of Rats: RCS
Inbr. F22 (NIH 1989).
Colour: Pink-eyed, tan-hooded.
Genet. a, h, p.
Origin: Developed before 1965 by Sidman from stock obtained from Sorsby
of the Royal College of Surgeons, London (Sidman
and Pearlstein 1965). PETH is a presumed subline.
Carries gene for retinal dystrophy, which causes over-production of rhodopsin
and progressive loss of photoreceptor cells beginning in the third postnatal
week. Cataracts develop in 24% of rats and there is a 4% incidence of
microphthalmia. Hess et al (1985
that the incidence of cataracts could be altered by the diet. A congenic
strain RCS-p/+ has been developed in which the retinal dystrophy develops
more slowly (LaVail and Battelle 1975, LaVail et al 1975,
Essner et al 1979, Essner et al 1978
Mean litter size 6.8_0.1 (SEM). Body weight plateaus at 5-6 months at
about 185g in females and 275g in males (La Vail et al 1975). Work with
chimeric rats shows that the rdy
gene acts in pigment epithelial
cells rather than in photoreceptor cells (Mullen
and LaVail 1976
). During postnatal development of rod outer segments
of normal animals, the number of phagosomes found 1-2 hrs. after the onset
of light increases steadily until adult levels are reached by day 35.
Phagosomes in RCS rats do not increase after day 15 (Tamai and O'Brien 1979
). Electrical activity, rhodopsin content,
rod structure and extracellular lamellae are retained longer when animals
are reared in the dark (Dowling and Sidman
1962, Kaitz 1976,
Kaitz and Auerbach 1979
). Biochemical and cytological differences
between the retinas of RCS and control animals have been reported by Lolly
and Farber (1975,1976), Essner et al (1978
Essner and Gorrin (1979
), Wiggert et al
), and Tamai and O'Brien (1979
). Daily administration of 160 mg/kg of acetyl salicylic
acid and ibuprofen leads to an appreciable retardation in the process
of retinal degeneration (Elhifnawi et al,
). Instability of the lysosomal membrane in the pigment epithelium
may initiate degeneration of photoreceptors and pigment epithelium (Elhifnawi et al, 1994
Low relative heart weight in 10-week old males (3/23) (Tanase et al 1982).
Other papers using RCS include Thanos (1992),
Atkinson et al, (1992), Thanos and Richter
(1993), Elhifnawi (1995),
Ueda and Steinberg, (1993)
E. G., Edelsten C., Kasp E., and Dumonde D. C. (1992) Experimental autoimmune
uveoretinitis in the RCS rat - the influence of photoreceptor degeneration
on disease expression. Brit. J. Ophthalmol. 76, 553-559.
J. E. and Sidman R. L. (1962) Inherited retinal dystrophy in the rat.
J. Cell Biol. 14, 73-109.
E. S., Kuhnel W., Orun C., Haug H., and Laqua H. (1992) The effect of
cyclooxygenase inhibitors on the course of hereditary retinal dystrophy
in RCS-rats. Annals of Anatomy-Anatomischer Anzeiger 174,
E., Kuhnel W., Elhifnawi A., and Laqua H. (1994) Localization of lysosomal-enzymes
in the retina and retinal-pigment epithelium of RCS rats. Annals of
Anatomy-Anatomischer Anzeiger 176, 505-513.
(1995) Localization of cathepsin-D in rat ocular-tissues - an immunohistochemical
study. Annals of Anatomy-Anatomischer Anzeiger 177, 11-17.
E., Gorrin G., and Griewski R. A. (1978) Localization of lysosomal enzymes
in retinal pigment epithelium of rats with inherited retinal dystrophy.
Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 17, 278-288.
E. and Gorrin G. (1979) An electron microscopic study of macrophages in
rats with inherited retinal dystrophy. Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual
Sci. 18, 11-25.
Hess H. H.,
Knapke J. J., Newsome D. A., Westney I. V., and Wartofsky L. (1985) Dietary
prevention of cataracts in the pink-eyed RCS rat. Lab. Animal Sci.
and Auerbach E. (1979) Retinal degeneration in RCS rats raised under ambient
light levels. Vision Res. 19, 79-81.
Kaitz M. (1976) The
effect of light on brightness perception in rats with retinal dystrophy.
Vision Res. 16, 141-148.
M. M. and Battelle B. (1975) Influence of eye pigmentation and light deprivation
on inherited retinal dystrophy in the rat. Exp. Eye Res. 21,
R. J. and LaVail M. M. (1976) Inherited retinal dystrophy: Primary defect
in pigment epithelium determined with experimental rat chimeras. Science
R. L. and Pearlstein R. (1965) Pink-eyed dilution (p) gene in rodents:
Increased pigmentation in tissue culture. Devel. Biol. 12,
and O'Brien P. J. (1979) Retinal dystrophy in the RCS rat: In vivo and
in vitro studies of phagocytic action of the pigment epithelium on the
shed rod outer segments. Exp. Eye Res. 28, 399-411.
H., Yamori Y., Hansen C. T., and Lovenberg W. (1982) Heart size in inbred
strains of rats. Part 1. Genetic determination of the development of cardiovascular
enlargement in rats. Hypertension 4, 864-872.
S. and Richter W. (1993) The migratory potential of vitally labeled microglial
cells within the retina of rats with hereditary photoreceptor dystrophy.
International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience 11,
Thanos S. (1992) Sick
photoreceptors attract activated microglia from the ganglion- cell layer
- a model to study the inflammatory cascades in rats with inherited retinal
dystrophy. Brain Res. 588, 21-28.
Ueda Y. and
Steinberg R. H. (1993) Voltage-operated calcium channels in fresh and
cultured rat retinal- pigment epithelial-cells. Investigative Ophthalmology
& Visual Science 34, 3408-3418.
B., Bergsma D. R., Helmsen R., and Chader G. J. (1978) Vitamin A receptors:
Retinoic acid binding in ocular tissues. Biochem. J. 169,
INBRED STRAINS OF RATS
Updated 9 Apr. 1998
MRC Toxicology Unit, Hodgkin Building,
University of Leicester,