December 2013
Volume 13, Issue 15
OSA Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   October 2013
Intrinsically-photosensitive ganglion cells in the primate retina: Anatomy, physiology and behavioral roles
Author Notes
  • Footnotes
     Moderator: Joel Pokorny, University of Chicago
  • Footnotes
     It is now well-established that mammalian ganglion cells can exhibit intrinsic photosensitivity mediated by the photopigment melanopsin. How these cells contribute to visual function, and how they combine melanopsin signals with those from other types of photoreceptor, are topics of much current investigation. This symposium will feature talks that consider the role of melanopsin for conscious visual perception, how melanopsin contributes to the pupillary reflex, and the functional properties of intrinsically photosensitive ganglion cells.
Journal of Vision October 2013, Vol.13, T5. doi:
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      Paul Gamlin; Intrinsically-photosensitive ganglion cells in the primate retina: Anatomy, physiology and behavioral roles. Journal of Vision 2013;13(15):T5.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Primate vision starts with the activation of rod photoreceptors in dim light and short (S)-, medium (M)-, and long (L)- wavelength sensitive cone photoreceptors in daylight. A parallel, non-rod, non-cone photoreceptive pathway, arising from a unique population of melanopsin-expressing, intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), has been demonstrated in mammals including primates. Our understanding of the anatomy, physiology, and behavioral roles of primate ipRGCs has improved substantially over the past decade. In primates, this anatomically distinct population of ipRGCs is strongly activated by rods and cones, and the intrinsic light response combines with rod and (L + M) cone-derived responses to signal irradiance over the full dynamic range of primate vision. Each of these component ipRGC light responses has distinct spectral and temporal attributes that can be characterized both in vitro and in vivo. Further, in primates including humans, we have demonstrated that these cells play an important role both in light-evoked pupillary responses as well as in the sustained pupil constriction that occurs after bright light cessation – the post-illumination pupil response. The post-illumination pupil response is driven by the intrinsic photoresponse of ipRGCs, and can be used to evaluate ipRGC activity in normal and diseased retinas.


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