Inherited retinal dystrophies (RDs) are heterogenous in many aspects including genes involved, age of onset, rate of progression, and treatments. While RDs are caused by a plethora of different mutations, all result in the same outcome of blindness. While treatments, both gene therapy-based and drug-based, have been developed to slow or halt disease progression and prevent further blindness, only a small handful of the forms of RDs have treatments available, which are primarily for recessively inherited forms. Using immunohistochemical methods coupled with electroretinography, optical coherence tomography, and fluorescein angiography, we show that in rhodopsin mutant mice, the involvement of both the innate and the autoimmune systems could be a strong contributing factor in disease progression and pathogenesis. Herein, we show that monocytic phagocytosis and inflammatory cytokine release along with protein citrullination, a major player in forms of autoimmunity, work to enhance the progression of RD associated with a rhodopsin mutation.
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