The role of RdCVFL in a mathematical model of photoreceptor interactions

Kathryn Wifvat, Erika T. Camacho, Stephen Wirkus, Thierry Léveillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Recent experimental and mathematical work has shown the interdependence of the rod and cone photoreceptors with the retinal pigment epithelium in maintaining sight. Accelerated intake of glucose into the cones via the theoredoxin-like rod-derived cone viability factor (RdCVF) is needed as aerobic glycolysis is the primary source of energy production. Reactive oxidative species (ROS) result from the rod and cone metabolism and recent experimental work has shown that the long form of RdCVF (RdCVFL) helps mitigate the negative effects of ROS. In this work we investigate the role of RdCVFL in maintaining the health of the photoreceptors. The results of our mathematical model show the necessity of RdCVFL and also demonstrate additional stable modes that are present in this system. The sensitivity analysis shows the importance of glucose uptake, nutrient levels, and ROS mitigation in maintaining rod and cone health in light-damaged mouse models. Together, these suggests areas on which to focus treatment in order to prolong the photoreceptors, especially in situations where ROS is a contributing factor to their death such as retinitis pigmentosa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110642
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
StatePublished - Jul 7 2021


  • Bifurcation set
  • RdCVFL
  • Retinal degeneration
  • Retinitis pigmentosa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Applied Mathematics


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