CLEA Japan, Inc. provides RCS rats characterized by abnormal phagocytosis of photoreceptor cells by non-cutaneous cells on retinitis pigmentosa, recessive inheritance of retinal degeneration, and deletion degeneration of the Mertk gene.
|Strain name :||RCS/Jcl-rdy/rdy||(homo)|
|Strain name :||RCS/Jcl-+/+||(wild)|
|・rdy homo||(p mutation exist)||= RCS-MertkrdyOca2P/Jcl|
|・rdy wild||(p mutation exist)||= RCS-+Oca2P/Jcl|
|Table of contents:
Widely used as a model for retinitis pigmentosa
- Although the retina is formed normally after birth, degeneration of photoreceptor cells begins around 3 weeks after birth. Most photoreceptor cells disappear around the age of 3 months¹.
- Abnormal phagocytosis of the outer segment of photoreceptor cells by retinal pigment epithelial cells².
- It causes recessive inheritance of retinal degeneration³.
- Has a defect in the Mertk gene4.
RCS rat retinal tissue image
In contrast to normal (left), 53-day-old RCS rat retina (right) shows thinning of photoreceptor cells (bar = 20㎛).
|1938||Bourne discovered a rat with a retinitis pigmentosa phenotype.|
|1981||LaVail (UCSF) established the animal as a specific strain.|
||Dr. Tamai (Tohoku U.) made the strain as a Specific pathogen free (SPF) animal after supplied it from LaVail.|
|1994||RCS Research Committee inaugurated.|
|1994 to 2016||Japan had supplied RCS rat as a paid distribution animal.|
|2016||CLEA Japan, Inc. started to sell RCS rat as a general commercial animal.|
Protection of retinal degeneration by administration f growth factors
Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF, 1 µg / μl) was administered to the vitreous of 23-day-old RCS rats. In the PBS-injected group, the photoreceptor layer has almost disappeared (left picture), whereas in the bFGF-injected group, the photoreceptor layer is observed (right picture), indicating that degeneration is delayed.
Reference：Tamai M, Yamada K, Takeda N, et al. (1997) Degenerative Retinal, 323-328.
・Retina reproduction study
Visual regeneration by optogenetics
The ChR2 gene is introduced into the ganglion cells of RCS rats that have lost their eyesight due to the disappearance of photoreceptor cells, and the visual function is regenerated. Retinal ganglion cells expressing ChR2 (green).
・Evaluation of transduction therapy for chlamydomonas channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in RCS rats
Sugano E, Isago H, Wang Z, et al. (2011) Gene Therapy, 18(3); 266-74.
・Evaluation of Transgene Therapeutic Treatment of Modified Volvox Channelrhodopsin-1 (mVChR1) in RCS Rats
Tomita H, Sugano E, Murayama N, et al. (2014) Mol Ther. 22(8), 1434-1440.
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