We explored the potential protective effects of tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) on cone photoreceptor survival in a model of rapid retinal degeneration, the ß-Pde6 (rd1) (rd1) mouse model. We injected two strains of rd1 mice (B6.C3-Pde6b (rd1) Hps4(le)/J and C57BL/6J-Pde6b (rd1-2)/J mice) daily from postnatal day (P) 6 to P21 with TUDCA or vehicle. At P21, retinal function was evaluated with light-adapted electroretinography (ERG) and retinal structure was observed with plastic or frozen sections. TUDCA treatment partially preserved function and structure in B6.C3-Pde6b (rd1) Hps4(le)/J mice but only partially preserved structure in C57BL/6J-Pde6b (rd1-2)/J mice. Our results suggest a possible intervention for patients undergoing rapid retinal degeneration.
Keywords: Bile acids; Retinal degeneration; Retinitis pigmentosa; TUDCA; Tauroursodeoxycholic acid; rd1 mice.