01727-A: Emergence of Pigmentary Uveitis as a Potential Cause of Cataracts and Glaucoma

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $6,655.02
Dr. Wendy M. Townsend, DVM, MS, Purdue University
April 1, 2012 - September 30, 2013
Sponsor(s): American Bullmastiff Association, German Shepherd Dog Club of America, Irish Setter Club of America Foundation, Irish Wolfhound Club of America, Inc.
Breed(s): Golden Retriever
Research Program Area: Ophthalmology

Abstract

Pigmentary uveitis (PU) causes cataracts and glaucoma that frequently blind older Golden Retrievers. Glaucoma is particularly devastating because it causes pain. As there is no effective treatment for this emerging condition, PU has become a research priority for the Golden Retriever Club of America. Available evidence suggests PU is an inherited disease, as it is only seen in Golden Retrievers and can be traced through pedigrees. However, a major frustration for breeders is PU's late onset: by the time of diagnosis, affected dogs have often produced multiple litters. Affected offspring are impossible to identify until they develop clinical signs, which typically occurs at 8 years of age or older. Identification of the genetic defect(s) causing PU and development of a genetic test would allow early identification of dogs with PU and selective breeding practices to reduce the prevalence of PU affected dogs. Dr. Townsend's laboratory has undertaken genome wide association studies (GWAS) to search for genes causing PU. DNA from unaffected individuals is critical in such studies. Because PU has such late onset, it is difficult to ensure the dogs used as controls are truly unaffected. To surmount this obstacle, they are examining post-mortem eye tissues from older, purportedly unaffected dogs to guarantee they are unaffected. The goal of this Acorn grant is to establish a substantial numbers of both affected and unaffected dogs to increase the probability of detecting the causative gene.

Publication(s)

None at this time.

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