Reevaluation of dystrophin localization in the mouse retina

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2011 Oct 7;52(11):7901-8. doi: 10.1167/iovs.11-7519.


PURPOSE. The roles of dystrophins in retinal physiology remain elusive. The lack of proper clustering of the potassium channel Kir4.1 and of the aquaporin AQP4 was proposed to be the basis of the ERG abnormality observed in many Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients. However, the electroretinogram of Dp71-null mice, in which this clustering is disrupted, shows only a moderate reduction of the b-wave with no change in the implicit times. Additionally, the deficit in color discrimination found in DMD patients is hard to explain through the known expression of DMD gene products. The authors thus decided to reexamine their distribution in the mouse retina. METHODS. Messenger RNA distribution was assessed by PCR coupled to laser microdissection of the outer and inner nuclear layers and by in situ hybridization for Dp427. Mouse retinas were double labeled for dystrophins versus presynaptic and postsynaptic proteins or antibodies specific for Dp427 or Dp427+Dp260. RESULTS. Messengers for Dp427, Dp260, and Dp140 were present in the inner nuclear layer. Dp427 mRNA was further detected in bipolar cells and in some amacrine cells by in situ hybridization. Comparative labeling in wild-type and mdx(5Cv) retinas (lacking Dp427) indicated a differential distribution of Dp427 and Dp260 between rod and cone terminals. CONCLUSIONS. In addition to their localization in photoreceptor terminals, Dp427, Dp260, and Dp140 are expressed in inner nuclear layer neurons, notably in bipolar cells for Dp427. Dp427 was proportionally more expressed in cone- than in rod-associated synapses compared with Dp260.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • DNA Primers / chemistry
  • Dystrophin / genetics*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • Laser Capture Microdissection
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retinal Neurons / metabolism*
  • Synapses / metabolism


  • DNA Primers
  • Dystrophin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • apo-dystrophin 1