Cyclic GMP accumulation causes degeneration of photoreceptor cells: simulation of an inherited disease

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Science  06 May 1977:
Vol. 196, Issue 4290, pp. 664-666
DOI: 10.1126/science.193183


Guanosine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic GMP) metabolism in developing eye rudiments of Xenopus laevis embryos in culture is disrupted by the phosphodiesterase inhibitor isobutylmethylxanthine. At low concentrations of inhibitor the rudiments develop normally, but at higher concentrations of the inhibitor, cyclic GMP accumulates in the rudiments and the retinal photoreceptor cells degenerate selectively. The isobutylmethylxanthine-induced photoreceptor degeneration is associated with an accumulation of cyclic GMP and, in this respect, it stimulates an early biochemical defect in the inherited degenerative disease of rd mice.