December 2013
Volume 13, Issue 15
OSA Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   October 2013
Visual functions for melanopsin in mice
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, T6. doi:
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      Robert Lucas, Annette Allen, Timothy Brown, Riccardo Storchi, Katherine Davis, Franck Martial; Visual functions for melanopsin in mice. Journal of Vision 2013;13(15):T6. doi:

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

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Originally discovered in the context of attempts to understand circadian and diurnal variations in mammalian physiology and behaviour there is growing interest in the possibility that melanopsin-expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) may also contribute to more conventional vision. This reflects discovery in both primates and rodents that some types of ipRGC project to the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) and that ipRGCs can signal to other cells within the retina. This raises the question of how ipRGCs and their intrinsic light response contribute to vision. We have addressed this problem using transgenic mice and recording visual responses at the level of the retina (by electroretinography) and the dLGN (by extracellular electrophysiology) and visually evoked behaviours. Our attempts to isolate the influence of melanopsin have employed melanopsin knockout and rodless+coneless mice, but we have concentrated our efforts on paradigms in which metamers are used to selectively manipulate melanopsin activity in visually intact animals. Our data provide support for the idea that ipRGCsfulfil at least two functions: 1.) they provide an independent measure of illuminance by which the state of retinal (and perhaps central) circuits are set; 2.) they contribute to the illuminance code in the dLGN.


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