Different Effects of Valproic Acid on Photoreceptor Loss in Rd1 and Rd10 Retinal Degeneration Mice.

Different Effects of Valproic Acid on Photoreceptor Loss in Rd1 and Rd10 Retinal Degeneration Mice. in Molecular Vision.  http://www.molvis.org/molvis/v20/1527/

Using retinal degeneration mouse strains, this paper’s data demonstrate that the underlying etiology of the photoreceptor degeneration is important to determining the effects of Valproic Acid (VPA) on the rate of photoreceptor loss. Our results are very important, because off-label VPA clinical trials with Human RP patients are underway in the USA and South Korea. Thus, VPA might help some families, but not others, depending on the exact genetic mutation, and thus disease etiology, involved in their RP. Our study with mice would indicate that any clinical trials should make comparisons of VPA to placebo within RP patients who have the same disease etiology (same genetic mutation). Patients should also be monitored very closely to evaluate changes in the rate of visual field loss and visual acuity loss while taking VPA in such trials. Continue reading

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Free Research Resource from the Mitton Lab: MAPs OF RNA-POLYMERASE-II BINDING AROUND GENE TRANSCRIPTION START SITES IN MATURING PHOTORECEPTORS.

With some computer savvy, and biochemistry knowledge, there are ways to detect genes activated in maturing photoreceptors in vivo, that are not detected by DNA micro-arrays or the average RNA-Seq method. While the general expectation was that photoreceptors need to be isolated, Dr Mitton used an alternative approach to leave rod-photoreceptors where they are, in the retina. Continue reading