Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is an autosomal recessive human disease caused by mutations in the gene encoding 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) reductase (DHCR7), resulting in abnormal accumulation of 7DHC and reduced levels of cholesterol in bodily tissues and fluids. A rat model of the disease has been created by treating normal rats with the DHCR7 inhibitor, AY9944, which causes progressive, irreversible retinal degeneration. Herein, we review the features of this disease model and the evidence linking 7DHC-derived oxysterols to the pathobiology of the disease, with particular emphasis on the associated retinal degeneration. A recent study has shown that treating the rat model with cholesterol plus suitable antioxidants completely prevents the retinal degeneration. These findings are discussed with regard to their translational implications for developing an improved therapeutic intervention for SLOS over the current standard of care.