Differential Effects of C1qa Ablation on Glaucomatous Damage in Two Sexes in DBA-2NNia MiceReport as inadecuate

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To determine the sex and age-related effects of C1qa ablation on retinal ganglion cell RGC and optic nerve ON axonal loss in a mouse model of glaucomatous neurodegeneration.


Congenic C1qa mice were generated in the DBA-2NNia background. Female and male knockout -, heterozygous +-, and wild type +-+ mice were aged up to 14 months and IOPs were recorded in a subset of animals. Retinas of mice from all three groups at 5–6, 9–10 and 11–13 months of age were flat-mounted after retrograde labeling with Fluorogold. Imaged retinas were scored RGC score semi-quantitatively on a 10 point scale by two independent observers. A subset of retinas and optic nerves were also used for measurement of total number of RGCs. Semi-thin sections of ON were imaged and graded ON score for the amount of axonal damage semi-quantitatively, by two masked observers. Analysis of covariance ANCOVA was used for statistical comparisons. Microglial cells in flat-mounted retinas of 5–6 month old C1qa - and C1qa +-+ mice were used for assessment of microglial activation utilizing morphological criteria.


Female C1qa - mice had significantly higher IOP p<0.000001, ANOVA between 8 and 13 months of age compared to C1qa +-+ animals. No differences in IOPs between animals of the three genotypes were observed in males. At 5–6 months of age, there was no difference in RGC or ON scores between the three genotypes in animals of either sex. At 9–10 months of age, female mice didn’t show significant differences in RGC or ON scores between the three genotypes. However, male C1qa - and C1qa +- mice of the same age had better RGC and ON scores p<0.003 and p<0.05, ANCOVA, for RGC and ON scores, respectively compared with C1qa +-+ mice. At 11–13 months of age, female C1qa - mice had better RGC scores p<0.006, ANCOVA compared to C1qa +-+ and C1qa +- animals. Accordingly, C1qa - mice had higher RGC counts p<0.03, t-test compared to C1qa +-+ animals. In male mice, there was a tendency for 12 month old C1qa - animals to have better RGC scores and higher RGC counts, but this didn-t reach statistical significance. ON scores in 11–13 month old animals of either sex were not different between all three genotype. Microglial activation in male 5–6 month old C1qa - mice was decreased compared to C1qa +-+ animals; no such effect was seen in females.


Absence of C1qa ameliorates RGC and ON loss in the DBA-2NNia strain, but this effect differs between the two sexes. C1q-mediated RGC damage seems to be more potent than IOP-mediated RGC loss. In contrast, C1qa absence provides axonal protection early on, but this protection cannot overcome the effects of significant IOP elevation.

Author: Ruma Kumari , Konstantin Astafurov , Alina Genis, John Danias

Source: http://plos.srce.hr/


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