Diminished pupillary light reflex at high irradiances in melanopsin-knockout mice

R. J. Lucas, S. Hattar, M. Takao, D. M. Berson, R. G. Foster, K. W. Yau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

In the mammalian retina, a small subset of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are intrinsically photosensitive, express the opsin-like protein melanopsin, and project to brain nuclei involved in non-image-forming visual functions such as pupillary light reflex and circadian photoentrainment. We report that in mice with the melanopsin gene ablated, RGCs retrograde-labeled from the suprachiasmatic nuclei were no longer intrinsically photosensitive, although their number, morphology, and projections were unchanged. These animals showed a pupillary light reflex indistinguishable from that of the wild type at low irradiances, but at high irradiances the reflex was incomplete, a pattern that suggests that the melanopsin-associated system and the classical rod/cone system are complementary in function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-247
Number of pages3
JournalScience
Volume299
Issue number5604
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 10 2003

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    Lucas, R. J., Hattar, S., Takao, M., Berson, D. M., Foster, R. G., & Yau, K. W. (2003). Diminished pupillary light reflex at high irradiances in melanopsin-knockout mice. Science, 299(5604), 245-247. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1077293