The role of oxidative stress within photoreceptors (PRs) in inherited photoreceptor degeneration (IPD) is unclear. We investigated this question using four IPD mouse models (Pde6brd1/rd1, Pde6batrd1/atrd1, Rho2/2 and Prph2rds/rds) and compared the abundance of reduced glutathione (GSH) and the activity of mitochondrial NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase (complex I), which is oxidative stress sensitive, as indirect measures of redox status, in the retinas of wild type and IPD mice. All four IPD mutants had significantly reduced retinal complex I activities (14–29% of wild type) and two showed reduced GSH, at a stage prior to the occurrence of significant cell death, whereas mitochondrial citrate synthase, which is oxidative stress insensitive, was unchanged. We orally administered the mitochondrially targeted anti oxidant MitoQ in order to reduce oxidative stress but without any improvement in retinal complex I activity, GSH or rates of PR degeneration.
- mitochondrial oxidative stress
- inherited photoreceptor degeneration