Differential effect of the rd mutation on rods and cones in the mouse retina

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1978 Jun;17(6):489-98.


The retinas of rd/rd C57BL/6J-rd le mice have been examined by light and electron microscopy to determine whether rod cell degeneration precedes cone cell degeneration. In all regions of the eye, a rapid rod degeneration precedes a much slower cone degeneration. Only about 2% of the rods remain in the posterior region at postnatal day 17, and none by the day 36. By contrast, at least 75% of the cone nuclei remain at day 17. Although most of these slowly disappear, about 1.5% of the original population of cone nuclei in the posterior retina is still present at 18 months of age. A central to peripheral temporal gradient of degeneration exists, such that some rod nuclei persist in the far periphery up to day 47, but none is found at day 65. About 5% of the cone nuclei are still present in the far periphery at 18 months of age.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Female
  • Genes, Recessive
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mutation*
  • Photoreceptor Cells / abnormalities*
  • Photoreceptor Cells / pathology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Degeneration / congenital*
  • Retinal Degeneration / pathology