Purpose: To determine if p53 mediates apoptosis in photoreceptors of retinal degeneration, rd1, mice.
Methods: The rd1/rd1 mice were interbred with p53 null mice to generate p53-/- rd1/rd1 and p53+/+ rd1/rd1 mice. Rates of loss and incidence of apoptosis in rod photoreceptors were analyzed at appropriate ages (postnatal days 12, 14 and 16).
Results: The extent and kinetics of photoreceptor cell loss in rd1 mice were nearly indistinguishable in the p53+/+ and p53 null mice.
Conclusions: Photoreceptor cell apoptosis in the rd1 mouse model occurs by a predominantly p53-independent molecular pathway.