The role of inflammation in the loss of photoreceptors in Retinitis Pigmentosa 

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is a group of diseases caused by a high variety of mutations that affect the photoreceptors and they lead to death by apoptosis. The typical course of these diseases is the progressive loss of rods followed by a loss of cones.  

It is calculated that, in Spain, the number of people affected by RP exceeds 15,000, estimating that, in the world, there are some 480,000 carriers of one of the defective genes, and, thus, are possible transmitters of the illness. A possible treatment for the disease will be gene therapy.     

To achieve the identification of the various genes responsible for the disease presents a long and difficult future. In the meantime, it would be interesting to study other possible treatments shorter term that, at least, can delay the evolution of the disease until the gene therapy is a reality, like the administration of antioxidants to be able to minimise the damage by oxidative stress present in these diseases. In our group we work specifically with knockout mice strains rd1 to study the mechanism of action of the loss on these models.