Strain information
 NBRP Rat No: 0011  Strain name: RCS/Kyo  Commmon Name: Royal College of Surgeons rat Rat Genome Database
Principal Investigator:  Tadao Serikawa  Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University       Yoshidakonoe-cho, Sakyo-ku    606-8501 Kyoto     JAPAN
Tel: 075-753-4360    Fax: 075-753-4409 Email:
Preservation Status:   Embryo        Sperm       Living Animals ../images/Photos/RCS%20Kyo/71a%20(Large).jpg ../images/Photos/RCS%20Kyo/71%20(Large).jpg
Coat Color  tan hooded (a,B,C,h,p,R)
Inbred Generations  F18+29 (March 2012)
Usage Restrictions  
Genetic Status
 Inbred  Segregating  Congenic  Consomic  Recombinant
 Coisogenic  Spont. Mutant  Transgene  Ind. Mutant  Category Other 
Comercial Availability
Research Category
 Diabetes Obesity  Neurobiology  Ophthalmology  Dentistry  Cardio Hypertension
 Cancer  Metabolism  Otorhinology  Immunology  Infectious
 Osteosis  Internal Organ  Dermatology  Reproduction  Development
 Behavior  Hematology  Urology  Pharmacology  Research Area Others 
 Control Strain  Marker Strain
Gene Affected Mertk: c-mer proto-oncogene tyrosine kinase
Origin RCS rats were found as individuals showing inherited retinal degeneration in the colony of pink-eyed piebald agouti rats (Bourne, 1983). Transferred from Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Kyoto University to Institute of Laboratory Animals, Kyoto University (Kyo) in 1998. RCS is an abbreviation for Royal College of Surgeons. (Oct 1, 2010) About control strains for RCS/Kyo rats: please chesk this information
Strain characteristics Retinal degeneration. An animal model for human retinitis pigmentosa.
A causative gene rdy was identified as a deletion in the Mertk gene encording the tyrosine kinase receptor (D'Cruz, 2000). The retinal abnormality starts at about 3 weeks of age (Bourne, 1938). Retinal pigment epithelial cells of RCS rats fail to phagocytose shed photoreceptor epithelial cells and subsequently photoreceptor cells die (Dowling, 1962; Tuo, 1994). Many clinical rescue experiments to photoreceptor cell from degeneration have been reported (Faktorovich, 1990; Zhang, 2009; Thumann, 2009; Lu, 2010). Pink-eyed dilution (Kuramoto, 2005). (Oct 1, 2010)
Breeding Conditions Good breeding performance. Sib mating.
References 1. Bourne MC, Campbell DA, Pyke M. Cataract associated with an hereditary retinal lesion in rats. Br J Ophthalmol. 1938 Oct;22(10):608-613.

2. Bourne MC, Campbell DA, Tansley K. Hereditary degeneration of the rat retina. Br J Ophthalmol. 1938 Oct;22(10):613-623.

3. Dowling JE, Sidman RL. Inherited retinal dystrophy in the rat. J Cell Biol. 1962 Jul;14:73-109.

4. LaVail MM, Sidman RL, Gerhardt CO. Congenic strains of RCS rats with inherited retinal dystrophy. J Hered. 1975 Jul-Aug;66(4):242-244.

5. Edwards RB, Szamier RB. Defective phagocytosis of isolated rod outer segments by RCS rat retinal pigment epithelium in culture. Science. 1977 Sep 2;197(4307):1001-1003.

6. LaVail MM. Photoreceptor characteristics in congenic strains of RCS rats. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1981 May;20(5):671-675.

7. Faktorovich EG, Steinberg RH, Yasumura D, Matthes MT, LaVail MM. Photoreceptor degeneration in inherited retinal dystrophy delayed by basic fibroblast growth factor. Nature. 1990 Sep 6;347(6288):83-86.

8. Tso MO, Zhang C, Abler AS, Chang CJ, Wong F, Chang GQ, Lam TT. Apoptosis leads to photoreceptor degeneration in inherited retinal dystrophy of RCS rats. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1994 May;35(6):2693-9.

9. D'Cruz PM, Yasumura D, Weir J, Matthes MT, Abderrahim H, LaVail MM, Vollrath D. Links Mutation of the receptor tyrosine kinase gene Mertk in the retinal dystrophic RCS rat. Hum Mol Genet. 2000 Mar 1;9(4):645-651.

10. Kuramoto T, Gohma H, Kimura K, Wedekind D, Hedrich HJ, Serikawa T. The rat pink-eyed dilution (p) mutation: an identical intragenic deletion in pink-eye dilute-coat strains and several Wistar-derived albino strains. Mamm Genome. 2005 Sep;16(9):712-719.

11. Zhang M, Mo X, Fang Y, Guo W, Wu J, Zhang S, Huang Q. Rescue of photoreceptors by BDNF gene transfer using in vivo electroporation in the RCS rat of retinitis pigmentosa. Curr Eye Res. 2009 Sep;34(9):791-799.

12. Thumann G, Salz AK, Walter P, Johnen S. Preservation of photoreceptors in dystrophic RCS rats following allo- and xenotransplantation of IPE cells. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Mar;247(3):363-9.

13. Lu B, Wang S, Girman S, McGill T, Ragaglia V, Lund R. Human adult bone marrow-derived somatic cells rescue vision in a rodent model of retinal degeneration. Exp Eye Res. 2010 Sep;91(3):449-455.

14. Tsuji N, Ozaki K, Narama I, Matsuura T. Inferior ectopic pupil and typical ocular coloboma in RCS rats. Comp Med. 2011 Aug;61(4):378-384.

15. Liu K, Wang Y, Yin Z, Weng C, Zeng Y. Changes in glutamate homeostasis cause retinal degeneration in Royal College of Surgeons rats. Int J Mol Med. 2013 May;31(5):1075-1080.

16. Leow SN, Luu CD, Hairul Nizam MH, Mok PL, Ruhaslizan R, Wong HS, Wan Abdul Halim WH, Ng MH, Ruszymah BH, Chowdhury SR, Bastion ML, Then KY. Safety and Efficacy of Human Wharton's Jelly-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells Therapy for Retinal Degeneration. PLoS One. 2015 Jun 24;10(6):e0128973

16. Terayama Y, matsuura T, Ozaki K. Malignant mast cell tumor of the thymus in a Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat. J Toxicol Pathol. Article ID: 2016-0044
Additional strain information RCS