular perfusion pressure (OPP; essentially the difference between the blood pressure and the intraocular pressure [IOP]) and incident open-angle glaucoma (OAG). Methods. A subset of 3882 participants of the population-based Rotterdam Study for whom data from ophthalmic examinations at baseline and follow-up and blood pressure measurements at baseline were available, and who did not have OAG at baseline, were included. Associations between the mean, systolic and diastolic OPP, and incident OAG were assessed using Cox regression models adjusted for age and sex, with and without adjustment for IOP. Results. During a mean follow-up of 9.8 years, 103 participants (2.7%) developed OAG. The association between the mean OPP and incident OAG was not significant (hazard ratio 0.995 per mm Hg increase in mean OPP; 95% confidence interval 0.971-1.019) when adjusted for IOP, but became significant if not adjusted for IOP (0.968; 0.945-0.992). The systolic and diastolic OPP showed a pattern similar to that of the mean OPP, though less significant. Conclusions. The OPP appears to be associated with incident OAG but this association seems to be due to the fact that the IOP, a strong risk factor for OAG, is part of the OPP, rather than that OPP is an independent OAG risk factor itself. © Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.


Hukema R.K.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Buijsen R.A.M.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Schonewille M.,Erasmus University Rotterdam | Raske C.,University of California at Davis | And 11 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2015

Fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder affecting carriers of the fragile X-premutation, who have an expanded CGG repeat in the 5'-UTR of the FMR1 gene. FXTAS is characterized by progressive development of intention tremor, ataxia, parkinsonismand neuropsychological problems. The disease is thought to be caused by a toxic RNA gain-of-function mechanism, and the major hallmark of the disease is ubiquitin-positive intranuclear inclusions in neurons and astrocytes. We have developed a new transgenic mouse model in which we can induce expression of an expanded repeat in the brain upon doxycycline (dox) exposure (i.e. Tet-On mice). This Tet-On model makes use of the PrP-rtTA driver and allows us to study disease progression and possibilities of reversibility. In these mice, 8 weeks of dox exposure was sufficient to induce the formation of ubiquitin-positive intranuclear inclusions, which also stain positive for the RAN translation product FMRpolyG. Formation of these inclusions is reversible after stopping expression of the expanded CGG RNA at an early developmental stage. Furthermore, we observed a deficit in the compensatory eye movements of mice with inclusions, a functional phenotype that could be reduced by stopping expression of the expanded CGG RNA early in the disease development. Taken together, this study shows, for the first time, the potential of disease reversibility and suggests that early intervention might be beneficial for FXTAS patients. © The Author 2015.


Endeman D.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Klaassen L.J.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Kamermans M.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Zebrafish is becoming an increasingly popular model in the field of visual neuroscience. Although the absorption spectra of its cone photopigments have been described, the cone action spectra were still unknown. In this study we report the action spectra of the four types of zebrafish cone photoreceptors, determined by measuring voltage responses upon light stimulation using whole cell patch clamp recordings. A generic template of photopigment absorption spectra was fit to the resulting action spectra in order to establish the maximum absorption wavelength, the A2-based photopigment contribution and the size of the β-wave of each cone-type. Although in general there is close correspondence between zebrafish cone action- and absorbance spectra, our data suggest that in the case of MWS- and LWS-cones there is appreciable contribution of A2-based photopigments and that the β-wave for these cones is smaller than expected based on the absorption spectra. © 2013 Endeman et al.


Klaassen L.J.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Sun Z.,Vanderbilt University | Steijaert M.N.,TU Eindhoven | Bolte P.,University of Oldenburg | And 11 more authors.
PLoS Biology | Year: 2011

In the vertebrate retina, horizontal cells generate the inhibitory surround of bipolar cells, an essential step in contrast enhancement. For the last decades, the mechanism involved in this inhibitory synaptic pathway has been a major controversy in retinal research. One hypothesis suggests that connexin hemichannels mediate this negative feedback signal; another suggests that feedback is mediated by protons. Mutant zebrafish were generated that lack connexin 55.5 hemichannels in horizontal cells. Whole cell voltage clamp recordings were made from isolated horizontal cells and cones in flat mount retinas. Light-induced feedback from horizontal cells to cones was reduced in mutants. A reduction of feedback was also found when horizontal cells were pharmacologically hyperpolarized but was absent when they were pharmacologically depolarized. Hemichannel currents in isolated horizontal cells showed a similar behavior. The hyperpolarization-induced hemichannel current was strongly reduced in the mutants while the depolarization-induced hemichannel current was not. Intracellular recordings were made from horizontal cells. Consistent with impaired feedback in the mutant, spectral opponent responses in horizontal cells were diminished in these animals. A behavioral assay revealed a lower contrast-sensitivity, illustrating the role of the horizontal cell to cone feedback pathway in contrast enhancement. Model simulations showed that the observed modifications of feedback can be accounted for by an ephaptic mechanism. A model for feedback, in which the number of connexin hemichannels is reduced to about 40%, fully predicts the specific asymmetric modification of feedback. To our knowledge, this is the first successful genetic interference in the feedback pathway from horizontal cells to cones. It provides direct evidence for an unconventional role of connexin hemichannels in the inhibitory synapse between horizontal cells and cones. This is an important step in resolving a long-standing debate about the unusual form of (ephaptic) synaptic transmission between horizontal cells and cones in the vertebrate retina.


PubMed | The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience, McGill University and University of Montréal
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PloS one | Year: 2015

Coxsackievirus type B3 (CVB3) is a cardiotropic enterovirus. Infection causes cardiomyocyte necrosis and myocardial inflammation. The damaged tissue that results is replaced with fibrotic or calcified tissue, which can lead to permanently altered cardiac function. The extent of pathogenesis among individuals exposed to CVB3 is dictated by a combination of host genetics, viral virulence, and the environment. Here, we aimed to identify genes that modulate cardiopathology following CVB3 infection. 129S1 mice infected with CVB3 developed increased cardiac pathology compared to 129X1 substrain mice despite no difference in viral burden. Linkage analysis identified a major locus on chromosome 7 (LOD: 8.307, P<0.0001) that controlled the severity of cardiac calcification and necrosis following infection. Sub-phenotyping and genetic complementation assays identified Abcc6 as the underlying gene. Microarray expression profiling identified genotype-dependent regulation of genes associated with mitochondria. Electron microscopy examination showed elevated deposition of hydroxyapatite-like material in the mitochondrial matrices of infected Abcc6 knockout (Abcc6-/-) mice but not in wildtype littermates. Cyclosporine A (CsA) inhibits mitochondrial permeability transition pore opening by inhibiting cyclophilin D (CypD). Treatment of Abcc6 -/- mice with CsA reduced cardiac necrosis and calcification by more than half. Furthermore, CsA had no effect on the CVB3-induced phenotype of doubly deficient CypD-/-Abcc6-/- mice. Altogether, our work demonstrates that mutations in Abcc6 render mice more susceptible to cardiac calcification following CVB3 infection. Moreover, we implicate CypD in the control of cardiac necrosis and calcification in Abcc6-deficient mice, whereby CypD inhibition is required for cardioprotection.


Pellissier L.P.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Lundvig D.M.S.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | Tanimoto N.,University of Tübingen | Klooster J.,Retinal Sciences | And 7 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics | Year: 2014

Mutations in the CRB1 gene lead to retinal dystrophies ranging from Leber congenital amaurosis (LCA) to earlyonset retinitis pigmentosa (RP), due to developmental defects or loss of adhesion between photoreceptors and Müller glia cells, respectively.Whereas over 150 mutations have been found, no clear genotype-phenotype correlation has been established. Mouse Crb1 knockout retinas show amild phenotype limited to the inferior quadrant, whereas Crb2 knockout retinas display a severe degeneration throughout the retina mimicking the phenotype observed in RP patients associated with CRB1 mutations. Crb1Crb2 double mutant retinas have severe developmental defects similar to the phenotype observed in LCA patients associated with CRB1 mutations. Therefore, CRB2 is a candidate modifying gene of human CRB1-related retinal dystrophy. In this study, we studied the cellular localization of CRB1 and CRB2 in human retina and tested the influence of the Crb2 gene allele on Crb1-retinal dystrophies in mice.Wefound that in contrast to mice, in the human retina CRB1 protein was expressed at the subapical region in photoreceptors and Müller glia cells, and CRB2 only in Müller glia cells. Genetic ablation of oneallele of Crb2 in heterozygote Crb1+/- retinas induced amild retinal phenotype, but inhomozygote Crb1 knockout mice lead to an early and severe phenotype limited to the entire inferior retina. Our data provide mechanistic insight for CRB1-related LCA and RP. © The Author 2014.


Sabbah S.,Queen's University | Zhu C.,Queen's University | Hornsby M.A.W.,Queen's University | Kamermans M.,The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2013

Color vision is most beneficial when the visual system is color constant and can correct the excitations of photoreceptors for differences in environmental irradiance. A phenomenon related to color constancy is color induction, where the color of an object shifts away from the color of its surroundings. These two phenomena depend on chromatic spatial integration, which was suggested to originate at the feedback synapse from horizontal cells (HC) to cones. However, the exact retinal site was never determined. Using the electroretinogram and compound action potential recordings, we estimated the spectral sensitivity of the photoresponse of cones, the output of cones, and the optic nerve in rainbow trout. Recordings were performed before and following pharmacological inhibition of HC-cone feedback, and were repeated under two colored backgrounds to estimate the efficiency of color induction. No color induction could be detected in the photoresponse of cones. However, the efficiency of color induction in the cone output and optic nerve was substantial, with the efficiency in the optic nerve being significantly higher than in the cone output. We found that the efficiency of color induction in the cone output and optic nerve decreased significantly with the inhibition of HC-cone feedback. Therefore, our findings suggest not only that color induction originates as a result of HC-cone feedback, but also that this effect of HC-cone feedback is further amplified at downstream retinal elements, possibly through feedback mechanisms at the inner plexiform layer. This study provides evidence for an important role of HC-cone feedback in mediating color induction, and therefore, likely also in mediating color constancy. © 2013 Sabbah et al.


PubMed | The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Journal of molecular medicine (Berlin, Germany) | Year: 2010

Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE) is a heritable disorder characterized by ectopic calcification of connective tissue in skin, Bruchs membrane of the eye, and walls of blood vessels. PXE is caused by mutations in the ABCC6 gene, but the exact etiology is still unknown. While observations on patients suggest that high calcium intake worsens the clinical symptoms, the patient organization PXE International has published the dietary advice to increase calcium intake in combination with increased magnesium intake. To obtain more data on this controversial issue, we examined the effect of dietary calcium and magnesium in the Abcc6(-/-) mouse, a PXE mouse model which mimics the clinical features of PXE. Abcc6(-/-) mice were placed on specific diets for 3, 7, and 12 months. Disease severity was measured by quantifying calcification of blood vessels in the kidney. Raising the calcium content in the diet from 0.5% to 2% did not change disease severity. In contrast, simultaneous increase of both calcium (from 0.5% to 2.0%) and magnesium (from 0.05% to 0.2%) slowed down the calcification significantly. Our present findings that increase in dietary magnesium reduces vascular calcification in a mouse model for PXE should stimulate further studies to establish a dietary intervention for PXE.


PubMed | The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Type: Journal Article | Journal: PLoS biology | Year: 2011

In the vertebrate retina, horizontal cells generate the inhibitory surround of bipolar cells, an essential step in contrast enhancement. For the last decades, the mechanism involved in this inhibitory synaptic pathway has been a major controversy in retinal research. One hypothesis suggests that connexin hemichannels mediate this negative feedback signal; another suggests that feedback is mediated by protons. Mutant zebrafish were generated that lack connexin 55.5 hemichannels in horizontal cells. Whole cell voltage clamp recordings were made from isolated horizontal cells and cones in flat mount retinas. Light-induced feedback from horizontal cells to cones was reduced in mutants. A reduction of feedback was also found when horizontal cells were pharmacologically hyperpolarized but was absent when they were pharmacologically depolarized. Hemichannel currents in isolated horizontal cells showed a similar behavior. The hyperpolarization-induced hemichannel current was strongly reduced in the mutants while the depolarization-induced hemichannel current was not. Intracellular recordings were made from horizontal cells. Consistent with impaired feedback in the mutant, spectral opponent responses in horizontal cells were diminished in these animals. A behavioral assay revealed a lower contrast-sensitivity, illustrating the role of the horizontal cell to cone feedback pathway in contrast enhancement. Model simulations showed that the observed modifications of feedback can be accounted for by an ephaptic mechanism. A model for feedback, in which the number of connexin hemichannels is reduced to about 40%, fully predicts the specific asymmetric modification of feedback. To our knowledge, this is the first successful genetic interference in the feedback pathway from horizontal cells to cones. It provides direct evidence for an unconventional role of connexin hemichannels in the inhibitory synapse between horizontal cells and cones. This is an important step in resolving a long-standing debate about the unusual form of (ephaptic) synaptic transmission between horizontal cells and cones in the vertebrate retina.


PubMed | The Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience
Type: Journal Article | Journal: The Journal of physiology | Year: 2012

In neuronal systems, excitation and inhibition must be well balanced to ensure reliable information transfer. The cone/horizontal cell (HC) interaction in the retina is an example of this. Because natural scenes encompass an enormous intensity range both in temporal and spatial domains, the balance between excitation and inhibition in the outer retina needs to be adaptable. How this is achieved is unknown. Using electrophysiological techniques in the isolated retina of the goldfish, it was found that opening Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) channels in recorded cones reduced the size of feedback responses measured in both cones and HCs. Furthermore, we show that cones express Cl(-) channels that are gated by GABA released from HCs. Similar to activation of I(Cl(Ca)), opening of these GABA-gated Cl(-) channels reduced the size of light-induced feedback responses both in cones and HCs. Conversely, application of picrotoxin, a blocker of GABA(A) and GABA(C) receptors, had the opposite effect. In addition, reducing GABA release from HCs by blocking GABA transporters also led to an increase in the size of feedback. Because the independent manipulation of Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) currents in individual cones yielded results comparable to bath-applied GABA, it was concluded that activation of either Cl(-) current by itself is sufficient to reduce the size of HC feedback. However, additional effects of GABA on outer retinal processing cannot be excluded. These results can be accounted for by an ephaptic feedback model in which a cone Cl(-) current shunts the current flow in the synaptic cleft. The Ca(2+)-dependent Cl(-) current might be essential to set the initial balance between the feedforward and the feedback signals active in the cone HC synapse. It prevents that strong feedback from HCs to cones flood the cone with Ca(2)(+). Modulation of the feedback strength by GABA might play a role during light/dark adaptation, adjusting the amount of negative feedback to the signal to noise ratio of the cone output.

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