Shedding Light on Night Blindness in Appaloosas

Congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) in Appaloosas has been linked to the leopard complex spotting in these horses. But how are these two apparently independent genetic

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Congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB) in Appaloosas has been linked to the leopard complex spotting in these horses. But how are these two apparently independent genetic features related?

According to researchers, both CSNB and spotting pattern in Appaloosas are thought to be caused by a gene called "transient receptor potential cation channel, subfamily M, member 1," or simply, TRPM1.

Rebecca Bellone, PhD, and fellow researchers from the University of Tampa’s Department of Biology examined horses with zero, one, or two copies of the dominant form of the LP gene and compared expression level of five genes located near the mapped LP locus, including TRPM1, in skin and retina samples.

They found that the TRPM1 gene expressed itself more in horses with two copies of the LP allele

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Written by:

Stacey Oke, MSc, DVM, is a practicing veterinarian and freelance medical writer and editor. She is interested in both large and small animals, as well as complementary and alternative medicine. Since 2005, she’s worked as a research consultant for nutritional supplement companies, assisted physicians and veterinarians in publishing research articles and textbooks, and written for a number of educational magazines and websites.

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