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Animal Diseases - Top 30 Publications

Animal Health Surveillance.

Comparison of Pneumocystis nucleic acid and antibody profiles and their associations with other respiratory pathogens in two Austrian pig herds.

Pneumocystis carinii f. sp. suis (PCS) nucleic acid and antibody profiles on two Austrian-farrow-to-finish farms were investigated. Furthermore, associations with other respiratory pathogens were evaluated. Respiratory specimen and sera from pigs of five age classes between the 1st week and the 3rd month of life as well as samples from sows were analyzed. On Farm A, PCS infection occurred early in life. The suckling piglets were already infected in the 1st week of life and the pigs remained positive until the 3rd month of life. On Farm B, pigs were infected later, between 3 and 4 months of age. The maximum PCS nucleic acid load on Farm A was 8.3 log10 genome copies/mL BALF, whereas on Farm B the PCS burden was significantly lower, with 4.0 log10 genome copies/mL BALF. Anti-PCS antibodies were detected in sows, as maternal antibodies in suckling piglets and as an immunological reaction to infection. On both farms, PCS infection was accompanied by several co-infections. On Farm A, there were concurrent infections with PRRSV, a virulent strain of Haemophilus parasuis, and Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae. On Farm B, PCS was accompanied by infections with swine influenza virus, Mycoplasma hyopneumoniae, and a non-virulent strain of Haemophilus parasuis. The results clearly show that the PCS profiles can vary between farms. Younger pigs may be more susceptible as they had higher PCS burdens. It is possible that PCS may contribute to a respiratory disease in pigs and further investigation of its potential role is warranted.

Quantitative multiplexed proteomics of Taenia solium cysts obtained from the skeletal muscle and central nervous system of pigs.

In human and porcine cysticercosis caused by the tapeworm Taenia solium, the larval stage (cysts) can infest several tissues including the central nervous system (CNS) and the skeletal muscles (SM). The cyst's proteomics changes associated with the tissue localization in the host tissues have been poorly studied. Quantitative multiplexed proteomics has the power to evaluate global proteome changes in response to different conditions. Here, using a TMT-multiplexed strategy we identified and quantified over 4,200 proteins in cysts obtained from the SM and CNS of pigs, of which 891 were host proteins. To our knowledge, this is the most extensive intermixing of host and parasite proteins reported for tapeworm infections.Several antigens in cysticercosis, i.e., GP50, paramyosin and a calcium-binding protein were enriched in skeletal muscle cysts. Our results suggested the occurrence of tissue-enriched antigen that could be useful in the improvement of the immunodiagnosis for cysticercosis. Using several algorithms for epitope detection, we selected 42 highly antigenic proteins enriched for each tissue localization of the cysts. Taking into account the fold changes and the antigen/epitope contents, we selected 10 proteins and produced synthetic peptides from the best epitopes. Nine peptides were recognized by serum antibodies of cysticercotic pigs, suggesting that those peptides are antigens. Mixtures of peptides derived from SM and CNS cysts yielded better results than mixtures of peptides derived from a single tissue location, however the identification of the 'optimal' tissue-enriched antigens remains to be discovered. Through machine learning technologies, we determined that a reliable immunodiagnostic test for porcine cysticercosis required at least five different antigenic determinants.

Northern Ireland disease surveillance report, April to June 2017.

Parasitic pneumonia in cowsLeptospirosis in a calfNecrotising mastitis in ewes due to Mannheimia haemolytica infectionCongenital goitre in ovine fetusesActinobacillus pleuropneumoniae pneumonia in growing pigsCircovirus and Salmonella Typhimurium infection in pigeons These are among matters discussed in the Northern Ireland animal disease surveillance quarterly report for April to June 2017.

The Global Threat of Animal Influenza Viruses of Zoonotic Concern: Then and Now.

Animal influenza viruses can reassort or mutate to infect and spread sustainably among people and cause a devastating worldwide pandemic. Since the first evidence of human infection with an animal influenza virus, in 1958, 16 different novel, zoonotic influenza A virus subtype groups in 29 countries, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have caused human infections, with differing severity and frequency. The frequency of novel influenza virus detection is increasing, and human infections with influenza A(H5N1) and A(H7N9) viruses are now annual seasonal occurrences in Asia. The study of the epidemiology and virology of animal influenza viruses is key to understanding pandemic risk and informing preparedness. This supplement brings together select recent articles that look at the risk of emergence and transmission of and approaches to prevent novel influenza virus infections.

Commentary: A Historical Review of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Antiviral Treatment and Postexposure Chemoprophylaxis Guidance for Human Infections With Novel Influenza A Viruses Associated With Severe Human Disease.

Human infections with novel influenza A viruses are of global public health concern, and antiviral medications have a potentially important role in treatment and prevention of human illness. Initial guidance was developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after the emergence of human infections with avian influenza A(H5N1) and has evolved over time, with identification of influenza A(H7N9) virus infections in humans, as well as detection of avian influenza viruses in birds in the United States. This commentary describes the historical context and current guidance for the use of influenza antiviral medications for treatment and post-exposure chemoprophylaxis of human infections with novel influenza A viruses associated with severe human illness, or with the potential to cause severe human disease, and provides the scientific rationale behind current recommendations.

Mild Respiratory Illness Among Young Children Caused by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A (H5N1) Virus Infection in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 2011.

In March 2011, a multidisciplinary team investigated 2 human cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus infection, detected through population-based active surveillance for influenza in Bangladesh, to assess transmission and contain further spread.

Risk of Human Infections With Highly Pathogenic H5N2 and Low Pathogenic H7N1 Avian Influenza Strains During Outbreaks in Ostriches in South Africa.

Risk factors for human infection with highly pathogenic (HP) and low-pathogenic (LP) avian influenza (AI) H5N2 and H7N1 were investigated during outbreaks in ostriches in the Western Cape province, South Africa.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H5N1) Viruses at the Animal-Human Interface in Vietnam, 2003-2010.

Mutation and reassortment of highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) viruses at the animal-human interface remain a major concern for emergence of viruses with pandemic potential. To understand the relationship of H5N1 viruses circulating in poultry and those isolated from humans, comprehensive phylogenetic and molecular analyses of viruses collected from both hosts in Vietnam between 2003 and 2010 were performed. We examined the temporal and spatial distribution of human cases relative to H5N1 poultry outbreaks and characterized the genetic lineages and amino acid substitutions in each gene segment identified in humans relative to closely related viruses from avian hosts. Six hemagglutinin clades and 8 genotypes were identified in humans, all of which were initially identified in poultry. Several amino acid mutations throughout the genomes of viruses isolated from humans were identified, indicating the potential for poultry viruses infecting humans to rapidly acquire molecular markers associated with mammalian adaptation and antiviral resistance.

Pathogenesis, Transmissibility, and Tropism of a Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza A(H7N7) Virus Associated With Human Conjunctivitis in Italy, 2013.

H7 subtype influenza viruses represent a persistent public health threat because of their continued detection in poultry and ability to cause human infection. An outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza H7N7 virus in Italy during 2013 resulted in 3 cases of human conjunctivitis. We determined the pathogenicity and transmissibility of influenza A/Italy/3/2013 virus in mouse and ferret models and examined the replication kinetics of this virus in several human epithelial cell types. The moderate virulence observed in mammalian models and the capacity for transmission in a direct contact model underscore the need for continued study of H7 subtype viruses.

A Zebrafish Model of Mycobacterium leprae Granulomatous Infection.

Understanding the pathogenesis of leprosy granulomas has been hindered by a paucity of tractable experimental animal models. Mycobacterium leprae, which causes leprosy, grows optimally at approximately 30°C, so we sought to model granulomatous disease in the ectothermic zebrafish. We found that noncaseating granulomas develop rapidly and eventually eradicate infection. rag1 mutant zebrafish, which lack lymphocytes, also form noncaseating granulomas with similar kinetics, but these control infection more slowly. Our findings establish the zebrafish as a facile, genetically tractable model for leprosy and reveal the interplay between innate and adaptive immune determinants mediating leprosy granuloma formation and function.

Generation and use of a humanized bone-marrow-ossicle niche for hematopoietic xenotransplantation into mice.

Xenotransplantation is frequently used to study normal and malignant hematopoiesis of human cells. However, conventional mouse xenotransplantation models lack essential human-specific bone-marrow (BM)-microenvironment-derived survival, proliferation, and self-renewal signals for engraftment of normal and malignant blood cells. As a consequence, many human leukemias and other hematologic disorders do not robustly engraft in these conventional models. Here, we describe a complete workflow for the generation of humanized ossicles with an accessible BM microenvironment that faithfully recapitulates normal BM niche morphology and function. The ossicles, therefore, allow for accelerated and superior engraftment of primary patient-derived acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and other hematologic malignancies such as myelofibrosis (MF) in mice. The humanized ossicles are formed by in situ differentiation of BM-derived mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Human hematopoietic cells can subsequently be transplanted directly into the ossicle marrow space or by intravenous injection. Using this method, a humanized engraftable BM microenvironment can be formed within 6-10 weeks. Engraftment of human hematopoietic cells can be evaluated by flow cytometry 8-16 weeks after transplantation. This protocol describes a robust and reproducible in vivo methodology for the study of normal and malignant human hematopoiesis in a more physiologic setting.

Beyond mouse cancer models: Three-dimensional human-relevant in vitro and non-mammalian in vivo models for photodynamic therapy.

The proper design of experiments is a critical step for each study in order to obtain reproducible and reliable data. Taking into account constant competitiveness in the quickly developing biomedical sciences and the availability of sophisticated techniques, the choice and establishment of an experimental model system are essential for a successful research project. Currently, various sophisticated in vitro and in vivo models are being designed and developed in order to replace the use of mammalian models to investigate the mechanisms of action, activity and properties of novel compounds or treatment modalities. After the clinical success of photodynamic therapy (PDT) used against neovascular eye disorders, clinically approved PDT protocols for cancer are still being developed. Since several aspects of PDT should be examined, it is crucial to define the possible models that would guide the principle of the 3Rs (Reduction, Refinement, Replacement) practice, which is known as the fundamental strategy for designing more ethical animal studies. This review is focused on the usefulness of alternative in vivo as well as in vitro models to study important aspects of PDT, especially in the context of cancer research. 3D human-relevant cell culture models, followed by non-mammalian models such as the nematode (Caenorhabditis elegans), fly (Drosophila melanogaster), zebrafish (Danio rerio), frog (Xenopus laevis), or chicken chorioallantoic membrane (Gallus gallus), are discussed as an alternative to the widely used but ethically controversial mammalian models.

Suspect drug interaction in gimmers.

Suspect serious adverse event associated with vaccination in gimmersMultiple congenital defects in a stillborn calfSuspected alpha mannosidosis in a bovine fetusClostridial myocarditis in a two-week-old lambOtitis media in pigs These are among matters discussed in the disease surveillance report for May 2017 from SAC Consulting: Veterinary Services (SAC C VS).

Large-scale cross-species chemogenomic platform proposes a new drug discovery strategy of veterinary drug from herbal medicines.

Veterinary Herbal Medicine (VHM) is a comprehensive, current, and informative discipline on the utilization of herbs in veterinary practice. Driven by chemistry but progressively directed by pharmacology and the clinical sciences, drug research has contributed more to address the needs for innovative veterinary medicine for curing animal diseases. However, research into veterinary medicine of vegetal origin in the pharmaceutical industry has reduced, owing to questions such as the short of compatibility of traditional natural-product extract libraries with high-throughput screening. Here, we present a cross-species chemogenomic screening platform to dissect the genetic basis of multifactorial diseases and to determine the most suitable points of attack for future veterinary medicines, thereby increasing the number of treatment options. First, based on critically examined pharmacology and text mining, we build a cross-species drug-likeness evaluation approach to screen the lead compounds in veterinary medicines. Second, a specific cross-species target prediction model is developed to infer drug-target connections, with the purpose of understanding how drugs work on the specific targets. Third, we focus on exploring the multiple targets interference effects of veterinary medicines by heterogeneous network convergence and modularization analysis. Finally, we manually integrate a disease pathway to test whether the cross-species chemogenomic platform could uncover the active mechanism of veterinary medicine, which is exemplified by a specific network module. We believe the proposed cross-species chemogenomic platform allows for the systematization of current and traditional knowledge of veterinary medicine and, importantly, for the application of this emerging body of knowledge to the development of new drugs for animal diseases.

Lateralized behaviour as indicator of affective state in dairy cows.

In humans, there is evidence that sensory processing of novel or threatening stimuli is right hemisphere dominated, especially in people experiencing negative affective states. There is also evidence for similar lateralization in a number of non-human animal species. Here we investigate whether this is also the case in domestic cattle that may experience long-term negative states due to commonly occurring conditions such as lameness. Health and welfare implications associated with pain in lame cows are a major concern in dairy farming. Behavioural tests combining animal behaviour and cognition could make a meaningful contribution to our understanding of disease-related changes in sensory processing in animals, and consequently enhance their welfare. We presented 216 lactating Holstein-Friesian cows with three different unfamiliar objects which were placed either bilaterally (e.g. two yellow party balloons, two black/white checkerboards) or hung centrally (a Kong™) within a familiar area. Cows were individually exposed to the objects on three consecutive days, and their viewing preference/eye use, exploration behaviour/nostril use, and stop position during approach was assessed. Mobility (lameness) was repeatedly scored during the testing period. Overall, a bias to view the right rather than the left object was found at initial presentation of the bilateral objects. More cows also explored the right object rather than the left object with their nose. There was a trend for cows appearing hesitant in approaching the objects by stopping at a distance to them, to then explore the left object rather than the right. In contrast, cows that approached the objects directly had a greater tendency to contact the right object. No significant preference in right or left eye/nostril use was found when cows explored the centrally-located object. We found no relationship between lameness and lateralized behaviour. Nevertheless, observed trends suggesting that lateralized behaviour in response to bilaterally located unfamiliar objects may reflect an immediate affective response are discussed. Further study is needed to understand the impact of long-term affective states on hemispheric dominance and lateralized behaviour.

Occupational Animal Exposure Among Persons with Campylobacteriosis and Cryptosporidiosis - Nebraska, 2005-2015.

Campylobacter and Cryptosporidium are two common causes of gastroenteritis in the United States. National incidence rates measured for these pathogens in 2015 were 17.7 and 3.0 per 100,000 population, respectively; Nebraska was among the states with the highest incidence for both campylobacteriosis (26.6) and cryptosporidiosis (≥6.01) (1). Although campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis are primarily transmitted via consumption of contaminated food or water, they can also be acquired through contact with live animals or animal products, including through occupational exposure (2). This exposure route is of particular interest in Nebraska, where animal agriculture and associated industries are an important part of the state's economy. To estimate the percentage of disease that might be related to occupational animal exposure in Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (NDHHS) and CDC reviewed deidentified investigation reports from 2005 to 2015 of cases of campylobacteriosis and cryptosporidiosis among Nebraska residents aged ≥14 years. Case investigation notes were searched for evidence of occupational animal exposures, which were classified into discrete categories based on industry, animal/meat, and specific work activity/exposure. Occupational animal exposure was identified in 16.6% of 3,352 campylobacteriosis and 8.7% of 1,070 cryptosporidiosis cases, among which animal production (e.g., farming or ranching) was the most commonly mentioned industry type (68.2% and 78.5%, respectively), followed by employment in animal slaughter and processing facilities (16.3% and 5.4%, respectively). Among animal/meat occupational exposures, cattle/beef was most commonly mentioned, with exposure to feedlots (concentrated animal feeding operations in which animals are fed on stored feeds) reported in 29.9% of campylobacteriosis and 7.9% of cryptosporidiosis cases. Close contact with animals and manure in feedlots and other farm settings might place workers in these areas at increased risk for infection. It is important to educate workers with occupational animal exposure about the symptoms of enteric diseases and prevention measures. Targeting prevention strategies to high-risk workplaces and activities could help reduce disease.

Phytochemical-rich foods inhibit the growth of pathogenic trichomonads.

Plants produce secondary metabolites that often possess widespread bioactivity, and are then known as phytochemicals. We previously determined that several phytochemical-rich food-derived preparations were active against pathogenic foodborne bacteria. Trichomonads produce disease (trichomoniasis) in humans and in certain animals. Trichomonads are increasingly becoming resistant to conventional modes of treatment. It is of interest to test bioactive, natural compounds for efficacy against these pathogens.

Bacterial translocation and mortality on rat model of intestinal ischemia and obstruction.

To develop an experimental model of intestinal ischemia and obstruction followed by surgical resection of the damaged segment and reestablishment of intestinal transit, looking at bacterial translocation and survival.

Corneal angiogenesis based on different protocols of alkaline cauterization in murine models.

To establish and compare protocols of alkaline cauterization for inducing corneal angiogenesis in murine models.

The influence of serial fecal sampling on the diagnosis of giardiasis in humans, dogs, and cats.

Giardia infection is a common clinical problem in humans and pets. The diagnosis of giardiasis is challenging as hosts intermittently excrete protozoan cysts in their feces. In the present study, we comparatively evaluated two methods of serial fecal sampling in humans, dogs, and cats from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Faust et al. technique was used to examine fecal specimens collected in triplicate from 133 patients (52 humans, 60 dogs, and 21 cats). Specimens from 74 patients were received from the group assigned to carry out sampling on consecutive days - 34 humans, 35 dogs, and 5 cats, and specimens from 59 patients were received from the group assigned to carry out sampling on non-consecutive, separate days - 18 human beings, 25 dogs, and 16 cats. G. duodenalis cysts were found in stools of 30 individuals. Multiple stool sampling resulted in an increase in the number of samples that were positive for Giardia in both groups. The authors therefore conclude that multiple stool sampling increases the sensitivity of the Faust et al . technique to detect G. duodenalis cysts in samples from humans, cats and dogs.

Topical Cross-Linked HA-Based Hydrogel Accelerates Closure of Corneal Epithelial Defects and Repair of Stromal Ulceration in Companion Animals.

The purpose of this study was to determine the safety of topical ocular administration of a cross-linked, modified hyaluronic acid (xCMHA-S) hydrogel, and its effectiveness in accelerating repair and closure of acute and nonhealing corneal ulcers in companion animals as a veterinary treatment and its utility as a model for therapy in human corneal ulceration.

Enhancing case definitions for surveillance of human monkeypox in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Human monkeypox (MPX) occurs at appreciable rates in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV) has a similar presentation to that of MPX, and in areas where MPX is endemic these two illnesses are commonly mistaken. This study evaluated the diagnostic utility of two surveillance case definitions for MPX and specific clinical characteristics associated with laboratory-confirmed MPX cases.

Rapid generation of Col7a1(-/-) mouse model of recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa and partial rescue via immunosuppressive dermal mesenchymal stem cells.

Recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa (RDEB) is a debilitating and ultimately lethal blistering disease caused by mutations to the Col7a1 gene. Development of novel cell therapies for the treatment of RDEB would be fostered by having immunodeficient mouse models able to accept human cell grafts; however, immunodeficient models of many genodermatoses such as RDEB are lacking. To overcome this limitation, we combined the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and associated nuclease (CRISPR/Cas9) system with microinjection into NOD/SCID IL2rγc(null) (NSG) embryos to rapidly develop an immunodeficient Col7a1(-/-) mouse model of RDEB. Through dose optimization, we achieve F0 biallelic knockout efficiencies exceeding 80%, allowing us to quickly generate large numbers of RDEB NSG mice for experimental use. Using this strategy, we clearly demonstrate important strain-specific differences in RDEB pathology that could underlie discordant results observed between independent studies and establish the utility of this system in proof-of-concept human cellular transplantation experiments. Importantly, we uncover the ability of a recently identified skin resident immunomodulatory dermal mesenchymal stem cell marked by ABCB5 to reduce RDEB pathology and markedly extend the lifespan of RDEB NSG mice via reduced skin infiltration of inflammatory myeloid derivatives.

Toxoplasma gondii seroprevalence varies by cat breed.

Toxoplasma gondii is a widespread zoonotic parasite that is relevant for veterinary and public health. The domestic cat, the definitive host species with the largest worldwide population, has become evolutionarily and epidemiologically the most important host of T. gondii. The outcome of T. gondii infection is influenced by congenital and acquired host characteristics. We detected differences in T. gondii seroprevalence by cat breed in our previous studies. The aims of this study were to estimate T. gondii seroprevalence in selected domestic cat breeds, and to evaluate whether being of a certain breed is associated with T. gondii seropositivity, when the age and lifestyle of the cat are taken into account. The studied breeds were the Birman, British Shorthair, Burmese, Korat, Norwegian Forest Cat, Ocicat, Persian, and Siamese. Plasma samples were analyzed for the presence of immunoglobulin G antibodies against T. gondii with a commercial direct agglutination test at dilution 1:40. The samples were accompanied by owner-completed questionnaires that provided background data on the cats. Overall, 41.12% of the 1121 cats tested seropositive, and the seroprevalence increased with age. The Burmese had the lowest seroprevalence (18.82%) and the Persian had the highest (60.00%). According to the final multivariable logistic regression model, the odds to test seropositive were four to seven times higher in Birmans, Ocicats, Norwegian Forest Cats, and Persians when compared with the Burmese, while older age and receiving raw meat were also risk factors for T. gondii seropositivity. This study showed that T. gondii seroprevalence varies by cat breed and identified being of certain breeds, older age, and receiving raw meat as risk factors for seropositivity.

Characterization of five unclassified orthobunyaviruses (Bunyaviridae) from Africa and the Americas.

The Bunyaviridae family is made up of a diverse range of viruses, some of which cause disease and are a cause for concern in human and veterinary health. Here, we report the genomic and antigenic characterization of five previously uncharacterized bunyaviruses. Based on their ultrastructure, antigenic relationships and phylogenomic relationships, the five viruses are classified as members of the Orthobunyavirus genus. Three are viruses in the California encephalitis virus serogroup and are related to Trivittatus virus; the two others are most similar to the Mermet virus in the Simbu serogroup, and to the Tataguine virus, which is not currently assigned to a serogroup. Each of these five viruses was pathogenic to newborn mice, indicating their potential to cause illness in humans and other animals.

African swine fever in eastern Europe: the risk to the UK.

This article has been prepared by Helen Roberts of the Defra/APHA International Disease Monitoring team.

Disease surveillance in England and Wales, August 2017.

Current and emerging issues: psoroptic mange in cattleHighlights from the scanning surveillance networkUpdate on international disease threatsAfrican swine fever in eastern Europe and the risk to the UKThese are among matters discussed in the Animal and Plant Health Agency's (APHA's) disease surveillance report for August 2017.

Pseudempleurosoma haywardi sp. nov. (Monogenea: Ancyrocephalidae (sensu lato) Bychowsky & Nagibina, 1968): An endoparasite of croakers (Teleostei: Sciaenidae) from Indonesia.

An endoparasitic monogenean was identified for the first time from Indonesia. The oesophagus and anterior stomach of the croakers Nibea soldado (Lacépède) and Otolithes ruber (Bloch & Schneider) (n = 35 each) sampled from the South Java coast in May 2011 and Johnius amblycephalus (Bleeker) (n = 2) (all Sciaenidae) from Kedonganan fish market, South Bali coast, in November 2016, were infected with Pseudempleurosoma haywardi sp. nov. Prevalences in the first two croakers were 63% and 46%, respectively, and the two J. amblycephalus harboured three and five individuals. All three croakers represent new hosts for this monogenean genus. We provide infection rates, light microscopical observations, 3D confocal microscopical illustrations, and a morphometric comparison with all congeners. The new species differs in body size, the position and shape of the ovary and testes, and especially in the composition of the dorsal anchor complex, with the dorsal bar being anteriorly concave rather than planar or convex as in its congeners. The dorsal and ventral anchors of this new species are the longest in the genus, whereas the male copulatory organ is the smallest. The first DNA sequences for a member of this genus demonstrate the greatest similarity with endoparasitic freshwater monogeneans from African cichlid fishes. This suggests a freshwater origin for these marine endoparasitic monogeneans.

Absence of Sigma 1 Receptor Accelerates Photoreceptor Cell Death in a Murine Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Sigma 1 Receptor (Sig1R) is a novel therapeutic target in neurodegenerative diseases, including retinal disease. Sig1R-/- mice have late-onset retinal degeneration with ganglion cell loss that worsens under stress. Whether Sig1R plays a role in maintaining other retinal neurons is unknown, but was investigated here using rd10 mice, a model of severe photoreceptor degeneration.