Metabolic transcriptomics dictate responses of cone photoreceptors to retinitis pigmentosa

This study looked at the function of rod and cone photoreceptor cells in retinitis pigmentosa (RP), which is the cause of vision loss associated with Usher Syndrome. Loss of rod photoreceptors, which are responsible for vision in low light, occurs first in RP. After these rod photoreceptor cells no longer function, the health of cone photoreceptors is compromised. Cone photoreceptors are essential for vision in daylight and color vision.

The researchers looked at subtypes of cone photoreceptors, and found that certain types are damaged before others, while other subtypes survive much longer. They also describe how these cells function to produce vision.

What this means for Usher syndrome: Increased understanding of cell function in the retina, and of how this is affected in RP, can help increase our understanding of USH and may contribute to future research into possible therapies.

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