Deficiency of Bax and Bak protects photoreceptors from light damage in vivo

P. Hahn, T. Lindsten, A. Lyubarsky, G. S. Ying, Edward N Pugh Jr, C. B. Thompson, J. L. Dunaief

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Photoreceptors of bax-/-bak-/- but neither bax-/- mice nor bak-/- mice are protected from developmental apoptosis, suggesting that bax-/-bak-/- photoreceptors may also be protected from pathologic apoptosis. To test this possibility, we exposed bax-/-bak-/- and bax-/- mice to bright light, which normally induces photoreceptor death. Photoreceptors in bax-/-bak-/- mice were protected from death compared to bax-/- mice as indicated by a reduction in the number of TUNEL-positive photoreceptor nuclei 24 h following light damage and almost complete preservation of photoreceptors 7 days following light damage. These results provide the first in vivo evidence that combined deficiency of Bax and Bak can rescue cells from a pathologic stimulus more effectively than Bax deficiency and suggest that combined deficiency of Bax and Bak may also protect cells from other insults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1192-1197
Number of pages6
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Apoptosis
  • Bak
  • Bax
  • Light damage
  • Photoreceptors
  • Protection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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