Genetic Influences on Susceptibility to Oxygen-Induced Retinopathy
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
PURPOSE. To investigate the inheritance of susceptibility to oxygen-induced retinopathy in the rat with the use of formal backcross analysis. METHODS. Neonatal offspring of inbred albino Fischer 344 (F344) and pigmented Dark Agouti (DA) crosses and F1ϫF344 and F1ϫDA backcrosses were exposed to alternating 24-hour cycles of hyperoxia (80% oxygen in air) and normoxia (21% oxygen in air) for 14 days. Retinal avascular area was analyzed by staining with Griffonia simplicifolia isolectin B4, a
... olectin B4, a marker of vascular endothelial cells. Expression of erythropoietin (EPO) mRNA in retinas was quantified by real-time reversetranscription polymerase chain reaction. RESULTS. Oxygen-exposed offspring of two F344ϫDA F1 crosses showed retinal avascular areas and ocular and coat pigmentation that were similar to those of the DA strain. Mean retinal avascular area was 73%. Offspring of two DAϫF1 backcrosses were similar to F344ϫDA F1 pups, with pigmented eyes and coats and a mean retinal avascular area of 76%. In contrast, offspring of two F344ϫF1 backcrosses exhibited a range of eye and coat pigmentation. Mean retinal avascular area of pigmented offspring of the F344ϫF1 backcrosses was 71% (P Ͻ 0.001 compared with F344 rats). Mean avascular area of albino offspring of the F344ϫF1 backcrosses was 27% (P Ͼ 0.05 compared with F344 rats). The normalized expression of EPO mRNA was 3.01 Ϯ 1.00 in retinas from pigmented F344ϫF1 backcross offspring compared with 1.31 Ϯ 0.69 for albino offspring (P Ͻ 0.001). CONCLUSIONS. Segregation of the susceptibility trait to oxygeninduced retinopathy in the DA and F344 rat strains is associated with pigmentation and erythropoietin expression and can be modeled using an autosomal dominant pattern of inheritance.