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Residency Program
Vision Correction
Get Glasses and Contacts - VISION Optical Dispensary

Summer 2015


Professor of Anatomy and Ophthalmology
Director, Kearn Family Center for the Study of Retinal Degeneration



Retinal Degeneration Rat Model Resource

Availability of P23H and S334ter Mutant Rhodopsin Transgenic Rats
RCS Inbred and Congenic Strains

We have developed, maintain and distribute all of the known, fully penetrant rat models of the retinitis pigmentosa type of inherited retinal degeneration. These are the following:

Mutant rhodopsin transgenic rats
    • P23H mutant rhodopsin transgenic rats
       -Three lines with different rates of photoreceptor degeneration
    • S334ter mutant rhodopsin transgenic rats
       -Five lines with different rates of photoreceptor degeneration
  RCS (Royal College of Surgeons) rats with inherited retinal dystrophy
    • RCS pink-eyed inbred strain
    • RCS pigmented congenic strain with slowed rate of retinal dystrophy
    • RCS congenic control strains of both pigmentation types, wild-type at the        retinal dystrophy (Mertk) genetic locus

We have been supported by the National Eye Institute (NEI) for the past 19 years to produce and distribute breeding pairs of these animal models to vision scientists. Thus, the following apply:

    • Request for rats requires only a 1-page letter/e-mail addressing 4 questions
    • No charge for the animals or tissues (except for shipping costs)
    • No Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) required
    • No collaboration requirement (in most cases)

We usually provide multiple breeding pairs of the rats to vision scientists to generate breeding stock. We can also provide extra animals to breed for immediate experimental work, animals of specific ages (depending upon availability), animals with prior exposure to different lighting conditions, eyes taken at specific ages instead of rats for pilot studies and other experiments (fresh, frozen, dissected in specific ways, or fixed with special fixatives or by different methods), or other tissues (e.g., liver, spleen, brain, testis, etc.) prepared different ways.

Details of the retinal degenerations, strain terminology and history, breeding schemata, procedures for acquiring rats and tissues, and contact information are given in the linked files below. If you have difficulty opening either of the files in your web browser, or if any of the pages are blank, please try saving the file to your desktop and then opening it. Alternatively, email Dr. Michael Matthes (michael.matthes@ucsf.edu) or me (matthew.lavail@ucsf.edu), and we can send you the file as an attachment.

Click here for detailed information - Microsoft Word file


Click here for detailed information - PDF file


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