PURPOSE. EFEMP1 (fibulin-3) is mutated in Malattia Leventinese/Doyne’s honeycomb retinal dystrophy (ML/DHRD), an inherited macular dystrophy similar to AMD. Both ML/DHRD and AMD are characterized by the presence of sub-RPE deposits. Efemp1 knockout mice do not develop sub-RPE deposits. This study was to test whether sub-RPE deposits can be induced in Efemp1 knockout mice by experimentally applied stress conditions that cause wild-type mice to develop sub-RPE deposits. METHODS. Efemp1 knockout and control mice at 6, 18, or 24 months old were fed with a synthetic high-fat diet (HFD). Beginning 1 month after starting the HFD, one group of mice was exposed to cigarette smoke daily for 1 month, and another group of mice was subjected to photochemical injury every other day for 2 weeks from a 488-nm argon laser. After the treatments, histologic analysis was performed to assess whether sub-RPE deposits were induced. RESULTS. Basal laminar deposits (BLamDs), a form of sub-RPE deposits, were observed in the 18- and 24-month-old wild-type mice but not in Efemp1 knockout mice in any age groups after exposure to HFD and cigarette smoke or laser injury. CONCLUSIONS. Mice lacking fibulin-3 do not develop sub-RPE deposits. Environmental oxidative stressors (HFD/cigarette smoke or HFD/laser) known to cause BLamD formation in wild-type mice failed to induce BLamD formation in Efemp1 knockout mice. These results suggest that fibulin-3 is a central player in the development of BLamD, and deletion of fibulin-3 is protective against the development of BLamD.
- Macular degeneration
- Sub-RPE deposits
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience