Naturally Occurring Inherited Forms of Retinal Degeneration in Vertebrate Animal Species: A Comparative and Evolutionary Perspective.

Freya Mowat // Publications // Jan 01 2019

PubMed ID: 31884618

Author(s): Mowat FM. Naturally occurring inherited forms of retinal degeneration in vertebrate animal species: a comparative and evolutionary perspective. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2019;1185:239-243. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-27378-1_39. PMID 31884618

Journal: Advances In Experimental Medicine And Biology, Volume 1185, 2019

The ability to noninvasively monitor retinal abnormalities using imaging and cognitive and electrophysiological assessment has made it possible to carefully characterize genetic influences on retinal health. Because genetic retinal traits in animal species are not commonly detrimental to survival beyond birth, it is possible to document the natural history of retinal disease. Human quality of life is greatly impacted by retinal disease, and blindness carries a significant financial burden to society. Because of these compelling reasons, there is an ongoing medical need to study the effect of genetic mutations on retinal health and to develop therapies to address them. Transgenic animal models have aided in these missions, but there are opportunities for novel gene discovery and a development of greater understanding of retinal physiology using animal models that develop naturally occurring heritable retinal disorders. In this chapter, the advantages and disadvantages of transgenic and spontaneous vertebrate animal models of human inherited retinal disease are debated, in particular those of carnivore species, and the potential resource of spontaneous heritable retinal disorders in inbred nondomestic carnivore species is discussed.