Strain differences in sensitivity to light-induced photoreceptor degeneration in albino mice

Curr Eye Res. 1987 Jun;6(6):825-34. doi: 10.3109/02713688709034850.


The sensitivity to light-induced photoreceptor degeneration was examined in 7 different inbred strains of albino mice. The mice were exposed to 3 weeks of constant fluorescent light at an illuminance level of 115-130 ft-c (ca. 1,265-1,430 lux), after which the eyes were examined histologically. The degree of light-induced photoreceptor degeneration was compared to that found in BALB/cByJ (BALB/c) albino mice, which have previously been described as sensitive to the damaging effects of light, and to C57BL/6J-c2J albino mice, which have been shown to be resistant to light-induced damage. Mice of the A/J, AKR/J and NZW/LacJ strains were indistinguishable from BALB/c mice in light sensitivity, as measured by mean outer nuclear layer thickness and the presence or absence of outer segment membranes. Mice of the Ma/MyJ and RF/J strains were somewhat more sensitive to light than BALB/c mice, and those of the RIIIs/J were far more sensitive than all of the other strains. The LG/J strain differed from other strains by individual mice displaying one of two degrees of light sensitivity, those similar to the light-sensitive Ma/MyJ and RF strains and those remarkably more resistant to light, with photoreceptor outer segment integrity even greater than that of the light-resistant C57BL/6J-c2J strain. These findings demonstrate that different inbred strains of a given species may exhibit a wide range of sensitivities to constant light exposure and that most albino mouse strains examined thus far are highly sensitive to the damaging effects of light.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Disease Susceptibility
  • Light*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / genetics*
  • Mice, Inbred Strains / physiology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects*
  • Radiation Injuries, Experimental*
  • Retinal Degeneration / etiology*
  • Retinal Degeneration / genetics
  • Retinal Degeneration / pathology