Sensory Organ Disease Portal – Rat Strain Models

Eye-Related Diseases

Cataract:

CWS: These develop spontaneous cataract along with microphthalmia as soon as they open their eyes (Reference: 1004).

UPL/Cas: Female UPL/Cas rats are unique models for spontaneous cataract, as was demonstrated in brother-sister mating of affected females. These develop early onset type (E-type) cataract before opening their eyes at about 14 days of age and late onset type (L-type) cataract at approximately 3 weeks of age. Microphthalmos, microphakia and synechia  are also noticed in these offspring (Reference: 727242). In the congenic strain BN.UPL-(D2Rat134-D2Rat2)/Cas the gene Gja8 has been identified as the candidate gene for the development of mature cataract. (Reference: 629571)SHR-Gja8m1Cub rats, where the Gja8 gene is mutated, inherit cataract in the autosomal dominant form. (Reference: 2293186).

ICR/Ihr: ICR/Ihr rats inherit cataract which is completely developed at 4-6 months of age (Reference: 9495913). C-terminal truncation sites are found in the alpha-crystallins, decreasing their chaparone activity which may cause many proteins to insolubilize; this helps in the progession of cataract. (Reference: 9495914).

IER/Ihr: IER/Ihr rats develop both cataract and epilepsy. According to the linkage analysis one cataract locus (QTL Lecl1) was present on chr 8 and another one (QTL Lecl2) on chr 15  (Reference: 68701).

OXYS/Nov: OXYS/Nov rats are susceptible to cataract from 2 weeks of age, progressing to mature disease by 1 year of age. Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of these cataracts that initially appear as nuclear or sub-capsular cortical changes and develop within months into nuclear cataract. (Reference: 4140427).  OXYR/Nov is the reciprocal resistant strain that does not develop cataract on a galactose rich diet.

Retinal degeneration:

W-LeprfaNin:  These mutant rats display progressive retinal  degeneration after the onset of obesity. The expression of genes like RhoSag, and Elovl4 was upregulated when the rats were fed vitamin A. (Reference: 8657053).

Hsd:SD: Injection of kainic acid into the vitreous of rat eyes induces retinal degeneration. Morphometric analysis showed that the thickness of the retinal layers was decreased. (Reference: 7775035).

Retinopathy:

SDT/CrljJcl:  At 20 weeks of age, these rats develop progressive hyperglycemia and glucosoria. This is accompanied by severe ocular complications including retinal detachment. The retinopathy was characterized by high levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF/Serpinf1).  (Reference:  2312348).

BN/SsNHsd:  Retinal neovascularization induces retinal ischemia in rats exposed to constant hyperoxia followed by normoxia. This is not observed in Hsd:SD  (Reference:  8655544).

Crl:SD:These rats, when placed in a controlled high oxygen environment (50%-100%), develop severe retinopathy of prematurity with peripheral avascular retina  (Reference:  8655555).

IER/Ihr: IER/Ihr rats develop both cataract and epilepsy. According to the linkage analysis one cataract locus (QTL Lecl1) was present on chr 8 and another one (QTL Lecl2) on chr 15  (Reference: 68701 ).

OXYS/Nov: OXYS/Nov rats are susceptible to cataract from 2 weeks of age, progressing to mature disease by 1 year of age. Oxidative stress is one of the major causes of these cataracts that initially appear as nuclear or sub-capsular cortical changes and develop within months into nuclear cataract. (Reference: 4140427).  OXYR/Nov is the reciprocal resistant strain that does not develop cataract on a galactose rich diet.

Skin-Related Diseases

Hairless

DA.Cg-Foxn1rnu Lystbg/Slc: This congenic strain is a double mutant that has diluted coat color, impaired NK cell activity and defective T-cell function (Reference: 2306054).

F344.Cg-Foxn1rnu/Kyo: This congenic strain has a mutated nude locus, Foxn, which causes hairlessness and athymia, and results in deficiencies in the immune system (Reference: 9495928).

Fuzzy hair

WFfzHsd: These have sparse, fuzzy hair, and curled and twisted vibrissae. Pups are born with short, roubh fur, which stays until 2 months of age and then disappears, leaving the animal with sparse hair (Reference: 2298846).

Ear-Related Diseases

Deafness

WTC-Kcnq1dfkKyo:  These have a deletion in the Kcnq1 gene which results in weight gain, deafness and imbalance due to inadequate endolymph production (Reference: 1581602).


NHLBI Logo

RGD is funded by grant HL64541 from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute on behalf of the NIH.