Mice with a combined deficiency of superoxide dismutase 1 (Sod1), DJ-1 (Park7), and Parkin (Prkn) develop spontaneous retinal degeneration with aging

Yuanfei Zhu, Bogale Aredo, Bo Chen, Cynthia X. Zhao, Yu Guang He, Rafael L. Ufret-Vincenty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. Chronic oxidative stress is an important mechanism of disease in aging disorders. We do not have a good model to recapitulate AMD and other retinal disorders in which chronic oxidative stress plays an important role. We hypothesized that mice with a combined deficiency in superoxide dismutase 1 (Sod1), DJ-1 (Park-7), and Parkin (Prkn) (triple knock out, TKO) would have an increased level of chronic oxidative stress in the retina, with anatomic and functional consequences just with aging. METHODS. Eyes of TKO and B6J control mice were (1) monitored with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and electroretinography (ERG) over time, and (2) collected for oxidative marker protein analysis by ELISA or immunohistochemistry and for transmission electron microscopy studies. RESULTS. TKO mice developed qualitative disruptions in outer retinal layers in OCT by 3 months, increased accumulation of fundus spots and subretinal microglia by 6 months of age, significant retinal thinning by 9 months, and decreased ERG signal by 12 months. Furthermore, we found increased accumulation of the oxidative marker malondialdehyde (MDA) in the retina and increased basal laminal deposits (BLD) and mitochondria number and size in the retinal pigment epithelium of aging TKO mice. CONCLUSIONS. TKO mice can serve as a platform to study retinal diseases that involve chronic oxidative stress, including macular degeneration, retinal detachment, and ischemic retinopathies. In order to model each of these diseases, additional disease-specific catalysts or triggers could be superimposed onto the TKO mice. Such studies could provide better insight into disease mechanisms and perhaps lead to new therapeutic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3740-3751
Number of pages12
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019


  • Aging; age-related macular degeneration
  • DJ-1
  • Oxidative stress
  • Park7
  • Parkin
  • Prkn
  • Sod1
  • Superoxide dismutase 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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