Retinal Degeneration: A retrogressive pathological change in the retina, focal or generalized, caused by genetic defects, inflammation, trauma, vascular disease, or aging. Degeneration affecting predominantly the macula lutea of the retina is MACULAR DEGENERATION. (Newell, Ophthalmology: Principles and Concepts, 7th ed, p304)Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate: Specialized PHOTOTRANSDUCTION neurons in the vertebrates, such as the RETINAL ROD CELLS and the RETINAL CONE CELLS. Non-visual photoreceptor neurons have been reported in the deep brain, the PINEAL GLAND and organs of the circadian system.Electroretinography: Recording of electric potentials in the retina after stimulation by light.Retinitis Pigmentosa: Hereditary, progressive degeneration of the neuroepithelium of the retina characterized by night blindness and progressive contraction of the visual field.Retina: The ten-layered nervous tissue membrane of the eye. It is continuous with the OPTIC NERVE and receives images of external objects and transmits visual impulses to the brain. Its outer surface is in contact with the CHOROID and the inner surface with the VITREOUS BODY. The outer-most layer is pigmented, whereas the inner nine layers are transparent.Macular Degeneration: Degenerative changes in the RETINA usually of older adults which results in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the MACULA LUTEA) because of damage to the retina. It occurs in dry and wet forms.Rhodopsin: A purplish-red, light-sensitive pigment found in RETINAL ROD CELLS of most vertebrates. It is a complex consisting of a molecule of ROD OPSIN and a molecule of 11-cis retinal (RETINALDEHYDE). Rhodopsin exhibits peak absorption wavelength at about 500 nm.Nerve Degeneration: Loss of functional activity and trophic degeneration of nerve axons and their terminal arborizations following the destruction of their cells of origin or interruption of their continuity with these cells. The pathology is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. Often the process of nerve degeneration is studied in research on neuroanatomical localization and correlation of the neurophysiology of neural pathways.Eye ProteinsPhotoreceptor Cells: Specialized cells that detect and transduce light. They are classified into two types based on their light reception structure, the ciliary photoreceptors and the rhabdomeric photoreceptors with MICROVILLI. Ciliary photoreceptor cells use OPSINS that activate a PHOSPHODIESTERASE phosphodiesterase cascade. Rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells use opsins that activate a PHOSPHOLIPASE C cascade.Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells: Photosensitive afferent neurons located in the peripheral retina, with their density increases radially away from the FOVEA CENTRALIS. Being much more sensitive to light than the RETINAL CONE CELLS, the rod cells are responsible for twilight vision (at scotopic intensities) as well as peripheral vision, but provide no color discrimination.Peripherins: Type III intermediate filament proteins expressed mainly in neurons of the peripheral and CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEMS. Peripherins are implicated in neurite elongation during development and axonal regeneration after injury.Cyclic Nucleotide Phosphodiesterases, Type 6: A cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterase subfamily that is highly specific for CYCLIC GMP. It is found predominantly in the outer segment PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS of the RETINA. It is comprised of two catalytic subunits, referred to as alpha and beta, that form a dimer. In addition two regulatory subunits, referred to as gamma and delta, modulate the activity and localization of the enzyme.Wallerian Degeneration: Degeneration of distal aspects of a nerve axon following injury to the cell body or proximal portion of the axon. The process is characterized by fragmentation of the axon and its MYELIN SHEATH.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells: Photosensitive afferent neurons located primarily within the FOVEA CENTRALIS of the MACULA LUTEA. There are three major types of cone cells (red, blue, and green) whose photopigments have different spectral sensitivity curves. Retinal cone cells operate in daylight vision (at photopic intensities) providing color recognition and central visual acuity.Light: That portion of the electromagnetic spectrum in the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared range.Radiation Injuries, Experimental: Experimentally produced harmful effects of ionizing or non-ionizing RADIATION in CHORDATA animals.cis-trans-Isomerases: Enzymes that catalyze the rearrangement of geometry about double bonds. EC 5.2.Eye Diseases, Hereditary: Transmission of gene defects or chromosomal aberrations/abnormalities which are expressed in extreme variation in the structure or function of the eye. These may be evident at birth, but may be manifested later with progression of the disorder.Retinal Pigment Epithelium: The single layer of pigment-containing epithelial cells in the RETINA, situated closely to the tips (outer segments) of the RETINAL PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS. These epithelial cells are macroglia that perform essential functions for the photoreceptor cells, such as in nutrient transport, phagocytosis of the shed photoreceptor membranes, and ensuring retinal attachment.Mice, Mutant Strains: Mice bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Dark Adaptation: Adjustment of the eyes under conditions of low light. The sensitivity of the eye to light is increased during dark adaptation.Opsins: Photosensitive proteins in the membranes of PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS such as the rods and the cones. Opsins have varied light absorption properties and are members of the G-PROTEIN-COUPLED RECEPTORS family. Their ligands are VITAMIN A-based chromophores.Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate: Specialized cells in the invertebrates that detect and transduce light. They are predominantly rhabdomeric with an array of photosensitive microvilli. Illumination depolarizes invertebrate photoreceptors by stimulating Na+ influx across the plasma membrane.Leber Congenital Amaurosis: A rare degenerative inherited eye disease that appears at birth or in the first few months of life that results in a loss of vision. Not to be confused with LEBER HEREDITARY OPTIC NEUROPATHY, the disease is thought to be caused by abnormal development of PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS in the RETINA, or by the extremely premature degeneration of retinal cells.Pigment Epithelium of Eye: The layer of pigment-containing epithelial cells in the RETINA; the CILIARY BODY; and the IRIS in the eye.Ophthalmoscopy: Examination of the interior of the eye with an ophthalmoscope.Rats, Mutant Strains: Rats bearing mutant genes which are phenotypically expressed in the animals.Fundus Oculi: The concave interior of the eye, consisting of the retina, the choroid, the sclera, the optic disk, and blood vessels, seen by means of the ophthalmoscope. (Cline et al., Dictionary of Visual Science, 4th ed)Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Intervertebral Disc Degeneration: Degenerative changes in the INTERVERTEBRAL DISC due to aging or structural damage, especially to the vertebral end-plates.Rod Opsins: Photosensitive proteins expressed in the ROD PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS. They are the protein components of rod photoreceptor pigments such as RHODOPSIN.Retinal Photoreceptor Cell Outer Segment: The light sensitive outer portion of a retinal rod or a cone photoreceptor cell. The outer segment contains a stack of disk membranes laden with photoreceptive pigments (RETINAL PIGMENTS). The outer segment is connected to the inner segment by a PHOTORECEPTOR CONNECTING CILIUM.Mice, Inbred C57BLFluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect: A form of fluorescent antibody technique commonly used to detect serum antibodies and immune complexes in tissues and microorganisms in specimens from patients with infectious diseases. The technique involves formation of an antigen-antibody complex which is labeled with fluorescein-conjugated anti-immunoglobulin antibody. (From Bennington, Saunders Dictionary & Encyclopedia of Laboratory Medicine and Technology, 1984)Animals, Genetically Modified: ANIMALS whose GENOME has been altered by GENETIC ENGINEERING, or their offspring.Bardet-Biedl Syndrome: An autosomal recessive disorder characterized by RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA; POLYDACTYLY; OBESITY; MENTAL RETARDATION; hypogenitalism; renal dysplasia; and short stature. This syndrome has been distinguished as a separate entity from LAURENCE-MOON SYNDROME. (From J Med Genet 1997 Feb;34(2):92-8)In Situ Nick-End Labeling: An in situ method for detecting areas of DNA which are nicked during APOPTOSIS. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase is used to add labeled dUTP, in a template-independent manner, to the 3 prime OH ends of either single- or double-stranded DNA. The terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase nick end labeling, or TUNEL, assay labels apoptosis on a single-cell level, making it more sensitive than agarose gel electrophoresis for analysis of DNA FRAGMENTATION.Retinal DiseasesVision, Ocular: The process in which light signals are transformed by the PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS into electrical signals which can then be transmitted to the brain.Blindness: The inability to see or the loss or absence of perception of visual stimuli. This condition may be the result of EYE DISEASES; OPTIC NERVE DISEASES; OPTIC CHIASM diseases; or BRAIN DISEASES affecting the VISUAL PATHWAYS or OCCIPITAL LOBE.Rod Cell Outer Segment: The portion of a retinal rod cell situated between the ROD INNER SEGMENT and the RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM. It contains a stack of photosensitive disk membranes laden with RHODOPSIN.Usher Syndromes: Autosomal recessive hereditary disorders characterized by congenital SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS and RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA. Genetically and symptomatically heterogeneous, clinical classes include type I, type II, and type III. Their severity, age of onset of retinitis pigmentosa and the degree of vestibular dysfunction are variable.Retinal Dysplasia: Congenital, often bilateral, retinal abnormality characterized by the arrangement of outer nuclear retinal cells in a palisading or radiating pattern surrounding a central ocular space. This disorder is sometimes hereditary.Arrestin: A 48-Kd protein of the outer segment of the retinal rods and a component of the phototransduction cascade. Arrestin quenches G-protein activation by binding to phosphorylated photolyzed rhodopsin. Arrestin causes experimental autoimmune uveitis when injected into laboratory animals.Rats, Transgenic: Laboratory rats that have been produced from a genetically manipulated rat EGG or rat EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN. They contain genes from another species.Fluorescein Angiography: Visualization of a vascular system after intravenous injection of a fluorescein solution. The images may be photographed or televised. It is used especially in studying the retinal and uveal vasculature.Lipofuscin: A naturally occurring lipid pigment with histochemical characteristics similar to ceroid. It accumulates in various normal tissues and apparently increases in quantity with age.Wet Macular Degeneration: A form of RETINAL DEGENERATION in which abnormal CHOROIDAL NEOVASCULARIZATION occurs under the RETINA and MACULA LUTEA, causing bleeding and leaking of fluid. This leads to bulging and or lifting of the macula and the distortion or destruction of central vision.Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration: Heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by frontal and temporal lobe atrophy associated with neuronal loss, gliosis, and dementia. Patients exhibit progressive changes in social, behavioral, and/or language function. Multiple subtypes or forms are recognized based on presence or absence of TAU PROTEIN inclusions. FTLD includes three clinical syndromes: FRONTOTEMPORAL DEMENTIA, semantic dementia, and PRIMARY PROGRESSIVE NONFLUENT APHASIA.trans-1,4-Bis(2-chlorobenzaminomethyl)cyclohexane Dihydrochloride: An anticholesteremic agent that inhibits sterol biosynthesis in animals.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Visual Acuity: Clarity or sharpness of OCULAR VISION or the ability of the eye to see fine details. Visual acuity depends on the functions of RETINA, neuronal transmission, and the interpretative ability of the brain. Normal visual acuity is expressed as 20/20 indicating that one can see at 20 feet what should normally be seen at that distance. Visual acuity can also be influenced by brightness, color, and contrast.Retrograde Degeneration: Pathologic changes that occur in the axon and cell body of a neuron proximal to an axonal lesion. The process is characterized by central chromatolysis which features flattening and displacement of the nucleus, loss of Nissl bodies, and cellular edema. Central chromatolysis primarily occurs in lower motor neurons.Retinal Ganglion Cells: Neurons of the innermost layer of the retina, the internal plexiform layer. They are of variable sizes and shapes, and their axons project via the OPTIC NERVE to the brain. A small subset of these cells act as photoreceptors with projections to the SUPRACHIASMATIC NUCLEUS, the center for regulating CIRCADIAN RHYTHM.Nerve Tissue ProteinsIntermediate Filament Proteins: Filaments 7-11 nm in diameter found in the cytoplasm of all cells. Many specific proteins belong to this group, e.g., desmin, vimentin, prekeratin, decamin, skeletin, neurofilin, neurofilament protein, and glial fibrillary acid protein.Retinal Neurons: Nerve cells of the RETINA in the pathway of transmitting light signals to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. They include the outer layer of PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS, the intermediate layer of RETINAL BIPOLAR CELLS and AMACRINE CELLS, and the internal layer of RETINAL GANGLION CELLS.Transducin: A heterotrimeric GTP-binding protein that mediates the light activation signal from photolyzed rhodopsin to cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase and is pivotal in the visual excitation process. Activation of rhodopsin on the outer membrane of rod and cone cells causes GTP to bind to transducin followed by dissociation of the alpha subunit-GTP complex from the beta/gamma subunits of transducin. The alpha subunit-GTP complex activates the cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase which catalyzes the hydrolysis of cyclic GMP to 5'-GMP. This leads to closure of the sodium and calcium channels and therefore hyperpolarization of the rod cells. EC 3.6.1.-.Retinaldehyde: A carotenoid constituent of visual pigments. It is the oxidized form of retinol which functions as the active component of the visual cycle. It is bound to the protein opsin forming the complex rhodopsin. When stimulated by visible light, the retinal component of the rhodopsin complex undergoes isomerization at the 11-position of the double bond to the cis-form; this is reversed in "dark" reactions to return to the native trans-configuration.Tomography, Optical Coherence: An imaging method using LASERS that is used for mapping subsurface structure. When a reflective site in the sample is at the same optical path length (coherence) as the reference mirror, the detector observes interference fringes.Recoverin: A neuronal calcium-sensor protein that is found in ROD PHOTORECEPTORS and CONE PHOTORECEPTORS. It interacts with G-PROTEIN-COUPLED RECEPTOR KINASE 1 in a Ca2+ dependent manner and plays an important role in PHOTOTRANSDUCTION.Genes, Recessive: Genes that influence the PHENOTYPE only in the homozygous state.Pedigree: The record of descent or ancestry, particularly of a particular condition or trait, indicating individual family members, their relationships, and their status with respect to the trait or condition.Retinal Bipolar Cells: INTERNEURONS of the vertebrate RETINA containing two processes. They receive inputs from the RETINAL PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS and send outputs to the RETINAL GANGLION CELLS. The bipolar cells also make lateral connections in the retina with the RETINAL HORIZONTAL CELLS and with the AMACRINE CELLS.Choroid: The thin, highly vascular membrane covering most of the posterior of the eye between the RETINA and SCLERA.Apoptosis: One of the mechanisms by which CELL DEATH occurs (compare with NECROSIS and AUTOPHAGOCYTOSIS). Apoptosis is the mechanism responsible for the physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites, and the endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA; (DNA FRAGMENTATION); at internucleosomal sites. This mode of cell death serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth.Genes, Dominant: Genes that influence the PHENOTYPE both in the homozygous and the heterozygous state.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.3',5'-Cyclic-GMP Phosphodiesterases: Enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of cyclic GMP to yield guanosine-5'-phosphate.Dependovirus: A genus of the family PARVOVIRIDAE, subfamily PARVOVIRINAE, which are dependent on a coinfection with helper adenoviruses or herpesviruses for their efficient replication. The type species is Adeno-associated virus 2.Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor: A neurotrophic factor that promotes the survival of various neuronal cell types and may play an important role in the injury response in the nervous system.Cell Death: The termination of the cell's ability to carry out vital functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, responsiveness, and adaptability.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Mice, Inbred C3HIntervertebral Disc: Any of the 23 plates of fibrocartilage found between the bodies of adjacent VERTEBRAE.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Microscopy, Electron, Transmission: Electron microscopy in which the ELECTRONS or their reaction products that pass down through the specimen are imaged below the plane of the specimen.G-Protein-Coupled Receptor Kinase 1: A PROTEIN-SERINE-THREONINE KINASE that is found in PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS. It mediates light-dependent PHOSPHORYLATION of RHODOPSIN and plays an important role in PHOTOTRANSDUCTION.Drosophila Proteins: Proteins that originate from insect species belonging to the genus DROSOPHILA. The proteins from the most intensely studied species of Drosophila, DROSOPHILA MELANOGASTER, are the subject of much interest in the area of MORPHOGENESIS and development.Choroideremia: An X chromosome-linked abnormality characterized by atrophy of the choroid and degeneration of the retinal pigment epithelium causing night blindness.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Injections: Introduction of substances into the body using a needle and syringe.Photoreceptor Connecting Cilium: The bridge between the inner and the outer segments of a retinal rod or a cone photoreceptor cell. Through it, proteins synthesized in the inner segment are transported to the outer segment.Retinal Vessels: The blood vessels which supply and drain the RETINA.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Smith-Lemli-Opitz Syndrome: An autosomal recessive disorder of CHOLESTEROL metabolism. It is caused by a deficiency of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase, the enzyme that converts 7-dehydrocholesterol to cholesterol, leading to an abnormally low plasma cholesterol. This syndrome is characterized by multiple CONGENITAL ABNORMALITIES, growth deficiency, and INTELLECTUAL DISABILITY.Eye: The organ of sight constituting a pair of globular organs made up of a three-layered roughly spherical structure specialized for receiving and responding to light.Aging: The gradual irreversible changes in structure and function of an organism that occur as a result of the passage of time.Light Signal Transduction: The conversion of absorbed light energy into molecular signals.Intravitreal Injections: The administration of substances into the VITREOUS BODY of the eye with a hypodermic syringe.Cilia: Populations of thin, motile processes found covering the surface of ciliates (CILIOPHORA) or the free surface of the cells making up ciliated EPITHELIUM. Each cilium arises from a basic granule in the superficial layer of CYTOPLASM. The movement of cilia propels ciliates through the liquid in which they live. The movement of cilia on a ciliated epithelium serves to propel a surface layer of mucus or fluid. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Vitreous Body: The transparent, semigelatinous substance that fills the cavity behind the CRYSTALLINE LENS of the EYE and in front of the RETINA. It is contained in a thin hyaloid membrane and forms about four fifths of the optic globe.Characidae: A family of fresh water fish in the order CHARACIFORMES, which includes the Tetras.DNA Mutational Analysis: Biochemical identification of mutational changes in a nucleotide sequence.Membrane Proteins: Proteins which are found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. They consist of two types, peripheral and integral proteins. They include most membrane-associated enzymes, antigenic proteins, transport proteins, and drug, hormone, and lectin receptors.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Methylnitrosourea: A nitrosourea compound with alkylating, carcinogenic, and mutagenic properties.Iron Metabolism Disorders: Disorders in the processing of iron in the body: its absorption, transport, storage, and utilization. (From Mosby's Medical, Nursing, & Allied Health Dictionary, 4th ed)Green Fluorescent Proteins: Protein analogs and derivatives of the Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein that emit light (FLUORESCENCE) when excited with ULTRAVIOLET RAYS. They are used in REPORTER GENES in doing GENETIC TECHNIQUES. Numerous mutants have been made to emit other colors or be sensitive to pH.Genetic Therapy: Techniques and strategies which include the use of coding sequences and other conventional or radical means to transform or modify cells for the purpose of treating or reversing disease conditions.Neuroglia: The non-neuronal cells of the nervous system. They not only provide physical support, but also respond to injury, regulate the ionic and chemical composition of the extracellular milieu, participate in the BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER and BLOOD-RETINAL BARRIER, form the myelin insulation of nervous pathways, guide neuronal migration during development, and exchange metabolites with neurons. Neuroglia have high-affinity transmitter uptake systems, voltage-dependent and transmitter-gated ion channels, and can release transmitters, but their role in signaling (as in many other functions) is unclear.Choroidal Neovascularization: A pathological process consisting of the formation of new blood vessels in the CHOROID.Neurodegenerative Diseases: Hereditary and sporadic conditions which are characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction. These disorders are often associated with atrophy of the affected central or peripheral nervous system structures.Drosophila: A genus of small, two-winged flies containing approximately 900 described species. These organisms are the most extensively studied of all genera from the standpoint of genetics and cytology.Retinal Horizontal Cells: NEURONS in the inner nuclear layer of the RETINA that synapse with both the RETINAL PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS and the RETINAL BIPOLAR CELLS, as well as other horizontal cells. The horizontal cells modulate the sensory signal.Microscopy, Confocal: A light microscopic technique in which only a small spot is illuminated and observed at a time. An image is constructed through point-by-point scanning of the field in this manner. Light sources may be conventional or laser, and fluorescence or transmitted observations are possible.Atrophy: Decrease in the size of a cell, tissue, organ, or multiple organs, associated with a variety of pathological conditions such as abnormal cellular changes, ischemia, malnutrition, or hormonal changes.Microglia: The third type of glial cell, along with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (which together form the macroglia). Microglia vary in appearance depending on developmental stage, functional state, and anatomical location; subtype terms include ramified, perivascular, ameboid, resting, and activated. Microglia clearly are capable of phagocytosis and play an important role in a wide spectrum of neuropathologies. They have also been suggested to act in several other roles including in secretion (e.g., of cytokines and neural growth factors), in immunological processing (e.g., antigen presentation), and in central nervous system development and remodeling.Mutation, Missense: A mutation in which a codon is mutated to one directing the incorporation of a different amino acid. This substitution may result in an inactive or unstable product. (From A Dictionary of Genetics, King & Stansfield, 5th ed)Retinal Dystrophies: A group of disorders involving predominantly the posterior portion of the ocular fundus, due to degeneration in the sensory layer of the RETINA; RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM; BRUCH MEMBRANE; CHOROID; or a combination of these tissues.Night Blindness: Failure or imperfection of vision at night or in dim light, with good vision only on bright days. (Dorland, 27th ed)Spinocerebellar Degenerations: A heterogenous group of degenerative syndromes marked by progressive cerebellar dysfunction either in isolation or combined with other neurologic manifestations. Sporadic and inherited subtypes occur. Inheritance patterns include autosomal dominant, autosomal recessive, and X-linked.Guanylate Cyclase-Activating Proteins: Neuronal calcium sensor proteins that regulate the activation of membrane-bound GUANYLATE CYCLASE. They are primarily expressed in the RETINA where they play an important role in PHOTOTRANSDUCTION.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Retinal Detachment: Separation of the inner layers of the retina (neural retina) from the pigment epithelium. Retinal detachment occurs more commonly in men than in women, in eyes with degenerative myopia, in aging and in aphakia. It may occur after an uncomplicated cataract extraction, but it is seen more often if vitreous humor has been lost during surgery. (Dorland, 27th ed; Newell, Ophthalmology: Principles and Concepts, 7th ed, p310-12).Transgenes: Genes that are introduced into an organism using GENE TRANSFER TECHNIQUES.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Dog Diseases: Diseases of the domestic dog (Canis familiaris). This term does not include diseases of wild dogs, WOLVES; FOXES; and other Canidae for which the heading CARNIVORA is used.Retinal Drusen: Colloid or hyaline bodies lying beneath the retinal pigment epithelium. They may occur either secondary to changes in the choroid that affect the pigment epithelium or as an autosomal dominant disorder of the retinal pigment epithelium.Codon, Nonsense: An amino acid-specifying codon that has been converted to a stop codon (CODON, TERMINATOR) by mutation. Its occurance is abnormal causing premature termination of protein translation and results in production of truncated and non-functional proteins. A nonsense mutation is one that converts an amino acid-specific codon to a stop codon.Photometry: Measurement of the various properties of light.Cell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.Optic Atrophy, Hereditary, Leber: A maternally linked genetic disorder that presents in mid-life as acute or subacute central vision loss leading to central scotoma and blindness. The disease has been associated with missense mutations in the mtDNA, in genes for Complex I, III, and IV polypeptides, that can act autonomously or in association with each other to cause the disease. (from Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/Omim/, MIM#535000 (April 17, 2001))Gene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Taurochenodeoxycholic Acid: A bile salt formed in the liver by conjugation of chenodeoxycholate with taurine, usually as the sodium salt. It acts as detergent to solubilize fats in the small intestine and is itself absorbed. It is used as a cholagogue and choleretic.Disease Progression: The worsening of a disease over time. This concept is most often used for chronic and incurable diseases where the stage of the disease is an important determinant of therapy and prognosis.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Caves: Geological formations consisting of underground enclosures with access from the surface.Drosophila melanogaster: A species of fruit fly much used in genetics because of the large size of its chromosomes.Night Vision: Function of the human eye that is used in dim illumination (scotopic intensities) or at nighttime. Scotopic vision is performed by RETINAL ROD PHOTORECEPTORS with high sensitivity to light and peak absorption wavelength at 507 nm near the blue end of the spectrum.Retinal Pigments: Photosensitive protein complexes of varied light absorption properties which are expressed in the PHOTORECEPTOR CELLS. They are OPSINS conjugated with VITAMIN A-based chromophores. Chromophores capture photons of light, leading to the activation of opsins and a biochemical cascade that ultimately excites the photoreceptor cells.Genetic Linkage: The co-inheritance of two or more non-allelic GENES due to their being located more or less closely on the same CHROMOSOME.Ethylnitrosourea: A nitrosourea compound with alkylating, carcinogenic, and mutagenic properties.Polymerase Chain Reaction: In vitro method for producing large amounts of specific DNA or RNA fragments of defined length and sequence from small amounts of short oligonucleotide flanking sequences (primers). The essential steps include thermal denaturation of the double-stranded target molecules, annealing of the primers to their complementary sequences, and extension of the annealed primers by enzymatic synthesis with DNA polymerase. The reaction is efficient, specific, and extremely sensitive. Uses for the reaction include disease diagnosis, detection of difficult-to-isolate pathogens, mutation analysis, genetic testing, DNA sequencing, and analyzing evolutionary relationships.Dogs: The domestic dog, Canis familiaris, comprising about 400 breeds, of the carnivore family CANIDAE. They are worldwide in distribution and live in association with people. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1065)Homozygote: An individual in which both alleles at a given locus are identical.Mice, Inbred BALB CGenotype: The genetic constitution of the individual, comprising the ALLELES present at each GENETIC LOCUS.Optic Nerve: The 2nd cranial nerve which conveys visual information from the RETINA to the brain. The nerve carries the axons of the RETINAL GANGLION CELLS which sort at the OPTIC CHIASM and continue via the OPTIC TRACTS to the brain. The largest projection is to the lateral geniculate nuclei; other targets include the SUPERIOR COLLICULI and the SUPRACHIASMATIC NUCLEI. Though known as the second cranial nerve, it is considered part of the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.YemenNeurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Eye Diseases: Diseases affecting the eye.CeruloplasminBase Sequence: The sequence of PURINES and PYRIMIDINES in nucleic acids and polynucleotides. It is also called nucleotide sequence.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Axons: Nerve fibers that are capable of rapidly conducting impulses away from the neuron cell body.Vision Disorders: Visual impairments limiting one or more of the basic functions of the eye: visual acuity, dark adaptation, color vision, or peripheral vision. These may result from EYE DISEASES; OPTIC NERVE DISEASES; VISUAL PATHWAY diseases; OCCIPITAL LOBE diseases; OCULAR MOTILITY DISORDERS; and other conditions (From Newell, Ophthalmology: Principles and Concepts, 7th ed, p132).Alleles: Variant forms of the same gene, occupying the same locus on homologous CHROMOSOMES, and governing the variants in production of the same gene product.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Apoptosis Inducing Factor: A flavoprotein that functions as a powerful antioxidant in the MITOCHONDRIA and promotes APOPTOSIS when released from the mitochondria. In mammalian cells AIF is released in response to pro-apoptotic protein members of the bcl-2 protein family. It translocates to the CELL NUCLEUS and binds DNA to stimulate CASPASE-independent CHROMATIN condensation.Gliosis: The production of a dense fibrous network of neuroglia; includes astrocytosis, which is a proliferation of astrocytes in the area of a degenerative lesion.Caspase 12: A long pro-domain caspase that contains a caspase recruitment domain in its pro-domain region. Caspase 12 is activated by pro-apoptotic factors that are released during cell stress and by CARD SIGNALING ADAPTOR PROTEINS. It activates APOPTOSIS by cleaving and activating EFFECTOR CASPASES.Gene Knock-In Techniques: Techniques used to add in exogenous gene sequence such as mutated genes; REPORTER GENES, to study mechanisms of gene expression; or regulatory control sequences, to study effects of temporal changes to GENE EXPRESSION.Neuroprotective Agents: Drugs intended to prevent damage to the brain or spinal cord from ischemia, stroke, convulsions, or trauma. Some must be administered before the event, but others may be effective for some time after. They act by a variety of mechanisms, but often directly or indirectly minimize the damage produced by endogenous excitatory amino acids.Cytoprotection: The process by which chemical compounds provide protection to cells against harmful agents.Phospholipase C beta: A phosphoinositide phospholipase C subtype that is primarily regulated by its association with HETEROTRIMERIC G-PROTEINS. It is structurally related to PHOSPHOLIPASE C DELTA with the addition of C-terminal extension of 400 residues.Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein: An intermediate filament protein found only in glial cells or cells of glial origin. MW 51,000.Amacrine Cells: INTERNEURONS of the vertebrate RETINA. They integrate, modulate, and interpose a temporal domain in the visual message presented to the RETINAL GANGLION CELLS, with which they synapse in the inner plexiform layer.Alstrom Syndrome: Rare autosomal recessive disease characterized by multiple organ dysfunction. The key clinical features include retinal degeneration (NYSTAGMUS, PATHOLOGIC; RETINITIS PIGMENTOSA; and eventual blindness), childhood obesity, sensorineural hearing loss, and normal mental development. Endocrinologic complications include TYPE 2 DIABETES MELLITUS; HYPERINSULINEMIA; ACANTHOSIS NIGRICANS; HYPOTHYROIDISM; and progressive renal and hepatic failures. The disease is caused by mutations in the ALMS1 gene.Oxidative Stress: A disturbance in the prooxidant-antioxidant balance in favor of the former, leading to potential damage. Indicators of oxidative stress include damaged DNA bases, protein oxidation products, and lipid peroxidation products (Sies, Oxidative Stress, 1991, pxv-xvi).Genetic Vectors: DNA molecules capable of autonomous replication within a host cell and into which other DNA sequences can be inserted and thus amplified. Many are derived from PLASMIDS; BACTERIOPHAGES; or VIRUSES. They are used for transporting foreign genes into recipient cells. Genetic vectors possess a functional replicator site and contain GENETIC MARKERS to facilitate their selective recognition.Point Mutation: A mutation caused by the substitution of one nucleotide for another. This results in the DNA molecule having a change in a single base pair.Phosphoric Diester Hydrolases: A class of enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of one of the two ester bonds in a phosphodiester compound. EC 3.1.4.Microscopy, Fluorescence: Microscopy of specimens stained with fluorescent dye (usually fluorescein isothiocyanate) or of naturally fluorescent materials, which emit light when exposed to ultraviolet or blue light. Immunofluorescence microscopy utilizes antibodies that are labeled with fluorescent dye.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Visual Fields: The total area or space visible in a person's peripheral vision with the eye looking straightforward.Consanguinity: The magnitude of INBREEDING in humans.Chromosome Mapping: Any method used for determining the location of and relative distances between genes on a chromosome.Paraneoplastic Cerebellar Degeneration: Cerebellar degeneration associated with a remote neoplasm. Clinical manifestations include progressive limb and GAIT ATAXIA; DYSARTHRIA; and NYSTAGMUS, PATHOLOGIC. The histologic type of the associated neoplasm is usually carcinoma or lymphoma. Pathologically the cerebellar cortex and subcortical nuclei demonstrate diffuse degenerative changes. Anti-Purkinje cell antibodies (anti-Yo) are found in the serum of approximately 50% of affected individuals. (Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p686)Color Vision: Function of the human eye that is used in bright illumination or in daylight (at photopic intensities). Photopic vision is performed by the three types of RETINAL CONE PHOTORECEPTORS with varied peak absorption wavelengths in the color spectrum (from violet to red, 400 - 700 nm).Zebrafish: An exotic species of the family CYPRINIDAE, originally from Asia, that has been introduced in North America. They are used in embryological studies and to study the effects of certain chemicals on development.Models, Animal: Non-human animals, selected because of specific characteristics, for use in experimental research, teaching, or testing.Exons: The parts of a transcript of a split GENE remaining after the INTRONS are removed. They are spliced together to become a MESSENGER RNA or other functional RNA.Subacute Combined Degeneration: A neuropathy due to VITAMIN B 12 DEFICIENCY or to excessive NITROUS OXIDE inhalation. It is associated with overproduction of the myelinolytic TUMOR NECROSIS FACTOR-ALPHA.Protein Transport: The process of moving proteins from one cellular compartment (including extracellular) to another by various sorting and transport mechanisms such as gated transport, protein translocation, and vesicular transport.Visual Field Tests: Method of measuring and mapping the scope of vision, from central to peripheral of each eye.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Retinoids: A group of tetraterpenes, with four terpene units joined head-to-tail. Biologically active members of this class are used clinically in the treatment of severe cystic ACNE; PSORIASIS; and other disorders of keratinization.Gene Transfer Techniques: The introduction of functional (usually cloned) GENES into cells. A variety of techniques and naturally occurring processes are used for the gene transfer such as cell hybridization, LIPOSOMES or microcell-mediated gene transfer, ELECTROPORATION, chromosome-mediated gene transfer, TRANSFECTION, and GENETIC TRANSDUCTION. Gene transfer may result in genetically transformed cells and individual organisms.Darkness: The absence of light.Group II Chaperonins: A subcategory of chaperonins found in ARCHAEA and the CYTOSOL of eukaryotic cells. Group II chaperonins form a barrel-shaped macromolecular structure that is distinct from GROUP I CHAPERONINS in that it does not utilize a separate lid like structure to enclose proteins.Arrestins: Regulatory proteins that down-regulate phosphorylated G-protein membrane receptors, including rod and cone photoreceptors and adrenergic receptors.Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors: A large superfamily of transcription factors that contain a region rich in BASIC AMINO ACID residues followed by a LEUCINE ZIPPER domain.Taurine: A conditionally essential nutrient, important during mammalian development. It is present in milk but is isolated mostly from ox bile and strongly conjugates bile acids.Geographic Atrophy: A form of MACULAR DEGENERATION also known as dry macular degeneration marked by occurrence of a well-defined progressive lesion or atrophy in the central part of the RETINA called the MACULA LUTEA. It is distinguishable from WET MACULAR DEGENERATION in that the latter involves neovascular exudates.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Calcium-Binding Proteins: Proteins to which calcium ions are bound. They can act as transport proteins, regulator proteins, or activator proteins. They typically contain EF HAND MOTIFS.Intervertebral Disc Displacement: An INTERVERTEBRAL DISC in which the nucleus pulposus has protruded through surrounding fibrocartilage. This occurs most frequently in the lower lumbar region.Rosmarinus: A plant genus of the LAMIACEAE family. It is known as a spice and medicinal plant.Glial Cell Line-Derived Neurotrophic Factor: The founding member of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor family. It was originally characterized as a NERVE GROWTH FACTOR promoting the survival of MIDBRAIN dopaminergic NEURONS, and it has been studied as a potential treatment for PARKINSON DISEASE.