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Sample records for rod photoreceptors correlates

  1. Studying rod photoreceptor development in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Morris, A.C.; Fadool, J.M.

    2009-01-01

    The zebrafish has rapidly become a favored model vertebrate organism, well suited for studies of developmental processes using large-scale genetic screens. In particular, zebrafish morphological and behavioral genetic screens have led to the identification of genes important for development of the retinal photoreceptors. This may help clarify the genetic mechanisms underlying human photoreceptor development and dysfunction in retinal diseases. In this review, we present the advantages of zebrafish as a vertebrate model organism, summarize retinal and photoreceptor cell development in zebrafish, with emphasis on the rod photoreceptors, and describe zebrafish visual behaviors that can be used for genetic screens. We then describe some of the photoreceptor cell mutants that have been isolated in morphological and behavioral screens and discuss the limitations of current screening methods for uncovering mutations that specifically affect rod function. Finally, we present some alternative strategies to target the rod developmental pathway in zebrafish. PMID:16199068

  2. Rod Photoreceptors Detect Rapid Flicker

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conner, J. D.; MacLeod, Donald I. A.

    1977-01-01

    Rod-isolation techniques show that light-adapted human rods detect flicker frequencies as high as 28 hertz, and that the function relating rod critical flicker frequency to stimulus intensity contains two distinct branches. (MLH)

  3. Dynamic behavior of rod photoreceptor disks.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chunhe; Jiang, Yunhai; Koutalos, Yiannis

    2002-09-01

    Eukaryotic cells use membrane organelles, like the endoplasmic reticulum or the Golgi, to carry out different functions. Vertebrate rod photoreceptors use hundreds of membrane sacs (the disks) for the detection of light. We have used fluorescent tracers and single cell imaging to study the properties of rod photoreceptor disks. Labeling of intact rod photoreceptors with membrane markers and polar tracers revealed communication between intradiskal and extracellular space. Internalized tracers moved along the length of the rod outer segment, indicating communication between the disks as well. This communication involved the exchange of both membrane and aqueous phase and had a time constant in the order of minutes. The communication pathway uses approximately 2% of the available membrane disk area and does not allow the passage of molecules larger than 10 kDa. It was possible to load the intradiskal space with fluorescent Ca(2+) and pH dyes, which reported an intradiskal Ca(2+) concentration in the order of 1 microM and an acidic pH 6.5, both of them significantly different than intracellular and extracellular Ca(2+) concentrations and pH. The results suggest that the rod photoreceptor disks are not discrete, passive sacs but rather comprise an active cellular organelle. The communication between disks may be important for membrane remodeling as well as for providing access to the intradiskal space of the whole outer segment. PMID:12202366

  4. Visual transduction in human rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Kraft, T W; Schneeweis, D M; Schnapf, J L

    1993-01-01

    1. Photocurrents were recorded with suction electrodes from rod photoreceptors of seven humans. 2. Brief flashes of light evoked transient outward currents of up to 20 pA. With increasing light intensity the peak response amplitude increased along an exponential saturation function. A half-saturating peak response was evoked by approximately sixty-five photoisomerizations. 3. Responses to brief dim flashes rose to a peak in about 200 ms. The waveform was roughly like the impulse response of a series of four to five low-pass filters. 4. The rising phases of the responses to flashes of increasing strength were found to fit with a biochemical model of phototransduction with an 'effective delay time' and 'characteristic time' of about 2 and 800 ms, respectively. 5. Spectral sensitivities were obtained over a wavelength range from 380 to 760 nm. The action spectrum, which peaked at 495 nm, followed the template described for photoreceptors in the macaque retina. Variation between rods in the position of the spectrum on the wavelength axis was small. 6. The scotopic luminosity function derived from human psychophysical experiments was found to agree well with the measured rod action spectrum after adjustments were made for lens absorption and photopigment self-screening in the intact eye. 7. Responses to steps of light rose monotonically to a maintained level, showing little or no relaxation. Nevertheless, the relationship between light intensity and steady-state response amplitude was shallower than that expected from simple response saturation. This is consistent with an adaptation mechanism acting on a rapid time scale. 8. Flash sensitivity fell with increasing intensities of background light according to Weber's law. Sensitivity was reduced twofold by lights evoking about 120 photoisomerizations per second. Background lights decreased the time to peak and the integration time of the flash response by up to 20%. PMID:8229828

  5. Biophysical mechanism of transient retinal phototropism in rod photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-03-01

    Oblique light stimulation evoked transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been recently detected in frog and mouse retinas. High resolution microscopy of freshly isolated retinas indicated that the TRP is predominated by rod photoreceptors. Comparative confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed that the TRP predominantly occurred from the photoreceptor outer segment (OS). However, biophysical mechanism of rod OS change is still unknown. In this study, frog retinal slices, which open a cross section of retinal photoreceptor and other functional layers, were used to test the effect of light stimulation on rod OS. Near infrared light microscopy was employed to monitor photoreceptor changes in retinal slices stimulated by a rectangular-shaped visible light flash. Rapid rod OS length change was observed after the stimulation delivery. The magnitude and direction of the rod OS change varied with the position of the rods within the stimulated area. In the center of stimulated region the length of the rod OS shrunk, while in the peripheral region the rod OS tip swung towards center region in the plane perpendicular to the incident stimulus light. Our experimental result and theoretical analysis suggest that the observed TRP may reflect unbalanced disc-shape change due to localized pigment bleaching. Further investigation is required to understand biochemical mechanism of the observed rod OS kinetics. Better study of the TRP may provide a noninvasive biomarker to enable early detection of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other diseases that are known to produce retinal photoreceptor dysfunctions.

  6. Reprogramming of adult rod photoreceptors prevents retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Montana, Cynthia L.; Kolesnikov, Alexander V.; Shen, Susan Q.; Myers, Connie A.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Corbo, Joseph C.

    2013-01-01

    A prime goal of regenerative medicine is to direct cell fates in a therapeutically useful manner. Retinitis pigmentosa is one of the most common degenerative diseases of the eye and is associated with early rod photoreceptor death followed by secondary cone degeneration. We hypothesized that converting adult rods into cones, via knockdown of the rod photoreceptor determinant Nrl, could make the cells resistant to the effects of mutations in rod-specific genes, thereby preventing secondary cone loss. To test this idea, we engineered a tamoxifen-inducible allele of Nrl to acutely inactivate the gene in adult rods. This manipulation resulted in reprogramming of rods into cells with a variety of cone-like molecular, histologic, and functional properties. Moreover, reprogramming of adult rods achieved cellular and functional rescue of retinal degeneration in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. These findings suggest that elimination of Nrl in adult rods may represent a unique therapy for retinal degeneration. PMID:23319618

  7. Stimulus-evoked outer segment changes in rod photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, Xiaohui; Thapa, Damber; Wang, Benquan; Lu, Yiming; Gai, Shaoyan; Yao, Xincheng

    2016-06-01

    Rod-dominated transient retinal phototropism (TRP) has been recently observed in freshly isolated mouse and frog retinas. Comparative confocal microscopy and optical coherence tomography revealed that the TRP was predominantly elicited from the rod outer segment (OS). However, the biophysical mechanism of rod OS dynamics is still unknown. Mouse and frog retinal slices, which displayed a cross-section of retinal photoreceptors and other functional layers, were used to test the effect of light stimulation on rod OSs. Time-lapse microscopy revealed stimulus-evoked conformational changes of rod OSs. In the center of the stimulated region, the length of the rod OS shrunk, while in the peripheral region, the rod OS swung toward the center region. Our experimental observation and theoretical analysis suggest that the TRP may reflect unbalanced rod disc-shape changes due to localized visible light stimulation.

  8. Adaptive potentiation in rod photoreceptors after light exposure.

    PubMed

    McKeown, Alex S; Kraft, Timothy W

    2014-06-01

    Photoreceptors adapt to changes in illumination by altering transduction kinetics and sensitivity, thereby extending their working range. We describe a previously unknown form of rod photoreceptor adaptation in wild-type (WT) mice that manifests as a potentiation of the light response after periods of conditioning light exposure. We characterize the stimulus conditions that evoke this graded hypersensitivity and examine the molecular mechanisms of adaptation underlying the phenomenon. After exposure to periods of saturating illumination, rods show a 10-35% increase in circulating dark current, an adaptive potentiation (AP) to light exposure. This potentiation grows as exposure to light is extended up to 3 min and decreases with longer exposures. Cells return to their initial dark-adapted sensitivity with a time constant of recovery of ∼7 s. Halving the extracellular Mg concentration prolongs the adaptation, increasing the time constant of recovery to 13.3 s, but does not affect the magnitude of potentiation. In rods lacking guanylate cyclase activating proteins 1 and 2 (GCAP(-/-)), AP is more than doubled compared with WT rods, and halving the extracellular Mg concentration does not affect the recovery time constant. Rods from a mouse expressing cyclic nucleotide-gated channels incapable of binding calmodulin also showed a marked increase in the amplitude of AP. Application of an insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) kinase inhibitor (Tyrphostin AG1024) blocked AP, whereas application of an insulin receptor kinase inhibitor (HNMPA(AM)3) failed to do so. A broad-acting tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor (orthovanadate) also blocked AP. Our findings identify a unique form of adaptation in photoreceptors, so that they show transient hypersensitivity to light, and are consistent with a model in which light history, acting via the IGF-1R, can increase the sensitivity of rod photoreceptors, whereas the photocurrent overshoot is regulated by Ca-calmodulin and Ca(2

  9. Adaptive potentiation in rod photoreceptors after light exposure

    PubMed Central

    McKeown, Alex S.

    2014-01-01

    Photoreceptors adapt to changes in illumination by altering transduction kinetics and sensitivity, thereby extending their working range. We describe a previously unknown form of rod photoreceptor adaptation in wild-type (WT) mice that manifests as a potentiation of the light response after periods of conditioning light exposure. We characterize the stimulus conditions that evoke this graded hypersensitivity and examine the molecular mechanisms of adaptation underlying the phenomenon. After exposure to periods of saturating illumination, rods show a 10–35% increase in circulating dark current, an adaptive potentiation (AP) to light exposure. This potentiation grows as exposure to light is extended up to 3 min and decreases with longer exposures. Cells return to their initial dark-adapted sensitivity with a time constant of recovery of ∼7 s. Halving the extracellular Mg concentration prolongs the adaptation, increasing the time constant of recovery to 13.3 s, but does not affect the magnitude of potentiation. In rods lacking guanylate cyclase activating proteins 1 and 2 (GCAP−/−), AP is more than doubled compared with WT rods, and halving the extracellular Mg concentration does not affect the recovery time constant. Rods from a mouse expressing cyclic nucleotide–gated channels incapable of binding calmodulin also showed a marked increase in the amplitude of AP. Application of an insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF-1R) kinase inhibitor (Tyrphostin AG1024) blocked AP, whereas application of an insulin receptor kinase inhibitor (HNMPA(AM)3) failed to do so. A broad-acting tyrosine phosphatase inhibitor (orthovanadate) also blocked AP. Our findings identify a unique form of adaptation in photoreceptors, so that they show transient hypersensitivity to light, and are consistent with a model in which light history, acting via the IGF-1R, can increase the sensitivity of rod photoreceptors, whereas the photocurrent overshoot is regulated by Ca-calmodulin and

  10. Advances in repairing the degenerate retina by rod photoreceptor transplantation☆

    PubMed Central

    Pearson, Rachael A.

    2014-01-01

    Despite very different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, loss of the light-sensitive photoreceptors. There are few clinical treatments and none can reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. The past decade has seen a number of landmark achievements in this field, which together provide strong justification for continuing investigation into photoreceptor replacement strategies. These include proof of principle for restoring vision by rod-photoreceptor transplantation in mice with congenital stationary night blindness and advances in stem cell biology, which have led to the generation of complete optic structures in vitro from embryonic stem cells. The latter represents enormous potential for generating suitable and renewable donor cells with which to achieve the former. However, there are still challenges presented by the degenerating recipient retinal environment that must be addressed as we move to translating these technologies towards clinical application. PMID:24412415

  11. Calcium diffusion coefficient in rod photoreceptor outer segments.

    PubMed Central

    Nakatani, Kei; Chen, Chunhe; Koutalos, Yiannis

    2002-01-01

    Calcium (Ca(2+)) modulates several of the enzymatic pathways that mediate phototransduction in the outer segments of vertebrate rod photoreceptors. Ca(2+) enters the rod outer segment through cationic channels kept open by cyclic GMP (cGMP) and is pumped out by a Na(+)/Ca(2+),K(+) exchanger. Light initiates a biochemical cascade, which leads to closure of the cGMP-gated channels, and a concomitant decline in the concentration of Ca(2+). This decline mediates the recovery from stimulation by light and underlies the adaptation of the cell to background light. The speed with which the decline in the Ca(2+) concentration propagates through the rod outer segment depends on the Ca(2+) diffusion coefficient. We have used the fluorescent Ca(2+) indicator fluo-3 and confocal microscopy to measure the profile of the Ca(2+) concentration after stimulation of the rod photoreceptor by light. From these measurements, we have obtained a value of 15 +/- 1 microm(2)s(-1) for the radial Ca(2+) diffusion coefficient. This value is consistent with the effect of a low-affinity, immobile buffer reported to be present in the rod outer segment (L.Lagnado, L. Cervetto, and P.A. McNaughton, 1992, J. Physiol. 455:111-142) and with a buffering capacity of approximately 20 for rods in darkness(S. Nikonov, N. Engheta, and E.N. Pugh, Jr., 1998, J. Gen. Physiol. 111:7-37). This value suggests that diffusion provides a significant delay for the radial propagation of the decline in the concentration of Ca(2+). Also, because of baffling by the disks, the longitudinal Ca(2+) diffusion coefficient will be in the order of 2 microm(2)s(-1), which is much smaller than the longitudinal cGMP diffusion coefficient (30-60 microm(2)s(-1); ). Therefore, the longitudinal decline of Ca(2+) lags behind the longitudinal spread of excitation by cGMP. PMID:11806915

  12. Neuronatin is a stress-responsive protein of rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Shinde, Vishal; Pitale, Priyamvada M; Howse, Wayne; Gorbatyuk, Oleg; Gorbatyuk, Marina

    2016-07-22

    Neuronatin (NNAT) is a small transmembrane proteolipid that is highly expressed in the embryonic developing brain and several other peripheral tissues. This study is the first to provide evidence that NNAT is detected in the adult retina of various adult rod-dominant mammals, including wild-type (WT) rodents, transgenic rodents expressing mutant S334ter, P23H, or T17M rhodopsin, non-human primates, humans, and cone-dominant tree shrews. Immunohistochemical and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses were applied to detect NNAT. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that NNAT immunofluorescence is restricted to the outer segments (OSs) of photoreceptors without evidence of staining in other retinal cell types across all mammalian species. Moreover, in tree shrew retinas, we found NNAT to be co-localized with rhodopsin, indicating its predominant expression in rods. The rod-derived expression of NNAT was further confirmed by qRT-PCR in isolated rod photoreceptor cells. We also used these cells to mimic cellular stress in transgenic retinas by treating them with the endoplasmic reticulum stress inducer, tunicamycin. Thus, our data revealed accumulation of NNAT around the nucleus as compared to dispersed localization of NNAT within control cells. This distribution coincided with the partial intracellular mislocalization of NNAT to the outer nuclear layer observed in transgenic retinas. In addition, stressed retinas demonstrated an increase of NNAT mRNA and protein levels. Therefore, our study demonstrated that NNAT is a novel stress-responsive protein with a potential structural and/or functional role in adult mammalian retinas. PMID:27109921

  13. NEURONATIN IS A STRESS-RESPONSIVE PROTEIN OF ROD PHOTORECEPTORS

    PubMed Central

    SHINDE, VISHAL; PITALE, PRIYAMVADA M.; HOWSE, WAYNE; GORBATYUK, OLEG; GORBATYUK, MARINA

    2016-01-01

    Neuronatin (NNAT) is a small transmembrane proteolipid that is highly expressed in the embryonic developing brain and several other peripheral tissues. This study is the first to provide evidence that NNAT is detected in the adult retina of various adult rod-dominant mammals, including wild-type (WT) rodents, transgenic rodents expressing mutant S334ter, P23H, or T17M rhodopsin, non-human primates, humans, and cone-dominant tree shrews. Immunohistochemical and quantitative real time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) analyses were applied to detect NNAT. Confocal microscopy analysis revealed that NNAT immunofluorescence is restricted to the outer segments (OSs) of photoreceptors without evidence of staining in other retinal cell types across all mammalian species. Moreover, in tree shrew retinas, we found NNAT to be co-localized with rhodopsin, indicating its predominant expression in rods. The rod-derived expression of NNAT was further confirmed by qRT-PCR in isolated rod photoreceptor cells. We also used these cells to mimic cellular stress in transgenic retinas by treating them with the endoplasmic reticulum stress inducer, tunicamycin. Thus, our data revealed accumulation of NNAT around the nucleus as compared to dispersed localization of NNAT within control cells. This distribution coincided with the partial intracellular mislocalization of NNAT to the outer nuclear layer observed in transgenic retinas. In addition, stressed retinas demonstrated an increase of NNAT mRNA and protein levels. Therefore, our study demonstrated that NNAT is a novel stress-responsive protein with a potential structural and/or functional role in adult mammalian retinas. PMID:27109921

  14. The Giant Mottled Eel, Anguilla marmorata, Uses Blue-Shifted Rod Photoreceptors during Upstream Migration

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Feng-Yu; Fu, Wen-Chun; Wang, I-Li

    2014-01-01

    Catadromous fishes migrate between ocean and freshwater during particular phases of their life cycle. The dramatic environmental changes shape their physiological features, e.g. visual sensitivity, olfactory ability, and salinity tolerance. Anguilla marmorata, a catadromous eel, migrates upstream on dark nights, following the lunar cycle. Such behavior may be correlated with ontogenetic changes in sensory systems. Therefore, this study was designed to identify changes in spectral sensitivity and opsin gene expression of A. marmorata during upstream migration. Microspectrophotometry analysis revealed that the tropical eel possesses a duplex retina with rod and cone photoreceptors. The λmax of rod cells are 493, 489, and 489 nm in glass, yellow, and wild eels, while those of cone cells are 508, and 517 nm in yellow, and wild eels, respectively. Unlike European and American eels, Asian eels exhibited a blue-shifted pattern of rod photoreceptors during upstream migration. Quantitative gene expression analyses of four cloned opsin genes (Rh1f, Rh1d, Rh2, and SWS2) revealed that Rh1f expression is dominant at all three stages, while Rh1d is expressed only in older yellow eel. Furthermore, sequence comparison and protein modeling studies implied that a blue shift in Rh1d opsin may be induced by two known (N83, S292) and four putative (S124, V189, V286, I290) tuning sites adjacent to the retinal binding sites. Finally, expression of blue-shifted Rh1d opsin resulted in a spectral shift in rod photoreceptors. Our observations indicate that the giant mottled eel is color-blind, and its blue-shifted scotopic vision may influence its upstream migration behavior and habitat choice. PMID:25101636

  15. Rod photoreceptors drive circadian photoentrainment across a wide range of light intensities

    PubMed Central

    Altimus, C.M.; Güler, A.D.; Alam, N.M.; Arman, A.C.; Prusky, G.T.; Sampath, A.P.; Hattar, S

    2010-01-01

    In mammals, synchronization of the circadian pacemaker in the hypothalamus is achieved through direct input from the eyes conveyed by intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Circadian photoentrainment can be maintained by rod and cone photoreceptors, but their functional contributions and their retinal circuits that impinge on ipRGCs are not well understood. We demonstrate in genetic mouse models lacking functional rods, or where rods are the only functional photoreceptors, that rods are solely responsible for photoentrainment at scotopic light intensities. Surprisingly, rods were also capable of driving circadian photoentrainment at photopic intensities where they were incapable of supporting a visually–guided behavior. Using animals in which cone photoreceptors were ablated, we demonstrate that rods signal through cones at high light intensities, but not low light intensities. Thus two distinct retinal circuits drive ipRGC function to support circadian photoentrainment across a wide range of light intensities. PMID:20711184

  16. Noninvasive imaging of the human rod photoreceptor mosaic using a confocal adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscope

    PubMed Central

    Dubra, Alfredo; Sulai, Yusufu; Norris, Jennifer L.; Cooper, Robert F.; Dubis, Adam M.; Williams, David R.; Carroll, Joseph

    2011-01-01

    The rod photoreceptors are implicated in a number of devastating retinal diseases. However, routine imaging of these cells has remained elusive, even with the advent of adaptive optics imaging. Here, we present the first in vivo images of the contiguous rod photoreceptor mosaic in nine healthy human subjects. The images were collected with three different confocal adaptive optics scanning ophthalmoscopes at two different institutions, using 680 and 775 nm superluminescent diodes for illumination. Estimates of photoreceptor density and rod:cone ratios in the 5°–15° retinal eccentricity range are consistent with histological findings, confirming our ability to resolve the rod mosaic by averaging multiple registered images, without the need for additional image processing. In one subject, we were able to identify the emergence of the first rods at approximately 190 μm from the foveal center, in agreement with previous histological studies. The rod and cone photoreceptor mosaics appear in focus at different retinal depths, with the rod mosaic best focus (i.e., brightest and sharpest) being at least 10 μm shallower than the cones at retinal eccentricities larger than 8°. This study represents an important step in bringing high-resolution imaging to bear on the study of rod disorders. PMID:21750765

  17. Multiple rod-cone and cone-rod photoreceptor transmutations in snakes: evidence from visual opsin gene expression.

    PubMed

    Simões, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L; Loew, Ellis R; Sanders, Kate L; Fisher, Robert N; Hart, Nathan S; Hunt, David M; Partridge, Julian C; Gower, David J

    2016-01-27

    In 1934, Gordon Walls forwarded his radical theory of retinal photoreceptor 'transmutation'. This proposed that rods and cones used for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, were not fixed but could evolve into each other via a series of morphologically distinguishable intermediates. Walls' prime evidence came from series of diurnal and nocturnal geckos and snakes that appeared to have pure-cone or pure-rod retinas (in forms that Walls believed evolved from ancestors with the reverse complement) or which possessed intermediate photoreceptor cells. Walls was limited in testing his theory because the precise identity of visual pigments present in photoreceptors was then unknown. Subsequent molecular research has hitherto neglected this topic but presents new opportunities. We identify three visual opsin genes, rh1, sws1 and lws, in retinal mRNA of an ecologically and taxonomically diverse sample of snakes central to Walls' theory. We conclude that photoreceptors with superficially rod- or cone-like morphology are not limited to containing scotopic or photopic opsins, respectively. Walls' theory is essentially correct, and more research is needed to identify the patterns, processes and functional implications of transmutation. Future research will help to clarify the fundamental properties and physiology of photoreceptors adapted to function in different light levels. PMID:26817768

  18. Functional Optical Coherence Tomography Enables In Vivo Physiological Assessment of Retinal Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Qiuxiang; Lu, Rongwen; Wang, Benquan; Messinger, Jeffrey D.; Curcio, Christine A.; Yao, Xincheng

    2015-04-01

    Transient intrinsic optical signal (IOS) changes have been observed in retinal photoreceptors, suggesting a unique biomarker for eye disease detection. However, clinical deployment of IOS imaging is challenging due to unclear IOS sources and limited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs). Here, by developing high spatiotemporal resolution optical coherence tomography (OCT) and applying an adaptive algorithm for IOS processing, we were able to record robust IOSs from single-pass measurements. Transient IOSs, which might reflect an early stage of light phototransduction, are consistently observed in the photoreceptor outer segment almost immediately (<4 ms) after retinal stimulation. Comparative studies of dark- and light-adapted retinas have demonstrated the feasibility of functional OCT mapping of rod and cone photoreceptors, promising a new method for early disease detection and improved treatment of diseases such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases that can cause photoreceptor damage.

  19. Rod photoreceptors protect from cone degeneration-induced retinal remodeling and restore visual responses in zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Saade, Carole J.; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Fadool, James M.

    2013-01-01

    Humans are largely dependent upon cone-mediated vision. However, death or dysfunction of rods, the predominant photoreceptor subtype, results in secondary loss of cones, remodeling of retinal circuitry and blindness. The changes in circuitry may contribute to the vision deficit and undermine attempts at restoring sight. We exploit zebrafish larvae as a genetic model to specifically characterize changes associated with photoreceptor degenerations in a cone-dominated retina. Photoreceptors form synapses with two types of second order neurons, bipolar cells and horizontal cells. Using cell-specific reporter gene expression and immunolabeling for postsynaptic glutamate receptors, significant remodeling is observed following cone degeneration in the pde6cw59 larval retina but not rod degeneration in the Xops:mCFPq13 line. In adults, rods and cones are present in approximately equal numbers, and in pde6cw59 mutants glutamate receptor expression and synaptic structures in the outer plexiform layer are preserved, and visual responses are gained in these once-blind fish. We propose that the abundance of rods in the adult protects the retina from cone degeneration-induced remodeling. We test this hypothesis by genetically manipulating the number of rods in larvae. We show that an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in lor/tbx2bp22bbtl or six7 morpholino-injected larvae protect from pde6cw59-induced secondary changes. The observations that remodeling is a common consequence of photoreceptor death across species, and that in zebrafish a small number of surviving photoreceptors afford protection from degeneration-induced changes provides a model for systematic analysis of factors that slow or even prevent the secondary deteriorations associated with neural degenerative disease. PMID:23365220

  20. Transcriptional Regulation of Rod Photoreceptor Homeostasis Revealed by In Vivo NRL Targetome Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Hao, Hong; Kim, Douglas S.; Klocke, Bernward; Johnson, Kory R.; Cui, Kairong; Gotoh, Norimoto; Zang, Chongzhi; Gregorski, Janina; Gieser, Linn; Peng, Weiqun; Fann, Yang; Seifert, Martin; Zhao, Keji; Swaroop, Anand

    2012-01-01

    A stringent control of homeostasis is critical for functional maintenance and survival of neurons. In the mammalian retina, the basic motif leucine zipper transcription factor NRL determines rod versus cone photoreceptor cell fate and activates the expression of many rod-specific genes. Here, we report an integrated analysis of NRL-centered gene regulatory network by coupling chromatin immunoprecipitation followed by high-throughput sequencing (ChIP–Seq) data from Illumina and ABI platforms with global expression profiling and in vivo knockdown studies. We identified approximately 300 direct NRL target genes. Of these, 22 NRL targets are associated with human retinal dystrophies, whereas 95 mapped to regions of as yet uncloned retinal disease loci. In silico analysis of NRL ChIP–Seq peak sequences revealed an enrichment of distinct sets of transcription factor binding sites. Specifically, we discovered that genes involved in photoreceptor function include binding sites for both NRL and homeodomain protein CRX. Evaluation of 26 ChIP–Seq regions validated their enhancer functions in reporter assays. In vivo knockdown of 16 NRL target genes resulted in death or abnormal morphology of rod photoreceptors, suggesting their importance in maintaining retinal function. We also identified histone demethylase Kdm5b as a novel secondary node in NRL transcriptional hierarchy. Exon array analysis of flow-sorted photoreceptors in which Kdm5b was knocked down by shRNA indicated its role in regulating rod-expressed genes. Our studies identify candidate genes for retinal dystrophies, define cis-regulatory module(s) for photoreceptor-expressed genes and provide a framework for decoding transcriptional regulatory networks that dictate rod homeostasis. PMID:22511886

  1. Depletion of calcium stores regulates calcium influx and signal transmission in rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Szikra, Tamas; Cusato, Karen; Thoreson, Wallace B; Barabas, Peter; Bartoletti, Theodore M; Krizaj, David

    2008-01-01

    Tonic synapses are specialized for sustained calcium entry and transmitter release, allowing them to operate in a graded fashion over a wide dynamic range. We identified a novel plasma membrane calcium entry mechanism that extends the range of rod photoreceptor signalling into light-adapted conditions. The mechanism, which shares molecular and physiological characteristics with store-operated calcium entry (SOCE), is required to maintain baseline [Ca2+]i in rod inner segments and synaptic terminals. Sustained Ca2+ entry into rod cytosol is augmented by store depletion, blocked by La3+ and Gd3+ and suppressed by organic antagonists MRS-1845 and SKF-96365. Store depletion and the subsequent Ca2+ influx directly stimulated exocytosis in terminals of light-adapted rods loaded with the activity-dependent dye FM1–43. Moreover, SOCE blockers suppressed rod-mediated synaptic inputs to horizontal cells without affecting presynaptic voltage-operated Ca2+ entry. Silencing of TRPC1 expression with small interference RNA disrupted SOCE in rods, but had no effect on cone Ca2+ signalling. Rods were immunopositive for TRPC1 whereas cone inner segments immunostained with TRPC6 channel antibodies. Thus, SOCE modulates Ca2+ homeostasis and light-evoked neurotransmission at the rod photoreceptor synapse mediated by TRPC1. PMID:18755743

  2. Direct Evidence for Daily Plasticity of Electrical Coupling between Rod Photoreceptors in the Mammalian Retina

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Nan Ge

    2016-01-01

    Rod photoreceptors are electrically coupled through gap junctions. Coupling is a key determinant of their light response properties, but whether rod electrical coupling is dynamically regulated remains elusive and controversial. Here, we have obtained direct measurements of the conductance between adjacent rods in mouse retina and present evidence that rod electrical coupling strength is dependent on the time of day, the lighting conditions, and the mouse strain. Specifically, we show in CBA/Ca mice that under circadian conditions, the rod junctional conductance has a median value of 98 pS during the subjective day and of 493 pS during the subjective night. In C57BL/6 mice, the median junctional conductance between dark-adapted rods is ∼140 pS, regardless of the time in the circadian cycle. Adaptation to bright light decreases the rod junctional conductance to ∼0 pS, regardless of the time of day or the mouse strain. Together, these results establish the high degree of plasticity of rod electrical coupling over the course of the day. Estimates of the rod coupling strength will provide a foundation for further investigations of rod interactions and the role of rod coupling in the ability of the visual system to anticipate, assimilate, and respond to the daily changes in ambient light intensity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Many cells in the CNS communicate via gap junctions, or electrical synapses, the regulation of which remains largely unknown. Here, we show that the strength of electrical coupling between rod photoreceptors of the retina is regulated by the time of day and the lighting conditions. This mechanism may help us understand some key aspects of day and night vision as well as some visual malfunctions. PMID:26740659

  3. Evolutionary transformation of rod photoreceptors in the all-cone retina of a diurnal garter snake.

    PubMed

    Schott, Ryan K; Müller, Johannes; Yang, Clement G Y; Bhattacharyya, Nihar; Chan, Natalie; Xu, Mengshu; Morrow, James M; Ghenu, Ana-Hermina; Loew, Ellis R; Tropepe, Vincent; Chang, Belinda S W

    2016-01-12

    Vertebrate retinas are generally composed of rod (dim-light) and cone (bright-light) photoreceptors with distinct morphologies that evolved as adaptations to nocturnal/crepuscular and diurnal light environments. Over 70 years ago, the "transmutation" theory was proposed to explain some of the rare exceptions in which a photoreceptor type is missing, suggesting that photoreceptors could evolutionarily transition between cell types. Although studies have shown support for this theory in nocturnal geckos, the origins of all-cone retinas, such as those found in diurnal colubrid snakes, remain a mystery. Here we investigate the evolutionary fate of the rods in a diurnal garter snake and test two competing hypotheses: (i) that the rods, and their corresponding molecular machinery, were lost or (ii) that the rods were evolutionarily modified to resemble, and function, as cones. Using multiple approaches, we find evidence for a functional and unusually blue-shifted rhodopsin that is expressed in small single "cones." Moreover, these cones express rod transducin and have rod ultrastructural features, providing strong support for the hypothesis that they are not true cones, as previously thought, but rather are modified rods. Several intriguing features of garter snake rhodopsin are suggestive of a more cone-like function. We propose that these cone-like rods may have evolved to regain spectral sensitivity and chromatic discrimination as a result of ancestral losses of middle-wavelength cone opsins in early snake evolution. This study illustrates how sensory evolution can be shaped not only by environmental constraints but also by historical contingency in forming new cell types with convergent functionality. PMID:26715746

  4. Evolutionary transformation of rod photoreceptors in the all-cone retina of a diurnal garter snake

    PubMed Central

    Schott, Ryan K.; Müller, Johannes; Yang, Clement G. Y.; Bhattacharyya, Nihar; Chan, Natalie; Xu, Mengshu; Morrow, James M.; Ghenu, Ana-Hermina; Loew, Ellis R.; Tropepe, Vincent; Chang, Belinda S. W.

    2016-01-01

    Vertebrate retinas are generally composed of rod (dim-light) and cone (bright-light) photoreceptors with distinct morphologies that evolved as adaptations to nocturnal/crepuscular and diurnal light environments. Over 70 years ago, the “transmutation” theory was proposed to explain some of the rare exceptions in which a photoreceptor type is missing, suggesting that photoreceptors could evolutionarily transition between cell types. Although studies have shown support for this theory in nocturnal geckos, the origins of all-cone retinas, such as those found in diurnal colubrid snakes, remain a mystery. Here we investigate the evolutionary fate of the rods in a diurnal garter snake and test two competing hypotheses: (i) that the rods, and their corresponding molecular machinery, were lost or (ii) that the rods were evolutionarily modified to resemble, and function, as cones. Using multiple approaches, we find evidence for a functional and unusually blue-shifted rhodopsin that is expressed in small single “cones.” Moreover, these cones express rod transducin and have rod ultrastructural features, providing strong support for the hypothesis that they are not true cones, as previously thought, but rather are modified rods. Several intriguing features of garter snake rhodopsin are suggestive of a more cone-like function. We propose that these cone-like rods may have evolved to regain spectral sensitivity and chromatic discrimination as a result of ancestral losses of middle-wavelength cone opsins in early snake evolution. This study illustrates how sensory evolution can be shaped not only by environmental constraints but also by historical contingency in forming new cell types with convergent functionality. PMID:26715746

  5. LIM Kinase, a Newly Identified Regulator of Presynaptic Remodeling by Rod Photoreceptors After Injury

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Weiwei; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Rod photoreceptors retract their axon terminals and develop neuritic sprouts in response to retinal detachment and reattachment, respectively. This study examines the role of LIM kinase (LIMK), a component of RhoA and Rac pathways, in the presynaptic structural remodeling of rod photoreceptors. Methods Phosphorylated LIMK (p-LIMK), the active form of LIMK, was examined in salamander retina with Western blot and confocal microscopy. Axon length within the first 7 hours and process growth after 3 days of culture were assessed in isolated rod photoreceptors treated with inhibitors of upstream regulators ROCK and p21-activated kinase (Pak) (Y27632 and IPA-3) and a direct LIMK inhibitor (BMS-5). Porcine retinal explants were also treated with BMS-5 and analyzed 24 hours after detachment. Because Ca2+ influx contributes to axonal retraction, L-type channels were blocked in some experiments with nicardipine. Results Phosphorylated LIMK is present in rod terminals during retraction and in newly formed processes. Axonal retraction over 7 hours was significantly reduced by inhibition of LIMK or its regulators, ROCK and Pak. Process growth was reduced by LIMK or Pak inhibition especially at the basal (axon-bearing) region of the rod cells. Combining Ca2+ channel and LIMK inhibition had no additional effect on retraction but did further inhibit sprouting after 3 days. In detached porcine retina, LIMK inhibition reduced rod axonal retraction and improved retinal morphology. Conclusions Thus structural remodeling, in the form of either axonal retraction or neuritic growth, requires LIMK activity. LIM kinase inhibition may have therapeutic potential for reducing pathologic rod terminal plasticity after retinal injury. PMID:26658506

  6. Discs of mammalian rod photoreceptors form through the membrane evagination mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Jin-Dong; Salinas, Raquel Y.

    2015-01-01

    Photoreceptor discs are membrane organelles harboring components of the visual signal transduction pathway. The mechanism by which discs form remains enigmatic and is the subject of a major controversy. Classical studies suggest that discs are formed as serial plasma membrane evaginations, whereas a recent alternative postulates that discs, at least in mammalian rods, are formed through intracellular vesicular fusion. We evaluated these models in mouse rods using methods that distinguish between the intracellular vesicular structures and plasma membrane folds independently of their appearance in electron micrographs. The first differentiated membranes exposed to the extracellular space from intracellular membranes; the second interrogated the orientation of protein molecules in new discs. Both approaches revealed that new discs are plasma membrane evaginations. We further demonstrated that vesiculation and plasma membrane enclosure at the site of new disc formation are artifacts of tissue fixation. These data indicate that all vertebrate photoreceptors use the evolutionary conserved membrane evagination mechanism to build their discs. PMID:26527746

  7. Transplantation of Photoreceptors Derived From Human Müller Glia Restore Rod Function in the P23H Rat

    PubMed Central

    Jones, Megan F.; Eastlake, Karen; Cottrill, Phillippa B.; Becker, Silke; Wiseman, Joseph; Khaw, Peng T.

    2014-01-01

    Müller glia possess stem cell characteristics that have been recognized to be responsible for the regeneration of injured retina in fish and amphibians. Although these cells are present in the adult human eye, they are not known to regenerate human retina in vivo. Human Müller glia with stem cell characteristics (hMSCs) can acquire phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of rod photoreceptors in vitro, suggesting that they may have potential for use in transplantation strategies to treat human photoreceptor degenerations. Much work has been undertaken in rodents using various sources of allogeneic stem cells to restore photoreceptor function, but the effect of human Müller glia-derived photoreceptors in the restoration of rod photoreceptor function has not been investigated. This study aimed to differentiate hMSCs into photoreceptor cells by stimulation with growth and differentiation factors in vitro to upregulate gene and protein expression of CRX, NR2E3, and rhodopsin and various phototransduction markers associated with rod photoreceptor development and function and to examine the effect of subretinal transplantation of these cells into the P23H rat, a model of primary photoreceptor degeneration. Following transplantation, hMSC-derived photoreceptor cells migrated and integrated into the outer nuclear layer of the degenerated retinas and led to significant improvement in rod photoreceptor function as shown by an increase in a-wave amplitude and slope using scotopic flash electroretinography. These observations suggest that hMSCs can be regarded as a cell source for development of cell-replacement therapies to treat human photoreceptor degenerations and may also offer potential for the development of autologous transplantation. PMID:24477073

  8. Cone Photoreceptors Develop Normally in the Absence of Functional Rod Photoreceptors in a Transgenic Swine Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Fernandez de Castro, Juan P.; Scott, Patrick A.; Fransen, James W.; Demas, James; DeMarco, Paul J.; Kaplan, Henry J.; McCall, Maureen A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Human and swine retinas have morphological and functional similarities. In the absence of primate models, the swine is an attractive model to study retinal function and disease, with its cone-rich visual streak, our ability to manipulate their genome, and the differences in susceptibility of rod and cone photoreceptors to disease. We characterized the normal development of cone function and its subsequent decline in a P23H rhodopsin transgenic (TgP23H) miniswine model of autosomal dominant RP. Methods. Semen from TgP23H miniswine 53-1 inseminated domestic swine and produced TgP23H and Wt hybrid littermates. Retinal function was evaluated using ERGs between postnatal days (P) 14 and 120. Retinal ganglion cell (RGC) responses were recorded to full-field stimuli at several intensities. Retinal morphology was assessed using light and electron microscopy. Results. Scotopic retinal function matures in Wt pigs up to P60, but never develops in TgP23H pigs. Wt and TgP23H photopic vision matures similarly up to P30 and diverges at P60 where TgP23H cone vision declines. There are fewer TgP23H RGCs with visually evoked responses at all ages and their response to light is compromised. Photoreceptor morphological changes mirror these functional changes. Conclusions. Lack of early scotopic function in TgP23H swine suggests it as a model of an aggressive form of RP. In this mammalian model of RP, normal cone function develops independent of rod function. Therefore, its retina represents a system in which therapies to rescue cones can be developed to prolong photopic visual function in RP patients. PMID:24618325

  9. Phosphorylation of bovine rod photoreceptor cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase.

    PubMed Central

    Udovichenko, I P; Cunnick, J; Gonzales, K; Takemoto, D J

    1993-01-01

    The cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase (PDE) of retinal rods plays a key role in phototransduction and consists of two catalytic subunits (PDE alpha and PDE beta) and two identical inhibitory subunits (PDE gamma). Here we report that PDE alpha and PDE gamma are phosphorylated by protein kinase(s) C (PKC) from brain and rod outer segments (ROS). These same two types of PKC also phosphorylate PDE alpha in trypsin-activated PDE (without PDE gamma). In contrast, cyclic-AMP-dependent protein kinase catalytic subunit phosphorylates both PDE alpha and PDE beta, but not PDE gamma. This kinase does not phosphorylate trypsin-activated PDE. The synthetic peptides AKVISNLLGPREAAV (PDE alpha 30-44) and KQRQTRQFKSKPPKK (PDE gamma 31-45) inhibited phosphorylation of PDE by PKC from ROS. These data suggest that sites (at least one for each subunit) for phosphorylation of PDE by PKC are localized in these corresponding regions of PDE alpha and PDE gamma. Isoenzyme-specific PKC antibodies against peptides unique to the alpha, beta, gamma, delta, epsilon and zeta isoforms of protein kinase C were used to show that a major form of PKC in ROS is PKC alpha. However, other minor forms were also present. Images Figure 1 Figure 4 Figure 6 Figure 7 PMID:8216238

  10. Rod Photoreceptors Express GPR55 in the Adult Vervet Monkey Retina

    PubMed Central

    Bouskila, Joseph; Javadi, Pasha; Casanova, Christian; Ptito, Maurice; Bouchard, Jean-François

    2013-01-01

    Cannabinoids exert their actions mainly through two receptors, the cannabinoid CB1 receptor (CB1R) and cannabinoid CB2 receptor (CB2R). In recent years, the G-protein coupled receptor 55 (GPR55) was suggested as a cannabinoid receptor based on its activation by anandamide and tetrahydrocannabinol. Yet, its formal classification is still a matter of debate. CB1R and CB2R expression patterns are well described for rodent and monkey retinas. In the monkey retina, CB1R has been localized in its neural (cone photoreceptor, horizontal, bipolar, amacrine and ganglion cells) and CB2R in glial components (Müller cells). The aim of this study was to determine the expression pattern of GPR55 in the monkey retina by using confocal microscopy. Our results show that GPR55 is strictly localized in the photoreceptor layer of the extrafoveal portion of the retina. Co-immunolabeling of GPR55 with rhodopsin, the photosensitive pigment in rods, revealed a clear overlap of expression throughout the rod structure with most prominent staining in the inner segments. Additionally, double-label of GPR55 with calbindin, a specific marker for cone photoreceptors in the primate retina, allowed us to exclude expression of GPR55 in cones. The labeling of GPR55 in rods was further assessed with a 3D visualization in the XZ and YZ planes thus confirming its exclusive expression in rods. These results provide data on the distribution of GPR55 in the monkey retina, different than CB1R and CB2R. The presence of GPR55 in rods suggests a function of this receptor in scotopic vision that needs to be demonstrated. PMID:24244730

  11. Low-conductance HCN1 ion channels augment the frequency response of rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Barrow, Andrew J; Wu, Samuel M

    2009-05-01

    Hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) ion channels are expressed in several tissues throughout the body, including the heart, the CNS, and the retina. HCN channels are found in many neurons in the retina, but their most established role is in generating the hyperpolarization-activated current, I(h), in photoreceptors. This current makes the light response of rod and cone photoreceptors more transient, an effect similar to that of a high-pass filter. A unique property of HCN channels is their small single-channel current, which is below the thermal noise threshold of measuring electronics. We use nonstationary fluctuation analysis (NSFA) in the intact retina to estimate the conductance of single HCN channels, revealing a conductance of approximately 650 fS in both rod and cone photoreceptors. We also analyze the properties of HCN channels in salamander rods and cones, from the biophysical to the functional level, showing that HCN1 is the predominant isoform in both cells, and demonstrate how HCN1 channels speed up the light response of both rods and cones under distinct adaptational conditions. We show that in rods and cones, HCN channels increase the natural frequency response of single cells by modifying the photocurrent input, which is limited in its frequency response by the speed of a molecular signaling cascade. In doing so, HCN channels form the first of several systems in the retina that augment the speed of the visual response, allowing an animal to perceive visual stimuli that change more quickly than the underlying photocurrent. PMID:19420251

  12. Physiological Properties of Rod Photoreceptor Cells in Green-sensitive Cone Pigment Knock-in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Sakurai, Keisuke; Onishi, Akishi; Imai, Hiroo; Chisaka, Osamu; Ueda, Yoshiki; Usukura, Jiro; Nakatani, Kei; Shichida, Yoshinori

    2007-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptor cells that are responsible for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, exhibit photoresponses different from each other and contain similar phototransduction proteins with distinctive molecular properties. To investigate the contribution of the different molecular properties of visual pigments to the responses of the photoreceptor cells, we have generated knock-in mice in which rod visual pigment (rhodopsin) was replaced with mouse green-sensitive cone visual pigment (mouse green). The mouse green was successfully transported to the rod outer segments, though the expression of mouse green in homozygous retina was ∼11% of rhodopsin in wild-type retina. Single-cell recordings of wild-type and homozygous rods suggested that the flash sensitivity and the single-photon responses from mouse green were three to fourfold lower than those from rhodopsin after correction for the differences in cell volume and levels of several signal transduction proteins. Subsequent measurements using heterozygous rods expressing both mouse green and rhodopsin E122Q mutant, where these pigments in the same rod cells can be selectively irradiated due to their distinctive absorption maxima, clearly showed that the photoresponse of mouse green was threefold lower than that of rhodopsin. Noise analysis indicated that the rate of thermal activations of mouse green was 1.7 × 10−7 s−1, about 860-fold higher than that of rhodopsin. The increase in thermal activation of mouse green relative to that of rhodopsin results in only 4% reduction of rod photosensitivity for bright lights, but would instead be expected to severely affect the visual threshold under dim-light conditions. Therefore, the abilities of rhodopsin to generate a large single photon response and to retain high thermal stability in darkness are factors that have been necessary for the evolution of scotopic vision. PMID:17591985

  13. Effective delivery of recombinant proteins to rod photoreceptors via lipid nanovesicles

    SciTech Connect

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Dal Cortivo, Giuditta; Pontelli, Valeria; Cangiano, Lorenzo; Buffelli, Mario; Dell’Orco, Daniele

    2015-06-12

    The potential of liposomes to deliver functional proteins in retinal photoreceptors and modulate their physiological response was investigated by two experimental approaches. First, we treated isolated mouse retinas with liposomes encapsulating either recoverin, an important endogenous protein operating in visual phototransduction, or antibodies against recoverin. We then intravitrally injected in vivo liposomes encapsulating either rhodamin B or recoverin and we investigated the distribution in retina sections by confocal microscopy. The content of liposomes was found to be released in higher amount in the photoreceptor layer than in the other regions of the retina and the functional effects of the release were in line with the current model of phototransduction. Our study sets the basis for quantitative investigations aimed at assessing the potential of intraocular protein delivery via biocompatible nanovesicles, with promising implications for the treatment of retinal diseases affecting the photoreceptor layer. - Highlights: • Recombinant proteins encapsulated in nano-sized liposomes injected intravitreally reach retinal photoreceptors. • The phototransduction cascade in rods is modulated by the liposome content. • Mathematical modeling predicts the alteration of the photoresponses following liposome fusion.

  14. Role of guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs) in setting the flash sensitivity of rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Mendez, Ana; Burns, Marie E.; Sokal, Izabela; Dizhoor, Alexander M.; Baehr, Wolfgang; Palczewski, Krzysztof; Baylor, Denis A.; Chen, Jeannie

    2001-01-01

    The retina's photoreceptor cells adjust their sensitivity to allow photons to be transduced over a wide range of light intensities. One mechanism thought to participate in sensitivity adjustments is Ca2+ regulation of guanylate cyclase (GC) by guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs). We evaluated the contribution of GCAPs to sensitivity regulation in rods by disrupting their expression in transgenic mice. The GC activity from GCAPs−/− retinas showed no Ca2+ dependence, indicating that Ca2+ regulation of GCs had indeed been abolished. Flash responses from dark-adapted GCAPs−/− rods were larger and slower than responses from wild-type rods. In addition, the incremental flash sensitivity of GCAPs−/− rods failed to be maintained at wild-type levels in bright steady light. GCAP2 expressed in GCAPs−/− rods restored maximal light-induced GC activity but did not restore normal flash response kinetics. We conclude that GCAPs strongly regulate GC activity in mouse rods, decreasing the flash sensitivity in darkness and increasing the incremental flash sensitivity in bright steady light, thereby extending the rod's operating range. PMID:11493703

  15. Variations in retinal photoreceptor topography and the organization of the rod-free zone reflect behavioral diversity in Australian passerines.

    PubMed

    Coimbra, João Paulo; Collin, Shaun P; Hart, Nathan S

    2015-05-01

    The avian retina possesses one of the most diverse complements of photoreceptor types among vertebrates but little is known about their spatial distribution. Here we used retinal wholemounts and stereological methods to present the first complete maps of the topographic distribution of rods and cones in four species of Australian passerines with diverse trophic specializations. All species studied have one central and one temporal rod-free zone. In the insectivorous yellow-rumped thornbill, the central rod-free zone is unusually large, occupying ∼17% (56°) of the retinal area (angular subtense), whereas in nectarivorous and frugivorous species it represents only ∼0.1% (5-7°) to 0.3% (10°) of the retinal area (angular subtense). In contrast, the temporal rod-free zone varies little between species (∼0.02-0.4%; 2-10°). In all species, rods follow a pronounced dorsoventral gradient with highest densities in the ventral retina. The topographic distribution of cones is concentric and reveals a central fovea and a temporal area. In the yellow-rumped thornbill, cone densities form an extended plateau surrounding the fovea, beyond which densities fall rapidly towards the retinal periphery. For the other species, cone densities decline gradually along a foveal to peripheral gradient. Estimates of spatial resolving power calculated using cone peak densities are higher in the central fovea (19-41 cycles/degree) than in the temporal area (9-15 cycles/degree). In conclusion, we suggest that the unusual organization of the rod-free zone and the distinct topographic distribution of rods and cones correlate with specific ecological needs for enhanced visual sensitivity and spatial resolution in these birds. PMID:25424531

  16. Distinct Contributions of Rod, Cone, and Melanopsin Photoreceptors to Encoding Irradiance

    PubMed Central

    Lall, Gurprit S.; Revell, Victoria L.; Momiji, Hiroshi; Al Enezi, Jazi; Altimus, Cara M.; Güler, Ali D.; Aguilar, Carlos; Cameron, Morven A.; Allender, Susan; Hankins, Mark W.; Lucas, Robert J.

    2010-01-01

    Summary Photoreceptive, melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) encode ambient light (irradiance) for the circadian clock, the pupillomotor system, and other influential behavioral/physiological responses. mRGCs are activated both by their intrinsic phototransduction cascade and by the rods and cones. However, the individual contribution of each photoreceptor class to irradiance responses remains unclear. We address this deficit using mice expressing human red cone opsin, in which rod-, cone-, and melanopsin-dependent responses can be identified by their distinct spectral sensitivity. Our data reveal an unexpectedly important role for rods. These photoreceptors define circadian responses at very dim “scotopic” light levels but also at irradiances at which pattern vision relies heavily on cones. By contrast, cone input to irradiance responses dissipates following light adaptation to the extent that these receptors make a very limited contribution to circadian and pupillary light responses under these conditions. Our data provide new insight into retinal circuitry upstream of mRGCs and optimal stimuli for eliciting irradiance responses. PMID:20471354

  17. Vigabatrin-induced retinal toxicity is partially mediated by signaling in rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jin; Naumann, Matthew C; Tsai, Yi-Ting; Tosi, Joaquin; Erol, Deniz; Lin, Chyuan-Sheng; Davis, Richard J; Tsang, Stephen H

    2012-01-01

    Vigabatrin (VGB) is a commonly prescribed antiepileptic drug designed to inhibit GABA-transaminase, effectively halting seizures. Unfortunately, VGB treatment is also associated with the highest frequencies of peripheral visual field constriction of any of the antiepileptic drugs and the mechanisms that lead to these visual field defects are uncertain. Recent studies have demonstrated light exposure exacerbates vigabatrin-induced retinal toxicity. We further assessed this relationship by examining the effects of vigabatrin treatment on the retinal structures of mice with genetically altered photoreception. In keeping with previous studies, we detected increased toxicity in mice exposed to continuous light. To study whether cone or rod photoreceptor function was involved in the pathway to toxicity, we tested mice with mutations in the cone-specific Gnat2 or rod-specific Pde6g genes, and found the mutations significantly reduced VGB toxicity. Our results confirm light is a significant enhancer of vigabatrin toxicity and that a portion of this is mediated, directly or indirectly, by phototransduction signaling in rod and cone photoreceptors. PMID:22970106

  18. Longitudinal diffusion of a polar tracer in the outer segments of rod photoreceptors from different species.

    PubMed

    Wu, Qingqing; Chen, Chunhe; Koutalos, Yiannis

    2006-01-01

    Vertebrate rod photoreceptors are the ultimate light sensors, as they can detect a single photon. In darkness, rods maintain a high concentration of the intracellular messenger cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP), which binds to and keeps open cationic channels on the plasma membrane of the outer segment. Absorption of a photon by the visual pigment of the rod, rhodopsin, initiates a biochemical amplification cascade that leads to a reduction in the concentration of cGMP and closure of the channels, thereby converting the incoming light to an electrical signal. Because the absorption of a photon and the ensuing reactions are localized events, the magnitude of the response of the rod to a single photon depends on the spread of the decrease in the cGMP concentration along the length of the outer segment. The longitudinal diffusion of cGMP depends on the structural parameters of the rod outer segment, specifically the area and the volume available for diffusion. To characterize the effect of rod outer segment cytoarchitecture on diffusion, we have used fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) and examined the mobility of a fluorescent polar tracer, calcein, in the rod outer segments from three species with different outer segment structures: frog (Rana pipiens), mouse (Mus musculus domesticus) and gecko (Gekko gekko). We found that the diffusion coefficient is similar for all three species, in the order of 8-17 microm(2) s(-1), in broad agreement with the predictions by Holcman and Korenbrot (Biophys. J. 2004:86;2566-2582) based on the known cytoarchitecture of rod outer segments. Consequently, the results also support their prediction that the longitudinal spread of light excitation in rods is similar across species. PMID:16906792

  19. Recruitment of Rod Photoreceptors from Short-Wavelength-Sensitive Cones during the Evolution of Nocturnal Vision in Mammals.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung-Woong; Yang, Hyun-Jin; Oel, Adam Phillip; Brooks, Matthew John; Jia, Li; Plachetzki, David Charles; Li, Wei; Allison, William Ted; Swaroop, Anand

    2016-06-20

    Vertebrate ancestors had only cone-like photoreceptors. The duplex retina evolved in jawless vertebrates with the advent of highly photosensitive rod-like photoreceptors. Despite cones being the arbiters of high-resolution color vision, rods emerged as the dominant photoreceptor in mammals during a nocturnal phase early in their evolution. We investigated the evolutionary and developmental origins of rods in two divergent vertebrate retinas. In mice, we discovered genetic and epigenetic vestiges of short-wavelength cones in developing rods, and cell-lineage tracing validated the genesis of rods from S cones. Curiously, rods did not derive from S cones in zebrafish. Our study illuminates several questions regarding the evolution of duplex retina and supports the hypothesis that, in mammals, the S-cone lineage was recruited via the Maf-family transcription factor NRL to augment rod photoreceptors. We propose that this developmental mechanism allowed the adaptive exploitation of scotopic niches during the nocturnal bottleneck early in mammalian evolution. PMID:27326930

  20. Mechanisms, pools, and sites of spontaneous vesicle release at synapses of rod and cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Cork, Karlene M; Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2016-08-01

    Photoreceptors have depolarized resting potentials that stimulate calcium-dependent release continuously from a large vesicle pool but neurons can also release vesicles without stimulation. We characterized the Ca(2+) dependence, vesicle pools, and release sites involved in spontaneous release at photoreceptor ribbon synapses. In whole-cell recordings from light-adapted horizontal cells (HCs) of tiger salamander retina, we detected miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) when no stimulation was applied to promote exocytosis. Blocking Ca(2+) influx by lowering extracellular Ca(2+) , by application of Cd(2+) and other agents reduced the frequency of mEPSCs but did not eliminate them, indicating that mEPSCs can occur independently of Ca(2+) . We also measured release presynaptically from rods and cones by examining quantal glutamate transporter anion currents. Presynaptic quantal event frequency was reduced by Cd(2+) or by increased intracellular Ca(2+) buffering in rods, but not in cones, that were voltage clamped at -70 mV. By inhibiting the vesicle cycle with bafilomycin, we found the frequency of mEPSCs declined more rapidly than the amplitude of evoked excitatory post-synaptic currents (EPSCs) suggesting a possible separation between vesicle pools in evoked and spontaneous exocytosis. We mapped sites of Ca(2+) -independent release using total internal reflectance fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy to visualize fusion of individual vesicles loaded with dextran-conjugated pHrodo. Spontaneous release in rods occurred more frequently at non-ribbon sites than evoked release events. The function of Ca(2+) -independent spontaneous release at continuously active photoreceptor synapses remains unclear, but the low frequency of spontaneous quanta limits their impact on noise. PMID:27255664

  1. Effect of 11-Cis 13-Demethylretinal on Phototransduction in Bleach-Adapted Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Corson, D.Wesley; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Cornwall, M. Carter; Crouch, Rosalie K.

    2000-01-01

    We used 11-cis 13-demethylretinal to examine the physiological consequences of retinal's noncovalent interaction with opsin in intact rod and cone photoreceptors during visual pigment regeneration. 11-Cis 13-demethylretinal is an analog of 11-cis retinal in which the 13 position methyl group has been removed. Biochemical experiments have shown that it is capable of binding in the chromophore pocket of opsin, forming a Schiff-base linkage with the protein to produce a pigment, but at a much slower rate than the native 11-cis retinal (Nelson, R., J. Kim deReil, and A. Kropf. 1970. Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. USA. 66:531–538). Experimentally, this slow rate of pigment formation should allow separate physiological examination of the effects of the initial binding of retinal in the pocket and the subsequent formation of the protonated Schiff-base linkage. Currents from solitary rods and cones from the tiger salamander were recorded in darkness before and after bleaching and then after exposure to 11-cis 13-demethylretinal. In bleach-adapted rods, 11-cis 13-demethylretinal caused transient activation of phototransduction, as evidenced by a decrease of the dark current and sensitivity, acceleration of the dim flash responses, and activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase and guanylyl cyclase. The steady state of phototransduction activity was still higher than that of the bleach-adapted rod. In contrast, exposure of bleach-adapted cones to 11-cis 13-demethylretinal resulted in an immediate deactivation of transduction as measured by the same parameters. These results extend the validity of a model for the effects of the noncovalent binding of a retinoid in the chromophore pockets of rod and cone opsins to analogs capable of forming a Schiff-base and imply that the noncovalent binding by itself may play a role for the dark adaptation of photoreceptors. PMID:10919871

  2. Rod and cone photoreceptors: molecular basis of the difference in their physiology.

    PubMed

    Kawamura, Satoru; Tachibanaki, Shuji

    2008-08-01

    Vertebrate retinal photoreceptors consist of two types of cells, the rods and cones. Rods are highly light-sensitive but their flash response time course is slow, so that they can detect a single photon in the dark but are not good at detecting an object moving quickly. Cones are less light-sensitive and their flash response time course is fast, so that cones mediate daylight vision and are more suitable to detect a moving object than rods. The phototransduction mechanism was virtually known by the mid 80s, and detailed mechanisms of the generation of a light response are now understood in a highly quantitative manner at the molecular level. However, most of these studies were performed in rods, but not in cones. Therefore, the mechanisms of low light-sensitivity or fast flash response time course in cones have not been known. The major reason for this slow progress in the study of cone phototransduction was due to the inability of getting a large quantity of purified cones to study them biochemically. We succeeded in its purification using carp retina, and have shown that each step responsible for generation of a light response is less effective in cones and that the reactions responsible for termination of a light response are faster in cones. Based on these findings, we speculated a possible mechanism of evolution of rods that diverged from cones. PMID:18514002

  3. Speed, sensitivity, and stability of the light response in rod and cone photoreceptors: Facts and models

    PubMed Central

    Korenbrot, Juan I.

    2012-01-01

    The light responses of rod and cone photoreceptors in the vertebrate retina are quantitatively different, yet extremely stable and reproducible because of the extraordinary regulation of the cascade of enzymatic reactions that link photon absorption and visual pigment excitation to the gating of cGMP-gated ion channels in the outer segment plasma membrane. While the molecular scheme of the phototransduction pathway is essentially the same in rods and cones, the enzymes and protein regulators that constitute the pathway are distinct. These enzymes and regulators can differ in the quantitative features of their functions or in concentration if their functions are similar or both can be true. The molecular identity and distinct function of the molecules of the transduction cascade in rods and cones are summarized. The functional significance of these molecular differences is examined with a mathematical model of the signal-transducing enzymatic cascade. Constrained by available electrophysiological, biochemical and biophysical data, the model simulates photocurrents that match well the electrical photoresponses measured in both rods and cones. Using simulation computed with the mathematical model, the time course of light-dependent changes in enzymatic activities and second messenger concentrations in non-mammalian rods and cones are compared side by side. PMID:22658984

  4. Dysfunction of Heterotrimeric Kinesin-2 in Rod Photoreceptor Cells and the Role of Opsin Mislocalization in Rapid Cell Death

    PubMed Central

    Lopes, Vanda S.; Jimeno, David; Khanobdee, Kornnika; Song, Xiaodan; Chen, Bryan; Nusinowitz, Steven

    2010-01-01

    Due to extensive elaboration of the photoreceptor cilium to form the outer segment, axonemal transport (IFT) in photoreceptors is extraordinarily busy, and retinal degeneration is a component of many ciliopathies. Functional loss of heterotrimeric kinesin-2, a major anterograde IFT motor, causes mislocalized opsin, followed by rapid cell death. Here, we have analyzed the nature of protein mislocalization and the requirements for the death of kinesin-2-mutant rod photoreceptors. Quantitative immuno EM showed that opsin accumulates initially within the inner segment, and then in the plasma membrane. The light-activated movement of arrestin to the outer segment is also impaired, but this defect likely results secondarily from binding to mislocalized opsin. Unlike some other retinal degenerations, neither opsin–arrestin complexes nor photoactivation were necessary for cell loss. In contrast, reduced rod opsin expression provided enhanced rod and cone photoreceptor survival and function, as measured by photoreceptor cell counts, apoptosis assays, and ERG analysis. The cell death incurred by loss of kinesin-2 function was almost completely negated by Rho−/−. Our results indicate that mislocalization of opsin is a major cause of photoreceptor cell death from kinesin-2 dysfunction and demonstrate the importance of accumulating mislocalized protein per se, rather than specific signaling properties of opsin, stemming from photoactivation or arrestin binding. PMID:20926680

  5. Efficient mutagenesis of the rhodopsin gene in rod photoreceptor neurons in mice

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Fung; Hauswirth, William W.; Wensel, Theodore G.; Wilson, John H.

    2011-01-01

    Dominant mutations in the rhodopsin gene, which is expressed in rod photoreceptor cells, are a major cause of the hereditary-blinding disease, autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Therapeutic strategies designed to edit such mutations will likely depend on the introduction of double-strand breaks and their subsequent repair by homologous recombination or non-homologous end joining. At present, the break repair capabilities of mature neurons, in general, and rod cells, in particular, are undefined. To detect break repair, we generated mice that carry a modified human rhodopsin-GFP fusion gene at the normal mouse rhodopsin locus. The rhodopsin-GFP gene carries tandem copies of exon 2, with an ISceI recognition site situated between them. An ISceI-induced break can be repaired either by non-homologous end joining or by recombination between the duplicated segments, generating a functional rhodopsin-GFP gene. We introduced breaks using recombinant adeno-associated virus to transduce the gene encoding ISceI nuclease. We found that virtually 100% of transduced rod cells were mutated at the ISceI site, with ∼85% of the genomes altered by end joining and ∼15% by the single-strand annealing pathway of homologous recombination. These studies establish that the genomes of terminally differentiated rod cells can be efficiently edited in living organisms. PMID:21478169

  6. Multiple rod–cone and cone–rod photoreceptor transmutations in snakes: Evidence from visual opsin gene expression

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Simoe, Bruno F; Sampaio, Filipa L.; Loew, Ellis R.; Sanders, Kate L.; Fisher, Robert N.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.; Partridge, Julian C.; Gower, David J.

    2016-01-01

    In 1934, Gordon Walls forwarded his radical theory of retinal photoreceptor ‘transmutation’. This proposed that rods and cones used for scotopic and photopic vision, respectively, were not fixed but could evolve into each other via a series of morphologically distinguishable intermediates. Walls' prime evidence came from series of diurnal and nocturnal geckos and snakes that appeared to have pure-cone or pure-rod retinas (in forms that Walls believed evolved from ancestors with the reverse complement) or which possessed intermediate photoreceptor cells. Walls was limited in testing his theory because the precise identity of visual pigments present in photoreceptors was then unknown. Subsequent molecular research has hitherto neglected this topic but presents new opportunities. We identify three visual opsin genes, rh1, sws1 and lws, in retinal mRNA of an ecologically and taxonomically diverse sample of snakes central to Walls' theory. We conclude that photoreceptors with superficially rod- or cone-like morphology are not limited to containing scotopic or photopic opsins, respectively. Walls' theory is essentially correct, and more research is needed to identify the patterns, processes and functional implications of transmutation. Future research will help to clarify the fundamental properties and physiology of photoreceptors adapted to function in different light levels.

  7. Dynamic and steady-state light adaptation of mouse rod photoreceptors in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Gabriel A; Hetling, John R; Pepperberg, David R

    2001-01-01

    Electroretinographic (ERG) methods were used to investigate the effects of background illumination on the responses of mouse rod photoreceptors in vivo. A paired-flash procedure, involving the recording and analysis of the ERG a-wave response to a bright probe flash presented after a brief test flash, was used to derive the rod response to the test flash in steady background light. A related, step-plus-probe procedure was used to derive the step response of the rods to backgrounds of defined strength. Steady background light produced a maintained derived response that was graded with background strength. Determinations of the full time course of the derived weak-flash response in steady background light, and of the effect of background strength on the flash response at fixed post-test-flash times, showed that moderate backgrounds reduce the peak amplitude and duration of the flash response. The response to stepped onset of an approximately half-saturating background (1.2 sc cd m−2) exhibited a gradual rise over the first 200-300 ms, and an apparent subsequent relaxation to plateau amplitude within 1 s after background onset. Determinations of normalized amplitudes of the derived response to a test flash presented at 50 or 700 ms after background onset indicated substantial development of background-induced shortening of the test flash response within this 1 s period. These findings indicate a time scale of ≈1 s or less for the near-completion of light adaptation at this background strength. Properties of the derived response to a stepped background and to test flashes presented in steady background light are in general agreement with photocurrent data obtained from mammalian rods in vitro and suggest that the present results describe, to good approximation, the in vivo desensitization of mouse rods by background light. PMID:11433003

  8. Analysis of Photoreceptor Rod Outer Segment Phagocytosis by RPE Cells In Situ

    PubMed Central

    Sethna, Saumil; Finnemann, Silvia C.

    2013-01-01

    Counting rhodopsin-positive phagosomes residing in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) in the eye at different times of day allows a quantitative assessment of engulfment and digestion phases of diurnal RPE phagocytosis, which efficiently clears shed photoreceptor outer segment fragments (POS) from the neural retina. Comparing such activities among age- and background-matched experimental wild-type and mutant mice or rats serves to identify roles for specific proteins in the phagocytic process. Here, we describe experimental procedures for mouse eye harvest, embedding, sectioning, immunofluorescence labeling of rod POS phagosomes in RPE cells in sagittal eye sections, imaging of POS phagosomes in the RPE by laser scanning confocal microscopy, and POS quantification. PMID:23150373

  9. Essential and synergistic roles of RP1 and RP1L1 in rod photoreceptor axoneme and retinitis pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Yamashita, Tetsuji; Liu, Jiewu; Gao, Jiangang; LeNoue, Sean; Wang, Changguan; Kaminoh, Jack; Bowne, Sara J.; Sullivan, Lori S.; Daiger, Stephen P.; Zhang, Kang; Fitzgerald, Malinda E.C.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Zuo, Jian

    2009-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa 1 (RP1) is a common inherited retinopathy with variable onset and severity. The RP1 gene encodes a photoreceptor-specific, microtubule-associated ciliary protein containing the doublecortin (DCX) domain. Here we show that another photoreceptor-specific Rp1-like protein (Rp1L1) in mice is also localized to the axoneme of outer segments (OS) and connecting cilia in rod photoreceptors, overlapping with Rp1. Rp1L1−/− mice display scattered OS disorganization, reduced electroretinogram amplitudes, and progressive photoreceptor degeneration, less severe and slower than in Rp1−/− mice. In single rods of Rp1L1−/−, photosensitivity is reduced, similar to that of Rp1−/−. While individual heterozygotes are normal, double heterozygotes of Rp1 and Rp1L1 exhibit abnormal OS morphology and reduced single rod photosensitivity and dark currents. The electroretinogram amplitudes of double heterozygotes are more reduced than those of individual heterozygotes combined. In support, Rp1L1 interacts with Rp1 in transfected cells and in retina pull-down experiments. Interestingly, phototransduction kinetics are normal in single rods and whole retinas of individual or double Rp1 and Rp1L1 mutant mice. Together, Rp1 and Rp1L1 play essential and synergistic roles in affecting photosensitivity and OS morphogenesis of rod photoreceptors. Our findings suggest that mutations in RP1L1 could underlie retinopathy or modify RP1 disease expression in humans. PMID:19657028

  10. Weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering supports sustained synaptic transmission by distinct mechanisms in rod and cone photoreceptors in salamander retina

    PubMed Central

    Van Hook, Matthew J; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2015-01-01

    Differences in synaptic transmission between rod and cone photoreceptors contribute to different response kinetics in rod- versus cone-dominated visual pathways. We examined Ca2+ dynamics in synaptic terminals of tiger salamander photoreceptors under conditions that mimicked endogenous buffering to determine the influence on kinetically and mechanistically distinct components of synaptic transmission. Measurements of ICl(Ca) confirmed that endogenous Ca2+ buffering is equivalent to ˜0.05 mmol/L EGTA in rod and cone terminals. Confocal imaging showed that with such buffering, depolarization stimulated large, spatially unconstrained [Ca2+] increases that spread throughout photoreceptor terminals. We calculated immediately releasable pool (IRP) size and release efficiency in rods by deconvolving excitatory postsynaptic currents and presynaptic Ca2+ currents. Peak efficiency of ˜0.2 vesicles/channel was similar to that of cones (˜0.3 vesicles/channel). Efficiency in both cell types was not significantly affected by using weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering. However, weak Ca2+ buffering speeded Ca2+/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent replenishment of vesicles to ribbons in both rods and cones, thereby enhancing sustained release. In rods, weak Ca2+ buffering also amplified sustained release by enhancing CICR and CICR-stimulated release of vesicles at nonribbon sites. By contrast, elevating [Ca2+] at nonribbon sites in cones with weak Ca2+ buffering and by inhibiting Ca2+ extrusion did not trigger additional release, consistent with the notion that exocytosis from cones occurs exclusively at ribbons. The presence of weak endogenous Ca2+ buffering in rods and cones facilitates slow, sustained exocytosis by enhancing Ca2+/CaM-dependent replenishment of ribbons in both rods and cones and by stimulating nonribbon release triggered by CICR in rods. PMID:26416977

  11. RIM1/2-Mediated Facilitation of Cav1.4 Channel Opening Is Required for Ca2+-Stimulated Release in Mouse Rod Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Grabner, Chad P; Gandini, Maria A; Rehak, Renata; Le, Yun; Zamponi, Gerald W; Schmitz, Frank

    2015-09-23

    Night blindness can result from impaired photoreceptor function and a subset of cases have been linked to dysfunction of Cav1.4 calcium channels and in turn compromised synaptic transmission. Here, we show that active zone proteins RIM1/2 are important regulators of Cav1.4 channel function in mouse rod photoreceptors and thus synaptic activity. The conditional double knock-out (cdko) of RIM1 and RIM2 from rods starting a few weeks after birth did not change Cav1.4 protein expression at rod ribbon synapses nor was the morphology of the ribbon altered. Heterologous overexpression of RIM2 with Cav1.4 had no significant influence on current density when examined with BaCl2 as the charge carrier. Nonetheless, whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings from cdko rods revealed a profound reduction in Ca(2+) currents. Concomitantly, we observed a 4-fold reduction in spontaneous miniature release events from the cdko rod terminals and an almost complete absence of evoked responses when monitoring changes in membrane incorporation after strong step depolarizations. Under control conditions, 49 and 83 vesicles were released with 0.2 and 1 s depolarizations, respectively, which is close to the maximal number of vesicles estimated to be docked at the base of the ribbon active zone, but without RIM1/2, only a few vesicles were stimulated for release after a 1 s stimulation. In conclusion, our study shows that RIM1/2 potently enhance the influx of Ca(2+) into rod terminals through Cav1.4 channels, which is vitally important for the release of vesicles from the rod ribbon. Significance statement: Active zone scaffolding proteins are thought to bring multiple components involved in Ca(2+)-dependent exocytosis into functional interactions. We show that removal of scaffolding proteins RIM1/2 from rod photoreceptor ribbon synapses causes a dramatic loss of Ca(2+) influx through Cav1.4 channels and a correlated reduction in evoked release, yet the channels remain localized to synaptic ribbons

  12. Correlating Photoreceptor Mosaic Structure to Clinical Findings in Stargardt Disease

    PubMed Central

    Razeen, Moataz M.; Cooper, Robert F.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Goldberg, Mara R.; Wilk, Melissa A.; Han, Dennis P.; Connor, Thomas B.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Collison, Frederick T.; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Dubra, Alfredo; Carroll, Joseph; Stepien, Kimberly E.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To demonstrate a method for correlating photoreceptor mosaic structure with optical coherence tomography (OCT) and microperimetry findings in patients with Stargardt disease. Methods A total of 14 patients with clinically diagnosed Stargardt disease were imaged using confocal and split-detection adaptive optics scanning light ophthalmoscopy. Cone photoreceptors were identified manually in a band along the temporal meridian. Resulting values were compared to a normative database (n = 9) to generate cone density deviation (CDD) maps. Manual measurement of outer nuclear layer plus Henle fiber layer (ONL+HFL) thickness was performed, in addition to determination of the presence of ellipsoid zone (EZ) and interdigitation zone (IZ) bands on OCT. These results, along with microperimetry data, were overlaid with the CDD maps. Results Wide variation in foveal structure and CDD maps was seen within this small group. Disruption of ONL+HFL and/or IZ band was seen in all patients, with EZ band preservation in regions with low cone density in 38% of locations analyzed. Normality of retinal lamellar structure on OCT corresponded with cone density and visual function at 50/78 locations analyzed. Outer retinal tubulations containing photoreceptor-like structures were observed in 3 patients. Conclusions The use of CDD color-coded maps enables direct comparison of cone mosaic local density with other measures of retinal structure and function. Larger normative datasets and improved tools for automation of image alignment are needed. Translational Relevance The approach described facilitates comparison of complex multimodal data sets from patients with inherited retinal degeneration, and can be expanded to incorporate other structural imaging or functional testing. PMID:26981328

  13. Synaptic plasticity in the rod terminals after partial photoreceptor cell loss in the heterozygous rds mutant mouse.

    PubMed

    Jansen, H G; Sanyal, S

    1992-02-01

    In the retina of mice heterozygous for the retinal degeneration slow gene (rds/+) the photoreceptor cells, both rods and cones, develop abnormal outer segments but establish normal synaptic contacts. The other retinal layers also show normal structural organization. Starting from the age of 2 months, a very slow loss of photoreceptor cells progresses throughout life. As a result, the photoreceptor cell population in the retina of the affected mice is reduced to less than half at the age of 9-18 months. In some of the surviving rod terminals during this period, an increase in the number of synaptic ribbons is recorded. At the same time, the profiles of processes originating from the second order neurons and participating in these synapses are also increased in number so that the multiple ribbons appear as centres of multiple synaptic sites. Morphometric measurements of the perimeter of the synaptic profiles in rod terminals show a significant increase in the rds/+ retina over that of the control retina. Observations based on serial electron microscopy indicate that multiple synaptic sites are developed while the number of the second order neuronal processes, entering the terminals, remains unchanged. The frequency of terminals with multiple synapses in the rds/+ retina increases with progressive photoreceptor cell loss. Similar changes do not occur in the terminals of the cones. It is postulated that loss of some rod photoreceptor cells within a group that is presynaptic to common bipolars or horizontal cells results in partial deafferentation which in turn stimulates the growth of the remaining synaptic elements. The possible compensatory effect and functional significance of such synaptic growth are discussed. PMID:1573048

  14. Induction of the Unfolded Protein Response by Constitutive G-protein Signaling in Rod Photoreceptor Cells*

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Tian; Chen, Jeannie

    2014-01-01

    Phototransduction is a G-protein signal transduction cascade that converts photon absorption to a change in current at the plasma membrane. Certain genetic mutations affecting the proteins in the phototransduction cascade cause blinding disorders in humans. Some of these mutations serve as a genetic source of “equivalent light” that activates the cascade, whereas other mutations lead to amplification of the light response. How constitutive phototransduction causes photoreceptor cell death is poorly understood. We showed that persistent G-protein signaling, which occurs in rod arrestin and rhodopsin kinase knock-out mice, caused a rapid and specific induction of the PERK pathway of the unfolded protein response. These changes were not observed in the cGMP-gated channel knock-out rods, an equivalent light condition that mimics light-stimulated channel closure. Thus transducin signaling, but not channel closure, triggers rapid cell death in light damage caused by constitutive phototransduction. Additionally, we show that in the albino light damage model cell death was not associated with increase in global protein ubiquitination or unfolded protein response induction. Taken together, these observations provide novel mechanistic insights into the cell death pathway caused by constitutive phototransduction and identify the unfolded protein response as a potential target for therapeutic intervention. PMID:25183010

  15. cAMP controls rod photoreceptor sensitivity via multiple targets in the phototransduction cascade

    PubMed Central

    Astakhova, Luba A.; Samoiliuk, Evgeniia V.; Govardovskii, Victor I.

    2012-01-01

    In early studies, both cyclic AMP (cAMP) and cGMP were considered as potential secondary messengers regulating the conductivity of the vertebrate photoreceptor plasma membrane. Later discovery of the cGMP specificity of cyclic nucleotide–gated channels has shifted attention to cGMP as the only secondary messenger in the phototransduction cascade, and cAMP is not considered in modern schemes of phototransduction. Here, we report evidence that cAMP may also be involved in regulation of the phototransduction cascade. Using a suction pipette technique, we recorded light responses of isolated solitary rods from the frog retina in normal solution and in the medium containing 2 µM of adenylate cyclase activator forskolin. Under forskolin action, flash sensitivity rose more than twofold because of a retarded photoresponse turn-off. The same concentration of forskolin lead to a 2.5-fold increase in the rod outer segment cAMP, which is close to earlier reported natural day/night cAMP variations. Detailed analysis of cAMP action on the phototransduction cascade suggests that several targets are affected by cAMP increase: (a) basal dark phosphodiesterase (PDE) activity decreases; (b) at the same intensity of light background, steady background-induced PDE activity increases; (c) at light backgrounds, guanylate cyclase activity at a given fraction of open channels is reduced; and (d) the magnitude of the Ca2+ exchanger current rises 1.6-fold, which would correspond to a 1.6-fold elevation of [Ca2+]in. Analysis by a complete model of rod phototransduction suggests that an increase of [Ca2+]in might also explain effects (b) and (c). The mechanism(s) by which cAMP could regulate [Ca2+]in and PDE basal activity is unclear. We suggest that these regulations may have adaptive significance and improve the performance of the visual system when it switches between day and night light conditions. PMID:23008435

  16. A Pro23His Mutation Alters Prenatal Rod Photoreceptor Morphology in a Transgenic Swine Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Scott, Patrick A.; Fernandez de Castro, Juan P.; Kaplan, Henry J.; McCall, Maureen A.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Functional studies have detected deficits in retinal signaling in asymptomatic children from families with inherited autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Whether retinal abnormalities are present earlier during gestation or shortly after birth in a subset of children with autosomal dominant RP is unknown and no appropriate animal RP model possessing visual function at birth has been available to examine this possibility. In a recently developed transgenic P23H (TgP23H) rhodopsin swine model of RP, we tracked changes in pre- and early postnatal retinal morphology, as well as early postnatal retinal function. Methods. Domestic swine inseminated with semen from a TgP23H miniswine founder produced TgP23H hybrid and wild type (Wt) littermates. Outer retinal morphology was assessed at light and electron microscopic levels between embryonic (E) and postnatal (P) day E85 to P3. Retinal function was evaluated using the full field electroretinogram at P3. Results. Embryonic TgP23H rod photoreceptors are malformed and their rhodopsin expression pattern is abnormal. Consistent with morphological abnormalities, rod-driven function is absent at P3. In contrast, TgP23H and Wt cone photoreceptor morphology (E85–P3) and cone-driven retinal function (P3) are similar. Conclusions. Prenatal expression of mutant rhodopsin alters the normal morphological and functional development of rod photoreceptors in TgP23H swine embryos. Despite this significant change, cone photoreceptors are unaffected. Human infants with similarly aggressive RP might never have rod vision, although cone vision would be unaffected. Such aggressive forms of RP in preverbal children would require early intervention to delay or prevent functional blindness. PMID:24618321

  17. Organization of cGMP sensing structures on the rod photoreceptor outer segment plasma membrane

    PubMed Central

    Nemet, Ina; Tian, Guilian; Imanishi, Yoshikazu

    2014-01-01

    A diffusion barrier segregates the plasma membrane of the rod photoreceptor outer segment into 2 domains; one which is optimized for the conductance of ions in the phototransduction cascade and another for disk membrane synthesis. We propose the former to be named “phototransductive plasma membrane domain," and the latter to be named “disk morphogenic plasma membrane domain." Within the phototransductive plasma membrane, cGMP-gated channels are concentrated in striated membrane features, which are proximally located to the sites of active cGMP production within the disk membranes. For proper localization of cGMP-gated channel to the phototransductive plasma membrane, the glutamic acid-rich protein domain encoded in the β subunit plays a critical role. Quantitative study suggests that the disk morphogenic domain likely plays an important role in enriching rhodopsin prior to its sequestration into closed disk membranes. Thus, this and our previous studies provide new insight into the mechanism that spatially organizes the vertebrate phototransduction cascade. PMID:25616687

  18. Microtubule-associated protein tau in bovine retinal photoreceptor rod outer segments: comparison with brain tau.

    PubMed

    Yamazaki, Akio; Nishizawa, Yuji; Matsuura, Isao; Hayashi, Fumio; Usukura, Jiro; Bondarenko, Vladimir A

    2013-10-01

    Recent studies have suggested a possible involvement of abnormal tau in some retinal degenerative diseases. The common view in these studies is that these retinal diseases share the mechanism of tau-mediated degenerative diseases in brain and that information about these brain diseases may be directly applied to explain these retinal diseases. Here we collectively examine this view by revealing three basic characteristics of tau in the rod outer segment (ROS) of bovine retinal photoreceptors, i.e., its isoforms, its phosphorylation mode and its interaction with microtubules, and by comparing them with those of brain tau. We find that ROS contains at least four isoforms: three are identical to those in brain and one is unique in ROS. All ROS isoforms, like brain isoforms, are modified with multiple phosphate molecules; however, ROS isoforms show their own specific phosphorylation pattern, and these phosphorylation patterns appear not to be identical to those of brain tau. Interestingly, some ROS isoforms, under the normal conditions, are phosphorylated at the sites identical to those in Alzheimer's patient isoforms. Surprisingly, a large portion of ROS isoforms tightly associates with a membranous component(s) other than microtubules, and this association is independent of their phosphorylation states. These observations strongly suggest that tau plays various roles in ROS and that some of these functions may not be comparable to those of brain tau. We believe that knowledge about tau in the entire retinal network and/or its individual cells are also essential for elucidation of tau-mediated retinal diseases, if any. PMID:23712071

  19. In Vivo Analysis of Disease-Associated Point Mutations Unveils Profound Differences in mRNA Splicing of Peripherin-2 in Rod and Cone Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Becirovic, Elvir; Böhm, Sybille; Nguyen, Ong Nam Phuong; Riedmayr, Lisa Maria; Koch, Mirja Annika; Schulze, Elisabeth; Kohl, Susanne; Borsch, Oliver; Santos-Ferreira, Tiago; Ader, Marius; Michalakis, Stylianos; Biel, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Point mutations in peripherin-2 (PRPH2) are associated with severe retinal degenerative disorders affecting rod and/or cone photoreceptors. Various disease-causing mutations have been identified, but the exact contribution of a given mutation to the clinical phenotype remains unclear. Exonic point mutations are usually assumed to alter single amino acids, thereby influencing specific protein characteristics; however, they can also affect mRNA splicing. To examine the effects of distinct PRPH2 point mutations on mRNA splicing and protein expression in vivo, we designed PRPH2 minigenes containing the three coding exons and relevant intronic regions of human PRPH2. Minigenes carrying wild type PRPH2 or PRPH2 exon 2 mutations associated with rod or cone disorders were expressed in murine photoreceptors using recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors. We detect three PRPH2 splice isoforms in rods and cones: correctly spliced, intron 1 retention, and unspliced. In addition, we show that only the correctly spliced isoform results in detectable protein expression. Surprisingly, compared to rods, differential splicing leads to lower expression of correctly spliced and higher expression of unspliced PRPH2 in cones. These results were confirmed in qRT-PCR experiments from FAC-sorted murine rods and cones. Strikingly, three out of five cone disease-causing PRPH2 mutations profoundly enhanced correct splicing of PRPH2, which correlated with strong upregulation of mutant PRPH2 protein expression in cones. By contrast, four out of six PRPH2 mutants associated with rod disorders gave rise to a reduced PRPH2 protein expression via different mechanisms. These mechanisms include aberrant mRNA splicing, protein mislocalization, and protein degradation. Our data suggest that upregulation of PRPH2 levels in combination with defects in the PRPH2 function caused by the mutation might be an important mechanism leading to cone degeneration. By contrast, the pathology of rod

  20. In Vivo Analysis of Disease-Associated Point Mutations Unveils Profound Differences in mRNA Splicing of Peripherin-2 in Rod and Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Becirovic, Elvir; Böhm, Sybille; Nguyen, Ong Nam Phuong; Riedmayr, Lisa Maria; Koch, Mirja Annika; Schulze, Elisabeth; Kohl, Susanne; Borsch, Oliver; Santos-Ferreira, Tiago; Ader, Marius; Michalakis, Stylianos; Biel, Martin

    2016-01-01

    Point mutations in peripherin-2 (PRPH2) are associated with severe retinal degenerative disorders affecting rod and/or cone photoreceptors. Various disease-causing mutations have been identified, but the exact contribution of a given mutation to the clinical phenotype remains unclear. Exonic point mutations are usually assumed to alter single amino acids, thereby influencing specific protein characteristics; however, they can also affect mRNA splicing. To examine the effects of distinct PRPH2 point mutations on mRNA splicing and protein expression in vivo, we designed PRPH2 minigenes containing the three coding exons and relevant intronic regions of human PRPH2. Minigenes carrying wild type PRPH2 or PRPH2 exon 2 mutations associated with rod or cone disorders were expressed in murine photoreceptors using recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV) vectors. We detect three PRPH2 splice isoforms in rods and cones: correctly spliced, intron 1 retention, and unspliced. In addition, we show that only the correctly spliced isoform results in detectable protein expression. Surprisingly, compared to rods, differential splicing leads to lower expression of correctly spliced and higher expression of unspliced PRPH2 in cones. These results were confirmed in qRT-PCR experiments from FAC-sorted murine rods and cones. Strikingly, three out of five cone disease-causing PRPH2 mutations profoundly enhanced correct splicing of PRPH2, which correlated with strong upregulation of mutant PRPH2 protein expression in cones. By contrast, four out of six PRPH2 mutants associated with rod disorders gave rise to a reduced PRPH2 protein expression via different mechanisms. These mechanisms include aberrant mRNA splicing, protein mislocalization, and protein degradation. Our data suggest that upregulation of PRPH2 levels in combination with defects in the PRPH2 function caused by the mutation might be an important mechanism leading to cone degeneration. By contrast, the pathology of rod

  1. Light-Dependent Translocation of Arrestin in Rod Photoreceptors is Signaled Through a Phospholipase C Cascade and Requires ATP

    PubMed Central

    Orisme, Wilda; Li, Jian; Goldmann, Tobias; Bolch, Susan; Wolfrum, Uwe; Smith, W. Clay

    2009-01-01

    Partitioning of cellular components is a critical mechanism by which cells can regulate their activity. In rod photoreceptors, light induces a large-scale translocation of arrestin from the inner segments to the outer segments. The purpose of this project is to elucidate the signaling pathway necessary to initiate arrestin translocation to the outer segments and the mechanism for arrestin translocation. Mouse retinal organotypic cultures and eyes from transgenic Xenopus tadpoles expressing a fusion of GFP and rod arrestin were treated with both activators and inhibitors of proteins in the phosphoinositide pathway. Confocal microscopy was used to image the effects of the pharmacological agents on arrestin translocation in rod photoreceptors. Retinas were also depleted of ATP using potassium cyanide to assess the requirement for ATP in arrestin translocation. In this study, we demonstrate that components of the G-protein-linked phospholipase C (PLC) pathway play a role in initiating arrestin translocation. Our results show that arrestin translocation can be stimulated by activators of PLC and protein kinase C (PKC), and by cholera toxin in the absence of light. Arrestin translocation to the outer segments is significantly reduced by inhibitors of PLC and PKC. Importantly, we find that treatment with potassium cyanide inhibits arrestin translocation in response to light. Collectively, our results suggest that arrestin translocation is initiated by a G-protein-coupled cascade through PLC and PKC signaling. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that at least the initiation of arrestin translocation requires energy input. PMID:19887106

  2. The GTP binding protein-dependent activation and deactivation of cGMP phosphodiesterase in rod photoreceptors

    SciTech Connect

    Yamazaki, Akio.

    1989-01-01

    Cyclic GMP (cGMP) has a crucial role in visual transduction. Recent electrophysiological studies clearly indicate the existence of cGMP-activated conductance in photoreceptor plasma membranes. In darkness, Na{sup +}, Ca{sup ++}, and Mg{sup ++} enter rod outer segments (ROS) through cGMP-activated channels while light closes channels by lowering cGMP concentrations through activation of cGMP phosphodiesterase (PDE). Many excellent reviews reference the mechanism of PDE activation in photoreceptors. However, recent progress in understanding the mechanisms regulating cGMP hydrolysis has raised an important question in the PDE-regulation: how does the three-dimensional movement of a subunit of transducin (retinal G protein) relate to the PDE activation Associated with that question, the mechanism of PDE regulation appears to vary at different stages of evolution, for example, frog and bovine photoreceptors. This review examines recent progress of the cGMP hydrolysis mechanism by focusing on the subunit interactions between transducin and PDE. 36 refs., 2 figs.

  3. Overexpression of Guanylate Cyclase Activating Protein 2 in Rod Photoreceptors In Vivo Leads to Morphological Changes at the Synaptic Ribbon

    PubMed Central

    López-Begines, Santiago; Fernández-Sánchez, Laura; Cuenca, Nicolás; Llorens, Jordi; de la Villa, Pedro; Méndez, Ana

    2012-01-01

    Guanylate cyclase activating proteins are EF-hand containing proteins that confer calcium sensitivity to retinal guanylate cyclase at the outer segment discs of photoreceptor cells. By making the rate of cGMP synthesis dependent on the free intracellular calcium levels set by illumination, GCAPs play a fundamental role in the recovery of the light response and light adaptation. The main isoforms GCAP1 and GCAP2 also localize to the synaptic terminal, where their function is not known. Based on the reported interaction of GCAP2 with Ribeye, the major component of synaptic ribbons, it was proposed that GCAP2 could mediate the synaptic ribbon dynamic changes that happen in response to light. We here present a thorough ultrastructural analysis of rod synaptic terminals in loss-of-function (GCAP1/GCAP2 double knockout) and gain-of-function (transgenic overexpression) mouse models of GCAP2. Rod synaptic ribbons in GCAPs−/− mice did not differ from wildtype ribbons when mice were raised in constant darkness, indicating that GCAPs are not required for ribbon early assembly or maturation. Transgenic overexpression of GCAP2 in rods led to a shortening of synaptic ribbons, and to a higher than normal percentage of club-shaped and spherical ribbon morphologies. Restoration of GCAP2 expression in the GCAPs−/− background (GCAP2 expression in the absence of endogenous GCAP1) had the striking result of shortening ribbon length to a much higher degree than overexpression of GCAP2 in the wildtype background, as well as reducing the thickness of the outer plexiform layer without affecting the number of rod photoreceptor cells. These results indicate that preservation of the GCAP1 to GCAP2 relative levels is relevant for maintaining the integrity of the synaptic terminal. Our demonstration of GCAP2 immunolocalization at synaptic ribbons at the ultrastructural level would support a role of GCAPs at mediating the effect of light on morphological remodeling changes of synaptic

  4. Melanopsin and rod-cone photoreceptors play different roles in mediating pupillary light responses during exposure to continuous light in humans.

    PubMed

    Gooley, Joshua J; Ho Mien, Ivan; St Hilaire, Melissa A; Yeo, Sing-Chen; Chua, Eric Chern-Pin; van Reen, Eliza; Hanley, Catherine J; Hull, Joseph T; Czeisler, Charles A; Lockley, Steven W

    2012-10-10

    In mammals, the pupillary light reflex is mediated by intrinsically photosensitive melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells that also receive input from rod-cone photoreceptors. To assess the relative contribution of melanopsin and rod-cone photoreceptors to the pupillary light reflex in humans, we compared pupillary light responses in normally sighted individuals (n = 24) with a blind individual lacking rod-cone function. Here, we show that visual photoreceptors are required for normal pupillary responses to continuous light exposure at low irradiance levels, and for sustained pupillary constriction during exposure to light in the long-wavelength portion of the visual spectrum. In the absence of rod-cone function, pupillomotor responses are slow and sustained, and cannot track intermittent light stimuli, suggesting that rods/cones are required for encoding fast modulations in light intensity. In sighted individuals, pupillary constriction decreased monotonically for at least 30 min during exposure to continuous low-irradiance light, indicating that steady-state pupillary responses are an order of magnitude slower than previously reported. Exposure to low-irradiance intermittent green light (543 nm; 0.1-4 Hz) for 30 min, which was given to activate cone photoreceptors repeatedly, elicited sustained pupillary constriction responses that were more than twice as great compared with exposure to continuous green light. Our findings demonstrate nonredundant roles for rod-cone photoreceptors and melanopsin in mediating pupillary responses to continuous light. Moreover, our results suggest that it might be possible to enhance nonvisual light responses to low-irradiance exposures by using intermittent light to activate cone photoreceptors repeatedly in humans. PMID:23055493

  5. Gap-junctional coupling of mammalian rod photoreceptors and its effect on visual detection

    PubMed Central

    Li, Peter H.; Verweij, Jan; Long, James H.; Schnapf, Julie L.

    2012-01-01

    The presence of gap junctions between rods in mammalian retina suggests a role for rod-rod coupling in human vision. Rod coupling is known to reduce response variability, but because junctional conductances are not known, the downstream effects on visual performance are uncertain. Here we assessed rod coupling in guinea pig retina by measuring: 1) the variability in responses to dim flashes, 2) Neurobiotin tracer coupling, and 3) junctional conductances. Results were consolidated into an electrical network model and a model of human psychophysical detection. Guinea pig rods form tracer pools of 1 to ~20 rods, with junctional conductances averaging ~350 pS. We calculate that coupling will reduce human dark-adapted sensitivity ~10% by impairing the noise filtering of the synapse between rods and rod bipolar cells. However, coupling also mitigates synaptic saturation and is thus calculated to improve sensitivity when stimuli are spatially restricted or are superimposed over background illumination. PMID:22399777

  6. Role of Neurotrophin Receptor TrkB in the Maturation of Rod Photoreceptors and Establishment of Synaptic Transmission to the Inner Retina

    PubMed Central

    Rohrer, Baerbel; Korenbrot, Juan I.; LaVail, Matthew M.; Reichardt, Louis F.; Xu, Baoji

    2009-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) acts through TrkB, a receptor with kinase activity, and mitigates light-induced apoptosis in adult mouse rod photoreceptors. To determine whether TrkB signaling is necessary for rod development and function, we examined the retinas of mice lacking all isoforms of the TrkB receptor. Rod migration and differentiation occur in the mutant retina, but proceed at slower rates than in wild-type mice. In postnatal day 16 (P16) mutants, rod outer segment dimensions and rhodopsin content are comparable with those of photoreceptors in P12 wild type (WT). Quantitative analyses of the photoreceptor component in the electroretinogram (ERG) indicate that the gain and kinetics of the rod phototransduction signal in dark-adapted P16 mutant and P12 WT retinas are similar. In contrast to P12 WT, however, the ERG in mutant mice entirely lacks a b-wave, indicating a failure of signal transmission in the retinal rod pathway. In the inner retina of mutant mice, although cells appear anatomically and immunohistochemically normal, they fail to respond to prolonged stroboscopic illumination with the normal expression of c-fos. Absence of the b-wave and failure of c-fos expression, in view of anatomically normal inner retinal cells, suggest that lack of TrkB signaling causes a defect in synaptic signaling between rods and inner retinal cells. Retinal pigment epithelial cells and cells in the inner retina, including Müller, amacrine, and retinal ganglion cells, express the TrkB receptor, but rod photoreceptors do not. Moreover, inner retinal cells respond to exogenous BDNF with c-fos expression and extracellular signal-regulated kinase phosphorylation. Thus, interactions of rods with TrkB-expressing cells must be required for normal rod development. PMID:10516311

  7. Effective delivery of recombinant proteins to rod photoreceptors via lipid nanovesicles.

    PubMed

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Dal Cortivo, Giuditta; Pontelli, Valeria; Cangiano, Lorenzo; Buffelli, Mario; Dell'Orco, Daniele

    2015-06-12

    The potential of liposomes to deliver functional proteins in retinal photoreceptors and modulate their physiological response was investigated by two experimental approaches. First, we treated isolated mouse retinas with liposomes encapsulating either recoverin, an important endogenous protein operating in visual phototransduction, or antibodies against recoverin. We then intravitrally injected in vivo liposomes encapsulating either rhodamin B or recoverin and we investigated the distribution in retina sections by confocal microscopy. The content of liposomes was found to be released in higher amount in the photoreceptor layer than in the other regions of the retina and the functional effects of the release were in line with the current model of phototransduction. Our study sets the basis for quantitative investigations aimed at assessing the potential of intraocular protein delivery via biocompatible nanovesicles, with promising implications for the treatment of retinal diseases affecting the photoreceptor layer. PMID:25918020

  8. Antagonists of the cGMP-gated conductance of vertebrate rods block the photocurrent in scallop ciliary photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Gomez, M P; Nasi, E

    1997-01-01

    1. Hyperpolarizing scallop photoreceptors, like vertebrate rods, use cGMP as an internal messenger and their light-sensing structure is also of ciliary origin. To ascertain possible functional similarities between the light-sensitive conductances in the two classes of visual cells, we examined in scallop photoreceptors the effects of several antagonists of the photocurrent of rods. 2. Extracellular application of L-cis-diltiazem rapidly and reversibly suppressed the photocurrent. The effect was stereospecific and dose dependent, with a K1/2 of approximately 400 microM. Intracellular dialysis at lower doses (100-200 microM) also induced a substantial inhibition. 3. L-cis-Diltiazem reduced the light-activated conductance without shifting the intensity-response curve. Furthermore, the drug also blocked the current directly evoked by application of cGMP. These observations indicate that the inhibitory effects result from blockage of the conductance, rather than from impairment of the activating cascade. 4. The fractional blockage increased e-fold per approximately 55 mV depolarization, regardless of the side of drug application, as if the charged form of L-cis-diltiazem can only access the blocking site from the intracellular compartment. 5. The amiloride derivative 3',4'-dichlorobenzamil potently suppressed the photocurrent (K1/2 approximately 5 microM), without affecting its kinetics or operating range. Amiloride itself was also effective at higher concentrations. 6. The pharmacological resemblance of these light-dependent channels to those of rods and cones indicates that significant aspects of the transduction cascade are conserved across disparate sensory cells of ciliary origin. PMID:9147324

  9. LSD1-Mediated Demethylation of H3K4me2 Is Required for the Transition from Late Progenitor to Differentiated Mouse Rod Photoreceptor.

    PubMed

    Popova, Evgenya Y; Pinzon-Guzman, Carolina; Salzberg, Anna C; Zhang, Samuel Shao-Min; Barnstable, Colin J

    2016-09-01

    Epigenetic modifiers can work in concert with transcription factors to control the transition of cells from proliferating progenitors into quiescent terminally differentiated cells. This transition involves changes in histone methylation and one of the key regulators of this is the H3K4me2/1 histone demethylase LSD1. Here, we show that the highest expression of LSD1 occurs in postmitotic retinal cells during the peak period of rod photoreceptor differentiation. Pharmacological inhibition of LSD1 in retinal explants cultured from PN1 to PN8 had three major effects. It prevented the normal decrease in expression of genes associated with progenitor function, it blocked rod photoreceptor development, and it increased expression of genes associated with other retinal cell types. The maintained expression of progenitor genes was associated with a maintained level of H3K4me2 over the gene and its promoter. Among the genes whose expression was maintained was Hes1, a repressor known to block rod photoreceptor development. The inhibition of rod photoreceptor gene expression occurred in spite of the normal expression of transcription factors CRX and NRL, and the normal accumulation of H3K4me2 marks over the promoter and gene body. We suggest that LSD1 acts in concert with a series of nuclear receptors to modify chromatin structure and repress progenitor genes as well as to inhibit ectopic patterns of gene expression in the differentiating postmitotic retinal cells. PMID:26298666

  10. The disruption of the rod-derived cone viability gene leads to photoreceptor dysfunction and susceptibility to oxidative stress.

    PubMed

    Cronin, T; Raffelsberger, W; Lee-Rivera, I; Jaillard, C; Niepon, M-L; Kinzel, B; Clérin, E; Petrosian, A; Picaud, S; Poch, O; Sahel, J-A; Léveillard, T

    2010-07-01

    Rod-derived cone viability factor (RdCVF) is a thioredoxin-like protein, which has therapeutic potential for rod-cone dystrophies such as retinitis pigmentosa (RP). Cone loss in rodent models of RP is effectively reduced by RdCVF treatment. In this study, we investigate the physiological role of RdCVF in the retina by analyzing the phenotype of the mouse lacking the RdCVF gene, Nxnl1. Although the mice do not show an obvious developmental defect, an age-related reduction of both cone and rod function and a delay in the dark-adaptation of the retina are recorded by electroretinogram (ERG). This functional change is accompanied by a 17% reduction in cone density and a 20% reduction in thickness of the outer nuclear layer. The transcriptome of the retina reveals early changes in the expression of genes involved in programmed cell death, stress-response and redox-signaling, which is followed by a generalized injury response with increased microglial activation, GFAP, FGF2 and lipid peroxidation levels. Furthermore, cones of the mice lacking Nxnl1 are more sensitive to oxidative stress with a reduction of 65% in the cone flicker ERG amplitude measured under hyperoxic conditions. We show here that the RdCVF gene, in addition to therapeutic properties, has an essential role in photoreceptor maintenance and resistance to retinal oxidative stress. PMID:20139892

  11. The Function of Guanylate Cyclase 1 and Guanylate Cyclase 2 in Rod and Cone Photoreceptors*S

    PubMed Central

    Baehr, Wolfgang; Karan, Sukanya; Maeda, Tadao; Luo, Dong-Gen; Li, Sha; Darin Bronson, J.; Watt, Carl B.; Yau, King-Wai; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2007-01-01

    Retinal guanylate cyclases 1 and 2 (GC1 and GC2) are responsible for synthesis of cyclic GMP in rods and cones, but their individual contributions to phototransduction are unknown. We report here that the deletion of both GC1 and GC2 rendered rod and cone photoreceptors nonfunctional and unstable. In the rod outer segments of GC double knock-out mice, guanylate cyclase-activating proteins 1 and 2, and cyclic GMP phosphodiesterase were undetectable, although rhodopsin and transducin α-subunit were mostly unaffected. Outer segment membranes of GC1−/− and GC double knock-out cones were destabilized and devoid of cone transducin (α- and γ-subunits), cone phosphodiesterase, and G protein-coupled receptor kinase 1, whereas cone pigments were present at reduced levels. Real time reverse transcription-PCR analyses demonstrated normal RNA transcript levels for the down-regulated proteins, indicating that down-regulation is posttranslational. We interpret these results to demonstrate an intrinsic requirement of GCs for stability and/or transport of a set of membrane-associated phototransduction proteins. PMID:17255100

  12. Intracellular calcium stores drive slow non-ribbon vesicle release from rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Minghui; Križaj, David; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2014-01-01

    Rods are capable of greater slow release than cones contributing to overall slower release kinetics. Slow release in rods involves Ca2+-induced Ca2+ release (CICR). By impairing release from ribbons, we found that unlike cones where release occurs entirely at ribbon-style active zones, slow release from rods occurs mostly at ectopic, non-ribbon sites. To investigate the role of CICR in ribbon and non-ribbon release from rods, we used total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy as a tool for visualizing terminals of isolated rods loaded with fluorescent Ca2+ indicator dyes and synaptic vesicles loaded with dextran-conjugated pH-sensitive rhodamine. We found that rather than simply facilitating release, activation of CICR by ryanodine triggered release directly in rods, independent of plasma membrane Ca2+ channel activation. Ryanodine-evoked release occurred mostly at non-ribbon sites and release evoked by sustained depolarization at non-ribbon sites was mostly due to CICR. Unlike release at ribbon-style active zones, non-ribbon release did not occur at fixed locations. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-tracker dye in rod terminals showed that ER extends continuously from synapse to soma. Release of Ca2+ from terminal ER by lengthy depolarization did not significantly deplete Ca2+ from ER in the perikaryon. Collectively, these results indicate that CICR-triggered release at non-ribbon sites is a major mechanism for maintaining vesicle release from rods and that CICR in terminals may be sustained by diffusion of Ca2+ through ER from other parts of the cell. PMID:24550779

  13. Phosducin-like protein 1 is essential for G protein assembly and signaling in retinal rod photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Lai, Chun Wan J.; Kolesnikov, Alexander V.; Frederick, Jeanne M.; Blake, Devon R.; Jiang, Li; Stewart, Jubal S.; Chen, Ching-Kang; Barrow, Jeffery R.; Baehr, Wolfgang; Kefalov, Vladimir J.; Willardson, Barry M.

    2013-01-01

    G protein β subunits perform essential neuronal functions as part of G protein βγ and Gβ5-RGS (Regulators of G protein Signaling) complexes. Both Gβγ and Gβ5-RGS are obligate dimers that are thought to require the assistance of the cytosolic chaperonin CCT and a co-chaperone, phosducin-like protein 1 (PhLP1) for dimer formation. To test this hypothesis in vivo, we deleted the Phlp1 gene in mouse (Mus musculus) retinal rod photoreceptor cells and measured the effects on G protein biogenesis and visual signal transduction. In the PhLP1-depleted rods, Gβγ dimer formation was decreased 50-fold, resulting in a more than 10-fold decrease in light sensitivity. Moreover, a 20-fold reduction in Gβ5 and RGS9-1 expression was also observed, causing a 15-fold delay in the shutoff of light responses. These findings conclusively demonstrate in vivo that PhLP1 is required for the folding and assembly of both Gβγ and Gβ5-RGS9. PMID:23637185

  14. 11-cis-retinal reduces constitutive opsin phosphorylation and improves quantum catch in retinoid-deficient mouse rod photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Ablonczy, Zsolt; Crouch, Rosalie K; Goletz, Patrice W; Redmond, T Michael; Knapp, Daniel R; Ma, Jian-Xing; Rohrer, Barbel

    2002-10-25

    Rpe65(-/-) mice produce minimal amounts of 11-cis-retinal, the ligand necessary for the formation of photosensitive visual pigments. Therefore, the apoprotein opsin in these animals has not been exposed to its normal ligand. The Rpe65(-/-) mice contain less than 0.1% of wild type levels of rhodopsin. Mass spectrometric analysis of opsin from Rpe65(-/-) mice revealed unusually high levels of phosphorylation in dark-adapted mice but no other structural alterations. Single flash and flicker electroretinograms (ERGs) from 1-month-old animals showed trace rod function but no cone response. B-wave kinetics of the single-flash ERG are comparable with those of dark-adapted wild type mice containing a full compliment of rhodopsin. Application (intraperitoneal injection) of 11-cis-retinal to Rpe65(-/-) mice increased the rod ERG signal, increased levels of rhodopsin, and decreased opsin phosphorylation. Therefore, exogenous 11-cis-retinal improves photoreceptor function by regenerating rhodopsin and removes constitutive opsin phosphorylation. Our results indicate that opsin, which has not been exposed to 11-cis-retinal, does not generate the activity generally associated with the bleached apoprotein. PMID:12176991

  15. The Consequences of Hypomorphic RPE65 for Rod and Cone Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Samardzija, Marijana; Barben, Maya; Geiger, Philipp; Grimm, Christian

    2016-01-01

    RPE65 is essential for both rod- and cone-mediated vision. So far, more than 120 disease-associated mutations have been identified in the human RPE65 gene. Differential clinical manifestations suggested that some patients suffer from null mutations while others retain residual RPE65 activity and some useful vision. To understand the mechanism of retinal degeneration or dysfunction caused by such hypomorphic RPE65 alleles, we generated an Rpe65 (R91W) knock-in mouse (R91W) that expresses a mutant RPE65 protein with reduced function. Data obtained suggested that the R91W mouse is highly suitable to study the impact of RPE65 insufficiency on rod pathophysiology. To study the impact on cones, we combined the R91W with the Nrl (-/-) mouse that develops an all-cone retina. Here we summarize the consequences of hypomorphic RPE65 function (reduced 11-cis-retinal synthesis) for rod and cone pathophysiology. PMID:26427430

  16. Viral-mediated RdCVF and RdCVFL expression protects cone and rod photoreceptors in retinal degeneration

    PubMed Central

    Byrne, Leah C.; Dalkara, Deniz; Luna, Gabriel; Fisher, Steven K.; Clérin, Emmanuelle; Sahel, Jose-Alain; Léveillard, Thierry; Flannery, John G.

    2014-01-01

    Alternative splicing of nucleoredoxin-like 1 (Nxnl1) results in 2 isoforms of the rod-derived cone viability factor. The truncated form (RdCVF) is a thioredoxin-like protein secreted by rods that promotes cone survival, while the full-length isoform (RdCVFL), which contains a thioredoxin fold, is involved in oxidative signaling and protection against hyperoxia. Here, we evaluated the effects of these different isoforms in 2 murine models of rod-cone dystrophy. We used adeno-associated virus (AAV) to express these isoforms in mice and found that both systemic and intravitreal injection of engineered AAV vectors resulted in RdCVF and RdCVFL expression in the eye. Systemic delivery of AAV92YF vectors in neonates resulted in earlier onset of RdCVF and RdCVFL expression compared with that observed with intraocular injection using the same vectors at P14. We also evaluated the efficacy of intravitreal injection using a recently developed photoreceptor-transducing AAV variant (7m8) at P14. Systemic administration of AAV92YF-RdCVF improved cone function and delayed cone loss, while AAV92YF-RdCVFL increased rhodopsin mRNA and reduced oxidative stress by-products. Intravitreal 7m8-RdCVF slowed the rate of cone cell death and increased the amplitude of the photopic electroretinogram. Together, these results indicate different functions for Nxnl1 isoforms in the retina and suggest that RdCVF gene therapy has potential for treating retinal degenerative disease. PMID:25415434

  17. Transcriptome Dynamics of Developing Photoreceptors in Three-Dimensional Retina Cultures Recapitulates Temporal Sequence of Human Cone and Rod Differentiation Revealing Cell Surface Markers and Gene Networks.

    PubMed

    Kaewkhaw, Rossukon; Kaya, Koray Dogan; Brooks, Matthew; Homma, Kohei; Zou, Jizhong; Chaitankar, Vijender; Rao, Mahendra; Swaroop, Anand

    2015-12-01

    The derivation of three-dimensional (3D) stratified neural retina from pluripotent stem cells has permitted investigations of human photoreceptors. We have generated a H9 human embryonic stem cell subclone that carries a green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter under the control of the promoter of cone-rod homeobox (CRX), an established marker of postmitotic photoreceptor precursors. The CRXp-GFP reporter replicates endogenous CRX expression in vitro when the H9 subclone is induced to form self-organizing 3D retina-like tissue. At day 37, CRX+ photoreceptors appear in the basal or middle part of neural retina and migrate to apical side by day 67. Temporal and spatial patterns of retinal cell type markers recapitulate the predicted sequence of development. Cone gene expression is concomitant with CRX, whereas rod differentiation factor neural retina leucine zipper protein (NRL) is first observed at day 67. At day 90, robust expression of NRL and its target nuclear receptor NR2E3 is evident in many CRX+ cells, while minimal S-opsin and no rhodopsin or L/M-opsin is present. The transcriptome profile, by RNA-seq, of developing human photoreceptors is remarkably concordant with mRNA and immunohistochemistry data available for human fetal retina although many targets of CRX, including phototransduction genes, exhibit a significant delay in expression. We report on temporal changes in gene signatures, including expression of cell surface markers and transcription factors; these expression changes should assist in isolation of photoreceptors at distinct stages of differentiation and in delineating coexpression networks. Our studies establish the first global expression database of developing human photoreceptors, providing a reference map for functional studies in retinal cultures. PMID:26235913

  18. Mouse cortical collecting duct cells show nonselective cation channel activity and express a gene related to the cGMP-gated rod photoreceptor channel.

    PubMed Central

    Ahmad, I; Korbmacher, C; Segal, A S; Cheung, P; Boulpaep, E L; Barnstable, C J

    1992-01-01

    Apical nonselective cation channels with an average single-channel conductance of 34 +/- 2.3 pS were found in M-1 mouse cortical collecting duct cells. Channel activity is increased by depolarization and abolished by cytoplasmic calcium removal. Cytoplasmic application of 0.1 mM cGMP decreases channel open probability by 27%. cDNAs corresponding to approximately 40% of the coding region of the photoreceptor channel were isolated by the polymerase chain reaction from M-1 cells and a rat kidney cDNA library. The rat kidney-derived sequence differs by a single base, and the M-1-cell-derived sequence differs by only two bases, from the photoreceptor sequence. A second clone from M-1 cells differs by 20 out of 426 bases from the photoreceptor sequence. In all three clones, the deduced amino acid sequence is identical to that of the rat photoreceptor channel. Northern blot analysis of poly(A)+ RNA from M-1 cells reveals the presence of a 3.2-kilobase band hybridizing with a retinal cGMP-gated cation channel probe. The results suggest the expression in M-1 cells of more than one gene coding for nonselective cation channels or channel subunits, one of which is identical to the cGMP-gated cation channel gene of rod photoreceptors. Images PMID:1279673

  19. In-vivo imaging of the photoreceptor mosaic in retinal dystrophies and correlations with visual function

    SciTech Connect

    Choi, S; Doble, N; Hardy, J; Jones, S; Keltner, J; Olivier, S; Werner, J S

    2005-10-26

    To relate in-vivo microscopic retinal changes to visual function assessed with clinical tests in patients with various forms of retinal dystrophies. The UC Davis Adaptive Optics (AO) Fundus Camera was used to acquire in-vivo retinal images at the cellular level. Visual function tests, consisting of visual field analysis, multifocal electroretinography (mfERG), contrast sensitivity and color vision measures, were performed on all subjects. Five patients with different forms of retinal dystrophies and three control subjects were recruited. Cone densities were quantified for all retinal images. In all images of diseased retinas, there were extensive areas of dark space between groups of photoreceptors, where no cone photoreceptors were evident. These irregular features were not seen in healthy retinas, but were characteristic features in fundi with retinal dystrophies. There was a correlation between functional vision loss and the extent to which the irregularities occurred in retinal images. Cone densities were found to decrease with an associated decrease in retinal function. AO fundus photography is a reliable technique for assessing and quantifying the changes in the photoreceptor layer as disease progresses. Furthermore, this technique can be useful in cases where visual function tests give borderline or ambiguous results, as it allows visualization of individual photoreceptors.

  20. In Vivo Imaging of the Photoreceptor Mosaic in Retinal Dystrophies and Correlations with Visual Function

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Stacey S.; Doble, Nathan; Hardy, Joseph L.; Jones, Steven M.; Keltner, John L.; Olivier, Scot S.; Werner, John S.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose To relate in vivo microscopic retinal changes to visual function in patients who have various forms of retinal dystrophy. Methods The UC Davis Adaptive Optics (AO) fundus camera was used to acquire in vivo retinal images at the cellular level. Visual function tests consisting of visual fields, multifocal electroretinography (mfERG), and contrast sensitivity were measured in all subjects by using stimuli that were coincident with areas imaged. Five patients with different forms of retinal dystrophy and three control subjects were recruited. Cone densities were quantified for all retinal images. Results In all images of diseased retinas, there were extensive areas of dark space between groups of photoreceptors, where no cone photoreceptors were evident. These irregular features were not seen in healthy retinas, but were apparent in patients with retinal dystrophy. There were significant correlations between functional vision losses and the extent to which these irregularities, quantified by cone density, occurred in retinal images. Conclusions AO fundus imaging is a reliable technique for assessing and quantifying the changes in the photoreceptor layer as disease progresses. Furthermore, this technique can be useful in cases where visual function tests provide borderline or ambiguous results, as it allows visualization of individual photoreceptors. PMID:16639019

  1. Gene structure and chromosome localization to 7q21.3 of the human rod photoreceptor transducin {gamma}-subunit gene (GNGT1)

    SciTech Connect

    Scherer, S.W.; Tsui, Lap-Chee |; Feinstein, D.S.

    1996-07-01

    The transducin {gamma}-subunit gene (GNGT1) encodes a member ({gamma}{sub 1}) of the family of heterotrimeric G-protein {gamma}-subunits that is specific to rod photoreceptors. In this report we have determined the complete structure of the GNGT1 gene and have localized it to human chromosome 7q21.3 using somatic cell hybrid and yeast artificial chromosome analysis. 16 refs., 2 figs.

  2. MicroRNA changes through Müller glia dedifferentiation and early/late rod photoreceptor differentiation.

    PubMed

    Quintero, H; Gómez-Montalvo, A I; Lamas, M

    2016-03-01

    Cell-type determination is a complex process driven by the combinatorial effect of extrinsic signals and the expression of transcription factors and regulatory genes. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that, generally, inhibit the expression of target genes and have been involved, among other processes, in cell identity acquisition. To search for candidate miRNAs putatively involved in mice rod photoreceptor and Müller glia (MG) identity, we compared miRNA expression profiles between late-stage retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), CD73-immunopositive (CD73+) rods and postnatal MG. We found a close similarity between RPCs and CD73+ miRNA expression profiles but a divergence between CD73+ and MG miRNA signatures. We validated preferentially expressed miRNAs in the CD73+ subpopulation (miR-182, 183, 124a, 9(∗), 181c and 301b(∗)) or MG (miR-143, 145, 214, 199a-5p, 199b(∗), and 29a). Taking advantage of the unique capacity of MG to dedifferentiate into progenitor-like cells that can be differentiated to a rod phenotype in response to external cues, we evaluated changes of selected miRNAs in MG-derived progenitors (MGDP) during neuronal differentiation. We found decreased levels of miR-143 and 145, but increased levels of miR-29a in MGDP. In MGDPs committed to early neuronal lineages we found increased levels of miR-124a and upregulation of miR-124a, 9(∗) and 181c during MGDP acquisition of rod phenotypes. Furthermore, we demonstrated that ectopic miR-124 expression is sufficient to enhance early neuronal commitment of MGDP. Our data reveal a dynamic regulation of miRNAs in MGDP through early and late neuronal commitment and miRNAs that could be potential targets to exploit the silent neuronal differentiation capacity of MG in mammals. PMID:26708746

  3. Knockout of RP2 decreases GRK1 and rod transducin subunits and leads to photoreceptor degeneration in zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Liu, Fei; Chen, Jiaxiang; Yu, Shanshan; Raghupathy, Rakesh Kotapati; Liu, Xiliang; Qin, Yayun; Li, Chang; Huang, Mi; Liao, Shengjie; Wang, Jiuxiang; Zou, Jian; Shu, Xinhua; Tang, Zhaohui; Liu, Mugen

    2015-08-15

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) affects about 1.8 million individuals worldwide. X-linked retinitis pigmentosa (XLRP) is one of the most severe forms of RP. Nearly 85% of XLRP cases are caused by mutations in the X-linked retinitis pigmentosa 2 (RP2) and RPGR. RP2 has been considered to be a GTPase activator protein for ARL3 and to play a role in the traffic of ciliary proteins. The mechanism of how RP2 mutations cause RP is still unclear. In this study, we generated an RP2 knockout zebrafish line using transcription activator-like effector nuclease technology. Progressive retinal degeneration could be observed in the mutant zebrafish. The degeneration of rods' outer segments (OSs) is predominant, followed by the degeneration of cones' OS. These phenotypes are similar to the characteristics of RP2 patients, and also partly consistent with the phenotypes of RP2 knockout mice and morpholino-mediated RP2 knockdown zebrafish. For the first time, we found RP2 deletion leads to decreased protein levels and abnormal retinal localizations of GRK1 and rod transducin subunits (GNAT1 and GNB1) in zebrafish. Furthermore, the distribution of the total farnesylated proteins in zebrafish retina is also affected by RP2 ablation. These molecular alterations observed in the RP2 knockout zebrafish might probably be responsible for the gradual loss of the photoreceptors' OSs. Our work identified the progression of retinal degeneration in RP2 knockout zebrafish, provided a foundation for revealing the pathogenesis of RP caused by RP2 mutations, and would help to develop potential therapeutics against RP in further studies. PMID:26034134

  4. Interaction of 4.1G and cGMP-gated channels in rod photoreceptor outer segments

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Christiana L.; Molday, Robert S.

    2013-01-01

    Summary In photoreceptors, the assembly of signaling molecules into macromolecular complexes is important for phototransduction and maintaining the structural integrity of rod outer segments (ROSs). However, the molecular composition and formation of these complexes are poorly understood. Using immunoprecipitation and mass spectrometry, 4.1G was identified as a new interacting partner for the cyclic-nucleotide gated (CNG) channels in ROSs. 4.1G is a widely expressed multifunctional protein that plays a role in the assembly and stability of membrane protein complexes. Multiple splice variants of 4.1G were cloned from bovine retina. A smaller splice variant of 4.1G selectively interacted with CNG channels not associated with peripherin-2–CNG channel complex. A combination of truncation studies and domain-binding assays demonstrated that CNG channels selectively interacted with 4.1G through their FERM and CTD domains. Using immunofluorescence, labeling of 4.1G was seen to be punctate and partially colocalized with CNG channels in the ROS. Our studies indicate that 4.1G interacts with a subset of CNG channels in the ROS and implicate this protein–protein interaction in organizing the spatial arrangement of CNG channels in the plasma membrane of outer segments. PMID:24144699

  5. Sensitive light scattering probe of enzymatic processes in retinal rod photoreceptor membranes.

    PubMed

    Lewis, J W; Miller, J L; Mendel-Hartvig, J; Schaechter, L E; Kliger, D S; Dratz, E A

    1984-02-01

    Light excitation of as little as 0.05% of the rhodopsin in a retinal rod membrane suspension reduces the near-IR optical transmission by 25%. This transmission decrease requires the presence of guanosine triphosphate, is opposite in sign and 25 times larger in amplitude than a GTP-dependent light-scattering signal previously reported in rod outer segment suspensions [Kuhn, H., Bennett, N., Michel-Vallez, M. & Chabre, M. (1981) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 78, 6873-6877], and is kinetically complex. The initial phase of the optical transmission decrease begins after about a 50-ms lag (at 0.05% bleach) and has a first-order time constant of 300-500 ms. The scattering signal returns to the preactinic baseline in a time dependent on the amount of GTP added. A nonhydrolyzable GTP analogue, guanylyl imidodiphosphate, produces a scattering signal that does not return to the preactinic baseline. Adenosine triphosphate strongly inhibits the return of the GTP-dependent transmission decrease to the preactinic baseline. This effect of ATP on the GTP signal apparently requires ATP hydrolysis because it is inhibited by the simultaneous presence of adenylyl imidodiphosphate, a nonhydrolyzable analogue of ATP. The light-scattering signal and the velocity of the activation of a rod outer segment phosphodiesterase saturate when >0.05% of the rhodopsin is bleached and both show nearly identical dependence on light stimulus. It is suggested that these nucleotide-dependent light-scattering signals arise from changes in the state of membrane aggregation that are controlled by enzymatic processes. This hypothesis is supported by the large amplitude of the signals, sedimentation experiments, and a strong membrane concentration dependence. The ATP effects can be rationalized within the above hypothesis as being due to ATP-dependent rhodopsin phosphorylation that adds negative charges to the membrane surface and tends to keep the membranes disaggregated. An additional signal, which increases

  6. Photoreceptor Pathology in the X-Linked Retinoschisis (XLRS) Mouse Results in Delayed Rod Maturation and Impaired Light Driven Transducin Translocation

    PubMed Central

    Ziccardi, Lucia; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; Bush, Ronald A.; Sieving, Paul A.

    2014-01-01

    Light-activated movement of transducin-α (Gαt1) from rod photoreceptor outer segments (ROS) into inner segments (IS) enables rods to rapidly adapt to changes in light intensity. The threshold light intensity at which Gαt1 translocates from ROS into IS is primarily determined by the rates of activation and inactivation of Gαt1. Loss- of- expression of the retina specific cell surface protein, retinoschsin (Rs1-KO), led to a dramatic 3–10 fold increase, depending on age, in the luminance threshold for transducin translocation from ROS into IS compared with wild-type control. In contrast, arrestin translocated from IS into ROS at the same light intensity both in WT and Rs1-KO mice. Biochemical changes, including reduced transducin protein levels and enhanced transducin GTPase activity, explain the shift in light intensity threshold for Gαt1 translocation in Rs1-KO mice. These changes in Rs1-KO mice were also associated with age related alterations in photoreceptor morphology and transcription factor expression that suggest delayed photoreceptor maturation. PMID:24664744

  7. Mapping of the rod photoreceptor ABC transporter (ABCR) to 1p21-p22.1 and identification of novel mutations in Stargardt's disease.

    PubMed

    Nasonkin, I; Illing, M; Koehler, M R; Schmid, M; Molday, R S; Weber, B H

    1998-01-01

    Using a bovine rod photoreceptor cell-specific ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporter cDNA we have cloned the full-length transcript of the homologous human gene and demonstrate that it is identical to the photoreceptor cell-specific ABC transporter (ABCR) recently shown to be mutated in Stargardt's disease. By fluorescence in situ hybridization we have mapped the ABCR gene to chromosomal band 1p21-p22.1. Mutational analysis of part of the gene in 15 Stargardt's disease patients has identified four disease-causing mutations, of which two represent potential null alleles. This brings the total number of independently identified mutations to 23, providing further evidence that the human ABCR gene is associated with Stargardt's disease. PMID:9490294

  8. Loss of Retinoschisin (RS1) Cell Surface Protein in Maturing Mouse Rod Photoreceptors Elevates the Luminance Threshold for Light-Driven Translocation of Transducin But Not Arrestin

    PubMed Central

    Ziccardi, Lucia; Vijayasarathy, Camasamudram; Bush, Ronald A.

    2012-01-01

    Loss of retinoschisin (RS1) in Rs1 knock-out (Rs1–KO) retina produces a post-photoreceptor phenotype similar to X-linked retinoschisis in young males. However, Rs1 is expressed strongly in photoreceptors, and Rs1–KO mice have early reduction in the electroretinogram a-wave. We examined light-activated transducin and arrestin translocation in young Rs1–KO mice as a marker for functional abnormalities in maturing rod photoreceptors. We found a progressive reduction in luminance threshold for transducin translocation in wild-type (WT) retinas between postnatal days P18 and P60. At P21, the threshold in Rs1–KO retinas was 10-fold higher than WT, but it decreased to <2.5-fold higher by P60. Light-activated arrestin translocation and re-translocation of transducin in the dark were not affected. Rs1–KO rod outer segment (ROS) length was significantly shorter than WT at P21 but was comparable with WT at P60. These findings suggested a delay in the structural and functional maturation of Rs1–KO ROS. Consistent with this, transcription factors CRX and NRL, which are fundamental to maturation of rod protein expression, were reduced in ROS of Rs1–KO mice at P21 but not at P60. Expression of transducin was 15–30% lower in P21 Rs1–KO ROS and transducin GTPase hydrolysis was nearly twofold faster, reflecting a 1.7- to 2.5-fold increase in RGS9 (regulator of G-protein signaling) level. Transduction protein expression and activity levels were similar to WT at P60. Transducin translocation threshold elevation indicates photoreceptor functional abnormalities in young Rs1–KO mice. Rapid reduction in threshold coupled with age-related changes in transduction protein levels and transcription factor expression are consistent with delayed maturation of Rs1–KO photoreceptors. PMID:22993419

  9. Spectral correlates of a quasi-stable depolarization in barnacle photoreceptor following red light.

    PubMed

    Brown, H M; Cornwall, M C

    1975-07-01

    1. Illumination of B. eburneus photoreceptors with intense red light produces a membrane depolarization that persists in darkness. This quasistable depolarization (latch-up) can be terminated with green light. The phenomenon was investigated with electrophysiological, spectrochemical, and microspectrophotometric techniques. 2. Latch-up was associated with a stable inward current in cells with the membrane potential voltage-clamped at the resting potential in darkness. The stable current could only be elicited at wave-lengths greater than 580 nm. 3. Light-induced current (LIC) was measured at various wave-lengths in dark-adapted photoreceptors with the membrane voltage-clamped to the resting potential. The minimum number of photons required to elicit a fixed amount of LIC occurred at 540 nm, indicating that the photoreceptor is maximally sensitive to this wave-length of light. The photoreceptor was also sensitive to wave-lengths in the near-U.V. region of the spectrum (380-420 nm). 4. Steady red adapting light reduced the magnitude of the LIC uniformly at all wave-lengths except in the near-U.V. region of the spectrum; sensitivity was reduced less in this region. 5. The spectrum for termination of the stable inward current following or during red light was shifted to the blue (peak about 510 nm) compared to the peak for LIC (peak about 540 nm). 6. Absorbance of single cells prepared under bright, red light decreased maximally at 480 nm following exposure to wave-lengths of light longer than 540 nm. 7. A pigment extract of 1000 barnacle ocelli prepared under dim, red light had a maximum absorbance change at 480 nm when bleached with blue-gree light. 8. There was no evidence in the latter two experiments of photointerconversion of pigments with absorbance maxima at 480 and 540 nm. Rather, the maximum absorption of the bleaching products seemed to occur at wave-lengths shorter than 420 nm. 9. Since latch-up induction occurs at wave-lengths longer than 580 nm, it may

  10. Observation of cone and rod photoreceptors in normal subjects and patients using a new generation adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope

    PubMed Central

    Merino, David; Duncan, Jacque L.; Tiruveedhula, Pavan; Roorda, Austin

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate the capability of a new generation adaptive optics scanning laser ophthalmoscope (AOSLO) to resolve cones and rods in normal subjects, and confirm our findings by comparing cone and rod spacing with published histology measurements. Cone and rod spacing measurements are also performed on AOSLO images from two different diseased eyes, one affected by achromatopsia and the other by acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR). The potential of AOSLO technology in the study of these and other retinal diseases is illustrated. PMID:21833357

  11. Comparative Quantification in Three-Dimensional Cultures reveals Epigenetic Memory and Higher Efficiency Retinogenesis in iPSCs Derived from Differentiated Rod Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hiler, Daniel; Chen, Xiang; Hazen, Jennifer; Kupriyanov, Sergey; Carroll, Patrick A.; Qu, Chunxu; Xu, Beisi; Johnson, Dianna; Griffiths, Lyra; Frase, Sharon; Rodriguez, Alberto R.; Martin, Greg; Zhang, Jiakun; Jeon, Jongrye; Fan, Yiping; Finkelstein, David; Eisenman, Robert N.; Baldwin, Kristin; Dyer, Michael A.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Cell-based therapies to treat retinal degeneration are now being tested in clinical trials. However, it is not known if the source of stem cells is important for the production of differentiated cells suitable for transplantation. To test this, we generated iPSCs murine rod photoreceptors (r-iPSCs) and scored their ability to make retina using a standardized quantitative protocol called STEM-RET. We discovered that r-iPSCs were more efficient at producing differentiated retina than embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or fibroblast-derived iPSCs (f-iPSCs). Retinae derived from f-iPSCs had a reduction in amacrine cells and other inner nuclear layer cells. Integrated epigenetic analysis showed that DNA methylation contributes to the defects in f-iPSC retinogenesis and that rod specific CTCF insulator protein binding sites may promote retinogenes in r-iPSCs. Taken together, our data suggest that the source of stem cells are important for producing retinal neurons in 3D organ cultures. PMID:26140606

  12. Repair of the degenerate retina by photoreceptor transplantation

    PubMed Central

    Barber, Amanda C.; Hippert, Claire; Duran, Yanai; West, Emma L.; Bainbridge, James W. B.; Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Luhmann, Ulrich F. O.; Lakowski, Jorn; Sowden, Jane C.; Ali, Robin R.; Pearson, Rachael A.

    2013-01-01

    Despite different aetiologies, age-related macular degeneration and most inherited retinal disorders culminate in the same final common pathway, the loss of photoreceptors. There are few treatments and none reverse the loss of vision. Photoreceptor replacement by transplantation is proposed as a broad treatment strategy applicable to all degenerations. Recently, we demonstrated restoration of vision following rod-photoreceptor transplantation into a mouse model of stationary night-blindness, raising the critical question of whether photoreceptor replacement is equally effective in different types and stages of degeneration. We present a comprehensive assessment of rod-photoreceptor transplantation across six murine models of inherited photoreceptor degeneration. Transplantation is feasible in all models examined but disease type has a major impact on outcome, as assessed both by the morphology and number of integrated rod-photoreceptors. Integration can increase (Prph2+/Δ307), decrease (Crb1rd8/rd8, Gnat1−/−, Rho−/−), or remain constant (PDE6βrd1/rd1, Prph2rd2/rd2) with disease progression, depending upon the gene defect, with no correlation with severity. Robust integration is possible even in late-stage disease. Glial scarring and outer limiting membrane integrity, features that change with degeneration, significantly affect transplanted photoreceptor integration. Combined breakdown of these barriers markedly increases integration in a model with an intact outer limiting membrane, strong gliotic response, and otherwise poor transplantation outcome (Rho−/−), leading to an eightfold increase in integration and restoration of visual function. Thus, it is possible to achieve robust integration across a broad range of inherited retinopathies. Moreover, transplantation outcome can be improved by administering appropriate, tailored manipulations of the recipient environment. PMID:23248312

  13. Cyclic GMP-gated channels of bovine rod photoreceptors: affinity, density and stoichiometry of Ca(2+)-calmodulin binding sites.

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, P J

    1996-01-01

    1. Ca(2+)-loaded vesicles of bovine rod outer segment (ROS) membranes were used to examine the influence of Ca(2+)-calmodulin (Ca(2+)-CaM) on the activity of cGMP-gated channels. 2. In vesicles prepared from ROS membranes which were washed at zero free Ca2+, Ca(2+)-CaM reduced the Ca2+ flux to maximally 40%. The dose-response curve for activation of the cGMP-gated channel had a half-maximal value of 36.8 +/- 2 microM in the CaM-free state, and of 55.6 +/- 5.2 microM in the Ca(2+)-CaM-bound state. In both cases the Hill coefficients were 2.2 +/- 0.2. 3. In vesicles prepared from ROS membranes which were washed at 100 microM Ca2+, the dose-response curve was identical to the Ca(2+)-CaM-bound state. 4. Titration of the Ca(2+)-CaM-dependent decrease of the channel activity upon addition of 40 microM cGMP yielded half-maximal Ca(2+)-CaM concentrations (EC50CaM) which were linearly correlated with the concentration of membrane vesicles. Extrapolation of EC50CaM to infinite dilution of vesicles yielded a Ca(2+)-CaM affinity constant for the cGMP-gated channel of 1.01 +/- 0.20 nM. Hill analysis of the Ca(2+)-CaM titrations resulted in a Hill coefficient of 1.36 +/- 0.15. 5. From the slope of the linear regression of EC50CaM plotted vs. the rhodopsin concentration, the molar ratio of rhodopsin to externally accessible Ca(2+)-CaM binding sites of fused ROS membranes was determined to be 1439 +/- 109. Therefore, there are about 720 molecules of rhodopsin per Ca(2+)-CaM binding site present in ROS. 6. Based on these data, a density of 560 Ca(2+)-CaM binding sites micron-2 is estimated for the plasma membrane of bovine ROS, suggesting that there are two Ca(2+)-CaM binding sites per channel. 7. The Ca(2+)-CaM effect did not become noticeable until the ROS membranes were hypotonically washed at free [Ca2+] below 100 nM, suggesting that an endogenous Ca(2+)-binding protein was washed off in the absence of Ca2+. 8. If the endogenous Ca(2+)-binding protein of bovine ROS membranes

  14. Characterisation of the canine rod-cone dysplasia type one gene (rod photoreceptor cGMP phosphodiesterase beta subunit (PDEB)) - a model for human retinitis pigmentosa

    SciTech Connect

    Clements, P.J.M.; Gregory, C.Y.; Petersen-Jones, S.M.

    1994-09-01

    Rod-cone dysplasia type one (rod-1) is an early onset, autosomal recessive retinal dystrophy segregating in the Irish setter breed. It is a model for certain forms of human autosomal recessive retinitis pigmentosa (arRP) caused by mutations in the same gene, PDEB. We confirmed the codon 807 Trp to Stop mutation and were the first to show cosegregation of the mutant allele with disease in a pedigree. We believe that this currently represents the best animal model available for some aspects of arRP, since canine tissues are relatively easy to access compared to human and yet the canine eye is of comparable size, unlike that of the rd mouse. This facilitates therapeutic intervention particularly at the subretinal level. In order to more fully investigate this model we have been characterizing the PDEB gene in the normal dog. Using PCR we have partially mapped the intron/exon structure, demonstrating a very high degree of evolutionary conservation with the mouse and human genes. RT-PCR has been used to reveal expression in a variety of neural and non-neural tissues. A PCR product spanning exons 19 to 22 (which also contains the site for the rcd-1 mutation) is detected in retina but also in tissues such as visual cortex, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, lateral geniculate nucleus, adrenal gland, lung, kidney and ovary. All of these tissues gave a negative result with primers for rds/peripherin, a gene which is expressed in rods and cones. This raises interesting questions about the regulation of PDEB transcripts which is initially being investigated by Northern analysis. In addition, anchored PCR techniques have generated upstream genomic sequences and we are currently mapping the 5{prime} extent of the mRNA transcript in the retina. This will facilitate the analysis of potential upstream promoter elements involved in directing expression.

  15. Excessive activation of cyclic nucleotide-gated channels contributes to neuronal degeneration of photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Vallazza-Deschamps, Géraldine; Cia, David; Gong, Jie; Jellali, Abdeljelil; Duboc, Agnès; Forster, Valérie; Sahel, Jose A; Tessier, Luc-Henri; Picaud, Serge

    2005-09-01

    In different animal models, photoreceptor degeneration was correlated to an abnormal increase in cGMP concentration. The cGMP-induced photoreceptor toxicity was demonstrated by applying the phosphodiesterase inhibitor 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine on retinal explants. To assess the role of cGMP-gated channels in this cGMP toxicity, the Ca(2+) channel blockers verapamil and L- and D-diltiazem, which block cGMP-gated channels with different efficacies, were applied to in vitro animal models of photoreceptor degeneration. These models included: (i) adult rat retinal explants incubated with zaprinast, a more specific inhibitor of the rod phosphodiesterase than 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and (ii) rd mouse retinal explants. Photoreceptor apoptosis was assessed by terminal dUTP nick end labelling and caspase 3 activation. Effects of the blockers on the synaptic rod Ca(2+) channels were measured by patch-clamp recording. In the zaprinast-induced photoreceptor degeneration model, both diltiazem isomers rescued photoreceptors whereas verapamil had no influence. Their neuroprotective efficacy was correlated to their inhibition of cGMP-gated channels (l-diltiazem>d-diltiazem>verapamil=0). In contrast, all three Ca(2+) channel blockers suppressed rod Ca(2+) channel currents similarly. This suppression of the currents by the diltiazem isomers was very weak (16.5%) at the neuroprotective concentration (10 microm). In rd retinal explants, both diltiazem isomers also slowed down rod degeneration in contrast to verapamil. L-diltiazem exhibited this effect at concentrations ranging from 1 to 20 microm. This study further supports the photoreceptor neuroprotection by diltiazem particularly in the rd mouse retina, whereas the absence of neuroprotection by verapamil further suggests the role of cGMP-gated channel activation in the induction of photoreceptor degeneration. PMID:16176343

  16. Photoreceptor Processing Speed and Input Resistance Changes during Light Adaptation Correlate with Spectral Class in the Bumblebee, Bombus impatiens

    PubMed Central

    Skorupski, Peter; Chittka, Lars

    2011-01-01

    Colour vision depends on comparison of signals from photoreceptors with different spectral sensitivities. However, response properties of photoreceptor cells may differ in ways other than spectral tuning. In insects, for example, broadband photoreceptors, with a major sensitivity peak in the green region of the spectrum (>500 nm), drive fast visual processes, which are largely blind to chromatic signals from more narrowly-tuned photoreceptors with peak sensitivities in the blue and UV regions of the spectrum. In addition, electrophysiological properties of the photoreceptor membrane may result in differences in response dynamics of photoreceptors of similar spectral class between species, and different spectral classes within a species. We used intracellular electrophysiological techniques to investigate response dynamics of the three spectral classes of photoreceptor underlying trichromatic colour vision in the bumblebee, Bombus impatiens, and we compare these with previously published data from a related species, Bombus terrestris. In both species, we found significantly faster responses in green, compared with blue- or UV-sensitive photoreceptors, although all 3 photoreceptor types are slower in B. impatiens than in B. terrestris. Integration times for light-adapted B. impatiens photoreceptors (estimated from impulse response half-width) were 11.3±1.6 ms for green photoreceptors compared with 18.6±4.4 ms and 15.6±4.4 for blue and UV, respectively. We also measured photoreceptor input resistance in dark- and light-adapted conditions. All photoreceptors showed a decrease in input resistance during light adaptation, but this decrease was considerably larger (declining to about 22% of the dark value) in green photoreceptors, compared to blue and UV (41% and 49%, respectively). Our results suggest that the conductances associated with light adaptation are largest in green photoreceptors, contributing to their greater temporal processing speed. We suggest that the

  17. X-ray diffraction and electron microscope study of phase separation in rod outer segment photoreceptor membrane multilayers

    SciTech Connect

    Gruner, S.M.; Rothschild, K.J.; Clark, N.A.

    1982-09-01

    Phase separation in artificially stacked multilayers of isolated bovine retinal rod outer segment (ROS) membranes has been examined via x-ray diffraction and electron microscopy. Specimens were prepared by isopotential spin drying followed with partial hydration by equilibration against moist gas streams. Upon dehydration, the multilamellar membrane phase assumes a binary phase composition consisting of concentrated protein-containing lamellae interspersed with microdomains of hexagonally packed tubes of lipid in a H/sub II/ configuration. The H/sub II/ lattice is geometrically coupled to the lamellar phase with one set of hexagonal crystal planes co-planar to the local membrane lamellae. The hexagonal microdomains bear a striking resemblance to the ''paracrystalline inclusions'' observed in fast-frozen, intact frog ROS (Corless and Costello, 1981. Exp. Eye Res. 32:217). The lamellar lattice is characterized by an unusually small degree of disorder. Sharp lamellar diffraction with a 120 angstrom unit cell is observed (at near total dehydration) to a resolution of 6 angstrom. A model consistent with the data is that a multilamellar array of ROS disks is stable as long as the external disk surfaces are kept sufficiently far apart. If the distance between the membranes is allowed to shrink below a certain critical value, the disk lipids, spontaneously convert to a nonbilayer phase. This suggests that the structure of the ROS is stabilized by an internal framework that acts to keep the disks apart from one another and from the plasmalemma. Thus, necessity of avoiding phase separations may provide a rationale for the peculiar morphology of the ROS.

  18. Regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation by adenosine in zebrafish retina

    PubMed Central

    Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z.; O’Brien, John

    2014-01-01

    Electrical coupling of photoreceptors through gap junctions suppresses voltage noise, routes rod signals into cone pathways, expands the dynamic range of rod photoreceptors in high scotopic and mesopic illumination, and improves detection of contrast and small stimuli. In essentially all vertebrates, connexin 35/36 (gene homologues Cx36 in mammals, Cx35 in other vertebrates) is the major gap junction protein observed in photoreceptors, mediating rod-cone, cone-cone, and possibly rod-rod communication. Photoreceptor coupling is dynamically controlled by the day/night cycle and light/dark adaptation, and is directly correlated with phosphorylation of Cx35/36 at two sites, serine110 and serine 276/293 (homologous sites in teleost fish and mammals respectively). Activity of protein kinase A (PKA) plays a key role during this process. Previous studies have shown that activation of dopamine D4 receptors on photoreceptors inhibits adenylyl cyclase, down-regulates cAMP and PKA activity, and leads to photoreceptor uncoupling, imposing the daytime/light condition. In this study we explored the role of adenosine, a nighttime signal with a high extracellular concentration at night and a low concentration in the day, in regulating photoreceptor coupling by examining photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina. Adenosine enhanced photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in daytime, but with a complex dose-response curve. Selective pharmacological manipulations revealed that adenosine A2a receptors provide a potent positive drive to phosphorylate photoreceptor Cx35 under the influence of endogenous adenosine at night. A2a receptors can be activated in the daytime as well by micromolar exogenous adenosine. However, the higher affinity adenosine A1 receptors are also present and have an antagonistic though less potent effect. Thus the nighttime/darkness signal adenosine provides a net positive drive on Cx35 phosphorylation at night, working in opposition to dopamine to

  19. Regulation of photoreceptor gap junction phosphorylation by adenosine in zebrafish retina.

    PubMed

    Li, Hongyan; Chuang, Alice Z; O'Brien, John

    2014-05-01

    Electrical coupling of photoreceptors through gap junctions suppresses voltage noise, routes rod signals into cone pathways, expands the dynamic range of rod photoreceptors in high scotopic and mesopic illumination, and improves detection of contrast and small stimuli. In essentially all vertebrates, connexin 35/36 (gene homologs Cx36 in mammals, Cx35 in other vertebrates) is the major gap junction protein observed in photoreceptors, mediating rod-cone, cone-cone, and possibly rod-rod communication. Photoreceptor coupling is dynamically controlled by the day/night cycle and light/dark adaptation, and is directly correlated with phosphorylation of Cx35/36 at two sites, serine110 and serine 276/293 (homologous sites in teleost fish and mammals, respectively). Activity of protein kinase A (PKA) plays a key role during this process. Previous studies have shown that activation of dopamine D4 receptors on photoreceptors inhibits adenylyl cyclase, down-regulates cAMP and PKA activity, and leads to photoreceptor uncoupling, imposing the daytime/light condition. In this study, we explored the role of adenosine, a nighttime signal with a high extracellular concentration at night and a low concentration in the day, in regulating photoreceptor coupling by examining photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in zebrafish retina. Adenosine enhanced photoreceptor Cx35 phosphorylation in daytime, but with a complex dose-response curve. Selective pharmacological manipulations revealed that adenosine A2a receptors provide a potent positive drive to phosphorylate photoreceptor Cx35 under the influence of endogenous adenosine at night. A2a receptors can be activated in the daytime as well by micromolar exogenous adenosine. However, the higher affinity adenosine A1 receptors are also present and have an antagonistic though less potent effect. Thus, the nighttime/darkness signal adenosine provides a net positive drive on Cx35 phosphorylation at night, working in opposition to dopamine to

  20. Photoreceptor engineering

    PubMed Central

    Ziegler, Thea; Möglich, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    Sensory photoreceptors not only control diverse adaptive responses in Nature, but as light-regulated actuators they also provide the foundation for optogenetics, the non-invasive and spatiotemporally precise manipulation of cellular events by light. Novel photoreceptors have been engineered that establish control by light over manifold biological processes previously inaccessible to optogenetic intervention. Recently, photoreceptor engineering has witnessed a rapid development, and light-regulated actuators for the perturbation of a plethora of cellular events are now available. Here, we review fundamental principles of photoreceptors and light-regulated allostery. Photoreceptors dichotomize into associating receptors that alter their oligomeric state as part of light-regulated allostery and non-associating receptors that do not. A survey of engineered photoreceptors pinpoints light-regulated association reactions and order-disorder transitions as particularly powerful and versatile design principles. Photochromic photoreceptors that are bidirectionally toggled by two light colors augur enhanced spatiotemporal resolution and use as photoactivatable fluorophores. By identifying desirable traits in engineered photoreceptors, we provide pointers for the design of future, light-regulated actuators. PMID:26137467

  1. Mouse retinal adaptive response to proton irradiation: Correlation with DNA repair and photoreceptor cell death

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tronov, V. A.; Vinogradova, Yu. V.; Poplinskaya, V. A.; Nekrasova, E. I.; Ostrovsky, M. A.

    2015-01-01

    Emerging body of data indicate protecting effect of low level of stress (preconditioning) on retina. Our previous study revealed non-linear dose-response relationship for cytotoxicity of both ionizing radiation and N-methyl-N-nitrosourea (MNU) on mouse retina. Moreover, non cytotoxic dose of MNU increased tolerance of retina to following challenge dose of MNU. This result displays protection of retina through mechanism of recovery. In present study we used the mouse model for MNU-induced retinal degeneration to evaluate adaptive response of retina to proton irradiation and implication in it of glial Muller cells. The data showed that the recovery of retina after genotoxic agents has been associated with increased efficacy of DNA damage repair and lowered death of retinal photoreceptor cells.

  2. Correlates of photoreceptor rescue by transplantation of human fetal RPE in the RCS rat.

    PubMed

    Little, C W; Cox, C; Wyatt, J; del Cerro, C; del Cerro, M

    1998-01-01

    This study uses a water maze paradigm as a tool to assess posttransplantation changes in behavior associated with a visual stimulus. A set of dystrophic RCS rats received bilateral injections of freshly isolated human fetal RPE cells into the subretinal space of the superior equatorial hemisphere. Five age-matched control dystrophic RCS rats received subretinal injections of vehicle. All animals were immunosuppressed. At 2 months posttransplantation, each rat was tested in the water escape apparatus. The rat used a single light source, randomly located on the edge of the tank, to locate a submerged platform, placed directly in front of the light. Each rat was timed and videotaped during 10 consecutive trials. The swimming paths and times for all rats were recorded and statistically analyzed. Subsequent to the water escape trials, the eyes were embedded for histologic analysis which included quantitative assessment of photoreceptor cells in predefined retinal regions. The water escape data indicated the differences between the sham and experimental groups changed significantly over time (P = 0.0017). Over time, the transplanted animals learned to use light as a clue (P < 0.0001), whereas the sham animals did not (P = 0.73). Transplanted eyes had a significantly greater mean number of photoreceptors in the superior, grafted region than seen in the inferior region of the same eyes and compared with either region of sham-injected eyes (P = 0.0023). Statistical analyses demonstrated a functional advantage for visually guided behavior in RCS rats transplanted with human fetal RPE cells and a statistically significant PRC rescue effect at 2 months after transplantation. PMID:9454624

  3. Epigenomic landscapes of retinal rods and cones

    PubMed Central

    Mo, Alisa; Luo, Chongyuan; Davis, Fred P; Mukamel, Eran A; Henry, Gilbert L; Nery, Joseph R; Urich, Mark A; Picard, Serge; Lister, Ryan; Eddy, Sean R; Beer, Michael A; Ecker, Joseph R; Nathans, Jeremy

    2016-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptors are highly similar in many respects but they have important functional and molecular differences. Here, we investigate genome-wide patterns of DNA methylation and chromatin accessibility in mouse rods and cones and correlate differences in these features with gene expression, histone marks, transcription factor binding, and DNA sequence motifs. Loss of NR2E3 in rods shifts their epigenomes to a more cone-like state. The data further reveal wide differences in DNA methylation between retinal photoreceptors and brain neurons. Surprisingly, we also find a substantial fraction of DNA hypo-methylated regions in adult rods that are not in active chromatin. Many of these regions exhibit hallmarks of regulatory regions that were active earlier in neuronal development, suggesting that these regions could remain undermethylated due to the highly compact chromatin in mature rods. This work defines the epigenomic landscapes of rods and cones, revealing features relevant to photoreceptor development and function. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11613.001 PMID:26949250

  4. Photoreceptor-targeted gene delivery using intravitreally administered AAV vectors in dogs

    PubMed Central

    Boyd, RF; Sledge, DG; Boye, SL; Boye, SE; Hauswirth, WW; Komáromy, AM; Petersen-Jones, SM; Bartoe, JT

    2016-01-01

    Delivery of therapeutic transgenes to retinal photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors has traditionally required subretinal injection. Recently, photoreceptor transduction efficiency following intravitreal injection (IVT) has improved in rodent models through use of capsid-mutant AAV vectors; but remains limited in large animal models. Thickness of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) in large animals is thought to impair retinal penetration by AAV. Our study compared two newly developed AAV vectors containing multiple capsid amino acid substitutions following IVT in dogs. The ability of two promoter constructs to restrict reporter transgene expression to photoreceptors was also evaluated. AAV vectors containing the interphotoreceptor-binding protein (IRBP) promoter drove expression exclusively in rod and cone photoreceptors, with transduction efficiencies of ~ 4% of cones and 2% of rods. Notably, in the central region containing the cone-rich visual streak, 15.6% of cones were transduced. Significant regional variation existed, with lower transduction efficiencies in the temporal regions of all eyes. This variation did not correlate with ILM thickness. Vectors carrying a cone-specific promoter failed to transduce a quantifiable percentage of cone photoreceptors. The newly developed AAV vectors containing the IRBP promoter were capable of producing photoreceptor-specific transgene expression following IVT in the dog. PMID:26467396

  5. Correlation between Depth Perception by Three-Rods Test and Stereoacuity by Distance Randot Stereotest

    PubMed Central

    Negayama, Ryo; Sakata, Hiroyuki; Hasebe, Kayoko

    2014-01-01

    Background The examination of depth perception with three-rods test, in addition to visual acuity testing, is required to obtain motor vehicle license to drive taxies and trucks, according to the Road Traffic Act in Japan. The aim of this study was to examine whether the results of the three-rods test would correlate with the results of static stereopsis tests, used in ophthalmic practice. Methods This study involved 54 normal subjects, 9 women and 45 men, with ages ranging from 18 to 25 (mean, 20.8) years. All had visual acuity of 0.8 or better with or without glasses or contact lenses correction and had no strabismus at the distant (5 m) or near (0.3 m) fixation. TNO Stereotest and Titmus Stereotest were examined at 40 cm while Distance Randot Stereotest was at 3 m. At three-rods test, a central rod was moved at the speed of 50 mm/sec forward and backward automatically against two laterally located fixed rods, placed inside the illuminated box. An examinee at the distance of 2.5 m observed the rods inside the box from a small viewing window and pushed a button to stop the central rod in alignment with the fixed rods. Erred distance (mm) of the central rod from the fixed rods as a mean of 4 measurements was correlated with stereoacuity in second of arc, measured by three kinds of the stereopsis tests. Results The erred distance of three-rods test was positively correlated with static stereoacuity at distance measured with Distance Randot Stereotest (ρ = 0.418, p = 0.0023, Spearman rank correlation test) and also with the other stereopsis tests at near fixation. The stereoacuity at near fixation, measured by TNO Stereotest and Titmus Stereotest, was positively correlated with each other (ρ = 0.431, p = 0.0017). Conclusion Three-rods test, examining depth perception, together with the response by eye-hand coordination, gave consistent results with distant static stereoacuity when measured with Distance Randot Stereotest. PMID:25058604

  6. Transcriptome profiling of developing photoreceptor subtypes reveals candidate genes involved in avian photoreceptor diversification

    PubMed Central

    Enright, Jennifer M.; Lawrence, Karen A.; Hadzic, Tarik; Corbo, Joseph C.

    2015-01-01

    Avian photoreceptors are a diverse class of neurons, comprised of four single cones, the two members of the double cone, and rods. The signaling events and transcriptional regulators driving the differentiation of these diverse photoreceptors are currently unknown. In addition, many distinctive features of photoreceptor subtypes, including spectral tuning, oil droplet size and pigmentation, synaptic targets and spatial patterning, have been well characterized, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these attributes have not been explored. To identify genes specifically expressed in distinct chicken (Gallus gallus) photoreceptor subtypes, we developed fluorescent reporters that label photoreceptor subpopulations, isolated these subpopulations using fluorescence-activated cell sorting and subjected them to next-generation sequencing. By comparing the expression profiles of photoreceptors labeled with rhodopsin, red opsin, green opsin, and violet opsin reporters, we have identified hundreds of differentially expressed genes that may underlie the distinctive features of these photoreceptor subtypes. These genes are involved in a variety of processes, including phototransduction, transcriptional regulation, cell adhesion, maintenance of intra- and extra-cellular structure, and metabolism. Of particular note are a variety of differentially expressed transcription factors, which may drive and maintain photoreceptor diversity, and cell adhesion molecules that may mediate spatial patterning of photoreceptors and act to establish retinal circuitry. These analyses provide a framework for future studies that will dissect the role of these various factors in the differentiation of avian photoreceptor subtypes. PMID:25349106

  7. Transcriptome profiling of developing photoreceptor subtypes reveals candidate genes involved in avian photoreceptor diversification.

    PubMed

    Enright, Jennifer M; Lawrence, Karen A; Hadzic, Tarik; Corbo, Joseph C

    2015-03-01

    Avian photoreceptors are a diverse class of neurons, comprised of four single cones, the two members of the double cone, and rods. The signaling events and transcriptional regulators driving the differentiation of these diverse photoreceptors are largely unknown. In addition, many distinctive features of photoreceptor subtypes, including spectral tuning, oil droplet size and pigmentation, synaptic targets, and spatial patterning, have been well characterized, but the molecular mechanisms underlying these attributes have not been explored. To identify genes specifically expressed in distinct chicken (Gallus gallus) photoreceptor subtypes, we developed fluorescent reporters that label photoreceptor subpopulations, isolated these subpopulations by using fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and subjected them to next-generation sequencing. By comparing the expression profiles of photoreceptors labeled with rhodopsin, red opsin, green opsin, and violet opsin reporters, we have identified hundreds of differentially expressed genes that may underlie the distinctive features of these photoreceptor subtypes. These genes are involved in a variety of processes, including phototransduction, transcriptional regulation, cell adhesion, maintenance of intra- and extracellular structure, and metabolism. Of particular note are a variety of differentially expressed transcription factors, which may drive and maintain photoreceptor diversity, and cell adhesion molecules, which may mediate spatial patterning of photoreceptors and act to establish retinal circuitry. These analyses provide a framework for future studies that will dissect the role of these various factors in the differentiation of avian photoreceptor subtypes. PMID:25349106

  8. Long-Term Survival of Photoreceptors Transplanted into the Adult Murine Neural Retina Requires Immune Modulation

    PubMed Central

    West, Emma L.; Pearson, Rachael A.; Barker, Susie E.; Luhmann, Ulrich F. O.; Maclaren, Robert E.; Barber, Amanda C.; Duran, Yanai; Smith, Alexander J.; Sowden, Jane C.; Ali, Robin R.

    2012-01-01

    Stem cell therapy presents an opportunity to replace photoreceptors that are lost as a result of inherited and age-related degenerative disease. We have previously shown that murine postmitotic rod photoreceptor precursor cells, identified by expression of the rod-specific transcription factor Nrl, are able to migrate into and integrate within the adult murine neural retina. However, their long-term survival has yet to be determined. Here, we found that integrated Nrl.gfp+ve photoreceptors were present up to 12 months post-transplantation, albeit in significantly reduced numbers. Surviving cells had rod-like morphology, including inner/outer segments and spherule synapses. In a minority of eyes, we observed an early, marked reduction in integrated photoreceptors within 1 month post-transplantation, which correlated with increased numbers of amoeboid macrophages, indicating acute loss of transplanted cells due to an inflammatory response. In the majority of transplants, similar numbers of integrated cells were observed between 1 and 2 months post-transplantation. By 4 months, however, we observed a significant decrease in integrated cell survival. Macrophages and T cells were present around the transplantation site, indicating a chronic immune response. Immune suppression of recipients significantly increased transplanted photoreceptor survival, indicating that the loss observed in unsuppressed recipients resulted from T cell-mediated host immune responses. Thus, if immune responses are modulated, correctly integrated transplanted photoreceptors can survive for extended periods of time in hosts with partially mismatched H-2 haplotypes. These findings suggest that autologous donor cells are optimal for therapeutic approaches to repair the neural retina, though with immune suppression nonautologous donors may be effective. PMID:20857496

  9. Lack of mGluR6-related cascade elements leads to retrograde trans-synaptic effects on rod photoreceptor synapses via matrix-associated proteins.

    PubMed

    Tummala, Shanti R; Dhingra, Anuradha; Fina, Marie E; Li, Jian J; Ramakrishnan, Hariharasubramanian; Vardi, Noga

    2016-06-01

    Heterotrimeric G-proteins couple metabotropic receptors to downstream effectors. In retinal ON bipolar cells, Go couples the metabotropic receptor mGluR6 to the TRPM1 channel and closes it in the dark, thus hyperpolarizing the cell. Light, via GTPase-activating proteins, deactivates Go , opens TRPM1 and depolarizes the cell. Go comprises Gαo1 , Gβ3 and Gγ13; all are necessary for efficient coupling. In addition, Gβ3 contributes to trafficking of certain cascade proteins and to maintaining the synaptic structure. The goal of this study was to determine the role of Gαo1 in maintaining the cascade and synaptic integrity. Using mice lacking Gαo1 , we quantified the immunostaining of certain mGluR6-related components. Deleting Gαo1 greatly reduced staining for Gβ3, Gγ13, Gβ5, RGS11, RGS7 and R9AP. Deletion of Gαo1 did not affect mGluR6, TRPM1 or PCP2. In addition, deleting Gαo1 reduced the number of rod bipolar dendrites that invaginate the rod terminal, similar to the effect seen in the absence of mGluR6, Gβ3 or the matrix-associated proteins, pikachurin, dystroglycan and dystrophin, which are localized presynaptically to the rod bipolar cell. We therefore tested mice lacking mGluR6, Gαo1 and Gβ3 for expression of these matrix-associated proteins. In all three genotypes, staining intensity for these proteins was lower than in wild type, suggesting a retrograde trans-synaptic effect. We propose that the mGluR6 macromolecular complex is connected to the presynaptic rod terminal via a protein chain that includes the matrix-associated proteins. When a component of the macromolecular chain is missing, the chain may fall apart and loosen the dendritic tip adherence within the invagination. PMID:27037829

  10. Light- and guanosine 5'-3-O-(thio)triphosphate-sensitive localization of a G protein and its effector on detergent-resistant membrane rafts in rod photoreceptor outer segments.

    PubMed

    Seno, K; Kishimoto, M; Abe, M; Higuchi, Y; Mieda, M; Owada, Y; Yoshiyama, W; Liu, H; Hayashi, F

    2001-06-15

    Detergent-resistant membrane microdomains in the plasma membrane, known as lipid rafts, have been implicated in various cellular processes. We report here that a low-density Triton X-100-insoluble membrane (detergent-resistant membrane; DRM) fraction is present in bovine rod photoreceptor outer segments (ROS). In dark-adapted ROS, transducin and most of cGMP-phosphodiesterase (PDE) were detergent-soluble. When ROS membranes were exposed to light, however, a large portion of transducin localized in the DRM fraction. Furthermore, on addition of guanosine 5'-3-O-(thio)triphosphate (GTPgammaS) to light-bleached ROS, transducin became detergent-soluble again. PDE was not recruited to the DRM fraction after light stimulus alone, but simultaneous stimulation by light and GTPgammaS induced a massive translocation of all PDE subunits to the DRM. A cholesterol-removing reagent, methyl-beta-cyclodextrin, selectively but partially solubilized PDE from the DRM, suggesting that cholesterol contributes, at least in part, to the association of PDE with the DRM. By contrast, transducin was not extracted by the depletion of cholesterol. These data suggest that transducin and PDE are likely to perform their functions in phototransduction by changing their localization between two distinct lipid phases, rafts and surrounding fluid membrane, on disc membranes in an activation-dependent manner. PMID:11319214

  11. Correlation of waterside corrosion and cladding microstructure in high-burnup fuel and gadolinia rods

    SciTech Connect

    Chung, H.M. )

    1989-09-01

    Waterside corrosion of the Zircaloy cladding has been examined in high-burnup fuel rods from several BWRs and PWRs, as well as in 3 wt % gadolinia burnable poison rods obtained from a BWR. The corrosion behavior of the high-burnup rods was then correlated with results from a microstructural characterization of the cladding by optical, scanning-electron, and transmission-electron microscopy (OM, SEM, and TEM). OM and SEM examination of the BWR fuel cladding showed both uniform and nodular oxide layers 2 to 45 {mu}m in thickness after burnups of 11 to 30 MWd/kgU. For one of the BWRs, which was operated at 307{degree}C rather than the normal 288{degree}C, a relatively thick (50 to 70 {mu}m) uniform oxide, rather than nodular oxides, was observed after a burnup of 27 to 30 MWd/kgU. TEM characterization revealed a number of microstructural features that occurred in association with the intermetallic precipitates in the cladding metal, apparently as a result of irradiation-induced or -enhanced processes. The BWR rods that exhibited white nodular oxides contained large precipitates (300 to 700 nm in size) that were partially amorphized during service, indicating that a distribution of the large intermetallic precipitates is conductive to nodular oxidation. 23 refs., 9 figs.

  12. Rod outer segment maintenance is enhanced in the presence of bFGF, CNTF and GDNF.

    PubMed

    Carwile, M E; Culbert, R B; Sturdivant, R L; Kraft, T W

    1998-06-01

    We employed a morphological assay of outer segment collapse to determine if growth factors or other supplements directly affect dissociated rod photoreceptors in vitro. The morphological changes in outer segments were correlated with the light responsiveness of rods. Time-lapse video microscopy was used to observe the collapse of rod outer segments from isolated single cells and small clumps of cells. A consistent pattern of outer segment collapse into the inner segment was observed, yielding a convenient assay of the effects of neurotrophic factors on photoreceptor functional maintenance. The functional state of rods, defined as light-responsiveness, was measured with suction electrode recordings and matched with the various stages of outer segment collapse. Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) and glial cell-line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) at a high concentration, yielded statistically significant improvements in rat outer segment survival times. Basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF), which rescues photoreceptors in several rodent models of retinal degeneration, produced a significant increase in survival time in the presence of the cofactor heparin. In 4 out of 10 cases using human tisue, bFGF also yielded a significant increase in survival times. When brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) was applied to rat rods, outer segment survival times did not change. Outer segments collapsed more quickly when either pigment epithelial cell derived factor (PEDF) or sugar N-acetyl D-galactosamine (NAD-gal) were present. Our results show that rod photoreceptors can respond to bFGF, GDNF and CNTF in vitro and provide evidence for a direct effect of these neurotrophic factors on rods. The rapid collapse of isolated photoreceptors in this model provides a convenient means for testing various neurotrophic agents and the induced cellular responses. PMID:9657912

  13. Photovoltage of Rods and Cones in the Macaque Retina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schneeweis, David M.; Schnapf, Julie L.

    1995-05-01

    The kinetics, gain, and reliability of light responses of rod and cone photoreceptors are important determinants of overall visual sensitivity. In voltage recordings from photoreceptors in an intact primate retina, rods were found to be functionally isolated from each other, unlike the tightly coupled rods of cold-blooded vertebrates. Cones were observed to receive excitatory input from rods, which indicates that the cone pathway also processes rod signals. This input might be expected to degrade the spatial resolution of mesopic vision.

  14. Functional significance of the taper of vertebrate cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Hárosi, Ferenc I.

    2012-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptors are commonly distinguished based on the shape of their outer segments: those of cones taper, whereas the ones from rods do not. The functional advantages of cone taper, a common occurrence in vertebrate retinas, remain elusive. In this study, we investigate this topic using theoretical analyses aimed at revealing structure–function relationships in photoreceptors. Geometrical optics combined with spectrophotometric and morphological data are used to support the analyses and to test predictions. Three functions are considered for correlations between taper and functionality. The first function proposes that outer segment taper serves to compensate for self-screening of the visual pigment contained within. The second function links outer segment taper to compensation for a signal-to-noise ratio decline along the longitudinal dimension. Both functions are supported by the data: real cones taper more than required for these compensatory roles. The third function relates outer segment taper to the optical properties of the inner compartment whereby the primary determinant is the inner segment’s ability to concentrate light via its ellipsoid. In support of this idea, the rod/cone ratios of primarily diurnal animals are predicted based on a principle of equal light flux gathering between photoreceptors. In addition, ellipsoid concentration factor, a measure of ellipsoid ability to concentrate light onto the outer segment, correlates positively with outer segment taper expressed as a ratio of characteristic lengths, where critical taper is the yardstick. Depending on a light-funneling property and the presence of focusing organelles such as oil droplets, cone outer segments can be reduced in size to various degrees. We conclude that outer segment taper is but one component of a miniaturization process that reduces metabolic costs while improving signal detection. Compromise solutions in the various retinas and retinal regions occur between

  15. Transcription Coactivators p300 and CBP Are Necessary for Photoreceptor-Specific Chromatin Organization and Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Hennig, Anne K.; Peng, Guang-Hua; Chen, Shiming

    2013-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptor neurons in the mammalian retina possess specialized cellular architecture and functional features for converting light to a neuronal signal. Establishing and maintaining these characteristics requires appropriate expression of a specific set of genes, which is tightly regulated by a network of photoreceptor transcription factors centered on the cone-rod homeobox protein CRX. CRX recruits transcription coactivators p300 and CBP to acetylate promoter-bound histones and activate transcription of target genes. To further elucidate the role of these two coactivators, we conditionally knocked out Ep300 and/or CrebBP in differentiating rods or cones, using opsin-driven Cre recombinase. Knockout of either factor alone exerted minimal effects, but loss of both factors severely disrupted target cell morphology and function: the unique nuclear chromatin organization seen in mouse rods was reversed, accompanied by redistribution of nuclear territories associated with repressive and active histone marks. Transcription of many genes including CRX targets was severely impaired, correlating with reduced histone H3/H4 acetylation (the products of p300/CBP) on target gene promoters. Interestingly, the presence of a single wild-type allele of either coactivator prevented many of these defects, with Ep300 more effective than Cbp. These results suggest that p300 and CBP play essential roles in maintaining photoreceptor-specific structure, function and gene expression. PMID:23922782

  16. Protein sorting, targeting and trafficking in photoreceptor cells

    PubMed Central

    Pearring, Jillian N.; Salinas, Raquel Y.; Baker, Sheila A.; Arshavsky, Vadim Y.

    2013-01-01

    Vision is the most fundamental of our senses initiated when photons are absorbed by the rod and cone photoreceptor neurons of the retina. At the distal end of each photoreceptor resides a light-sensing organelle, called the outer segment, which is a modified primary cilium highly enriched with proteins involved in visual signal transduction. At the proximal end, each photoreceptor has a synaptic terminal, which connects this cell to the downstream neurons for further processing of the visual information. Understanding the mechanisms involved in creating and maintaining functional compartmentalization of photoreceptor cells remains among the most fascinating topics in ocular cell biology. This review will discuss how photoreceptor compartmentalization is supported by protein sorting, targeting and trafficking, with an emphasis on the best-studied cases of outer segment-resident proteins. PMID:23562855

  17. Plasticity of photoreceptor-generating retinal progenitors revealed by prolonged retinoic acid exposure

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Retinoic acid (RA) is important for vertebrate eye morphogenesis and is a regulator of photoreceptor development in the retina. In the zebrafish, RA treatment of postmitotic photoreceptor precursors has been shown to promote the differentiation of rods and red-sensitive cones while inhibiting the differentiation of blue- and UV-sensitive cones. The roles played by RA and its receptors in modifying photoreceptor fate remain to be determined. Results Treatment of zebrafish embryos with RA, beginning at the time of retinal progenitor cell proliferation and prior to photoreceptor terminal mitosis, resulted in a significant alteration of rod and cone mosaic patterns, suggesting an increase in the production of rods at the expense of red cones. Quantitative pattern analyses documented increased density of rod photoreceptors and reduced local spacing between rod cells, suggesting rods were appearing in locations normally occupied by cone photoreceptors. Cone densities were correspondingly reduced and cone photoreceptor mosaics displayed expanded and less regular spacing. These results were consistent with replacement of approximately 25% of positions normally occupied by red-sensitive cones, with additional rods. Analysis of embryos from a RA-signaling reporter line determined that multiple retinal cell types, including mitotic cells and differentiating rods and cones, are capable of directly responding to RA. The RA receptors RXRγ and RARαb are expressed in patterns consistent with mediating the effects of RA on photoreceptors. Selective knockdown of RARαb expression resulted in a reduction in endogenous RA signaling in the retina. Knockdown of RARαb also caused a reduced production of rods that was not restored by simultaneous treatments with RA. Conclusions These data suggest that developing retinal cells have a dynamic sensitivity to RA during retinal neurogenesis. In zebrafish RA may influence the rod vs. cone cell fate decision. The RARαb receptor

  18. Calcium Stores in Vertebrate Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Križaj, David

    2012-01-01

    This review lays out the emerging evidence for the fundamental role of Ca2+ stores and store-operated channels in the Ca2+ homeostasis of rods and cones. Calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) is a major contributor to steady-state and light-evoked photoreceptor Ca2+ homeostasis in the darkness whereas store-operated Ca2+ channels play a more significant role under sustained illumination conditions. The homeostatic response includes dynamic interactions between the plasma membrane, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), mitochondria and/or outer segment disk organelles which dynamically sequester, accumulate and release Ca2+. Coordinated activation of SERCA transporters, ryanodine receptors (RyR), inositol triphosphate receptors (IP3Rs) and TRPC channels amplifies cytosolic voltage-operated signals but also provides a memory trace of previous exposures to light. Store-operated channels, activated by the STIM1 sensor, prevent pathological decrease in [Ca2+]i mediated by excessive activation of PMCA transporters in saturating light. CICR and SOCE may also modulate the transmission of afferent and efferent signals in the outer retina. Thus, Ca2+ stores provide additional complexity, adaptability, tuneability and speed to photoreceptor signaling. PMID:22453974

  19. Iodoacetic acid, but not sodium iodate, creates an inducible swine model of photoreceptor damage.

    PubMed

    Noel, Jennifer M; Fernandez de Castro, Juan P; Demarco, Paul J; Franco, Luisa M; Wang, Wei; Vukmanic, Eric V; Peng, Xiaoyan; Sandell, Julie H; Scott, Patrick A; Kaplan, Henry J; McCall, Maureen A

    2012-04-01

    Our purpose was to find a method to create a large animal model of inducible photoreceptor damage. To this end, we tested in domestic swine the efficacy of two chemical toxins, known to create photoreceptor damage in other species: Iodoacetic Acid (IAA) and Sodium Iodate (NaIO(3)). Intravenous (IV) administration of NaIO(3) up to 90 mg/kg had no effect on retinal function and 110 mg/kg was lethal. IV administration of IAA (5-20 mg/kg) produced concentration-dependent changes in visual function as measured by full-field and multi-focal electroretinograms (ffERG and mfERG), and 30 mg/kg IAA was lethal. The IAA-induced effects measured at two weeks were stable through eight weeks post-injection, the last time point investigated. IAA at 7.5, 10, and 12 mg/kg produce a concentration-dependent reduction in both ffERG b-wave and mfERG N1-P1 amplitudes compared to baseline at all post-injection times. Comparisons of dark- and light-adapted ffERG b-wave amplitudes show a more significant loss of rod relative to cone function. The fundus of swine treated with ≥10 mg/kg IAA was abnormal with thinner retinal vessels and pale optic discs, and we found no evidence of bone spicule formation. Histological evaluations show concentration-dependent outer retinal damage that correlates with functional changes. We conclude that NaIO(3,) is not an effective toxin in swine. In contrast, IAA can be used to create a rapidly inducible, selective, stable and concentration-dependent model of photoreceptor damage in swine retina. Because of these attributes this large animal model of controlled photoreceptor damage should be useful in the investigation of treatments to replace damaged photoreceptors. PMID:22251455

  20. Neurogenin1 effectively reprograms cultured chick RPE cells to differentiate towards photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Yan, Run-Tao; Liang, Lina; Ma, Wenxin; Li, Xiumei; Xie, Wenlian; Wang, Shu-Zhen

    2009-01-01

    Photoreceptors are highly specialized sensory neurons in the retina, and their degeneration results in blindness. Replacement with developing photoreceptor cells promises to be an effective therapy, but it requires a supply of new photoreceptors, because the neural retina in human eyes lacks regeneration capability. We report efficient generation of differentiating, photoreceptor-like neurons from chick retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells propagated in culture through reprogramming with neurogenin1 (ngn1). In reprogrammed culture, a large number of the cells (85.0 ± 5.9%) began to differentiate towards photoreceptors. Reprogrammed cells expressed transcription factors that set in motion photoreceptor differentiation, including Crx, Nr2E3, NeuroD, and RXRγ, and phototransduction pathway components, including transducin, cGMP-gated channel, and red opsin of cone photoreceptors (equivalent to rhodopsin of rod photoreceptors). They developed inner segments rich in mitochondria. Furthermore, they responded to light by decreasing their cellular free calcium (Ca2+) levels and responded to 9-cis-retinal by increasing their Ca2+ levels after photobleaching, hallmarks of photoreceptor physiology. The high efficiency and the advanced photoreceptor differentiation indicate ngn1 as a gene of choice to reprogram RPE progeny cells to differentiate into photoreceptor neurons in future cell replacement studies. PMID:20029995

  1. Vibratome Sectioning Mouse Retina to Prepare Photoreceptor Cultures

    PubMed Central

    Clérin, Emmanuelle; Yang, Ying; Forster, Valérie; Fontaine, Valérie; Sahel, José-Alain; Léveillard, Thierry

    2014-01-01

    The retina is a part of the central nervous system that has organized architecture, with neurons in layers from the photoreceptors, both rods and cones in contact with the retinal pigmented epithelium in the most distant part on the retina considering the direction of light, and the ganglion cells in the most proximal distance. This architecture allows the isolation of the photoreceptor layer by vibratome sectioning. The dissected neural retina of a mouse aged 8 days is flat-embedded in 4% gelatin on top of a slice of 20% gelatin photoreceptor layer facing down. Using a vibratome and a double edged razor blade, the 100 µm thick inner retina is sectioned. This section contains the ganglion cells and the inner layer with notably the bipolar cells. An intermediary section of 15 µm is discarded before 200 µm of the outer retina containing the photoreceptors is recovered. The gelatin is removed by heating at 37 °C. Pieces of outer layer are incubated in 500 µl of Ringer's solution with 2 units of activated papain for 20 min at 37 °C. The reaction is stopped by adding 500 µl 10% fetal calf serum (FCS) in Dulbecco's Modified Eagle Medium (DMEM), then 25 units of DNAse I is added before centrifugation at RT, washed several times to remove serum and the cells are resuspended in 500 µl of DMEM and seeded at 1 x 105 cells/cm2. The cells are grown to 5 days in vitro and their viability scored using live/dead assay. The purity of the culture is first determined by microscopic observation during the experiment. The purity is then validated by seeding and fixing cells on a histological slide and analyzing using a rabbit polyclonal anti-SAG, a photoreceptor marker and mouse monoclonal anti-RHO, a rod photoreceptor specific marker. Alternatively, the photoreceptor layer (97% rods) can be used for gene or protein expression analysis and for transplantation. PMID:25548881

  2. Gene expression changes during retinal development and rod specification

    PubMed Central

    Carrigan, Matthew; Hokamp, Karsten; Farrar, G. Jane

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) typically results from individual mutations in any one of >70 genes that cause rod photoreceptor cells to degenerate prematurely, eventually resulting in blindness. Gene therapies targeting individual RP genes have shown efficacy at clinical trial; however, these therapies require the surviving photoreceptor cells to be viable and functional, and may be economically feasible for only the more commonly mutated genes. An alternative potential treatment strategy, particularly for late stage disease, may involve stem cell transplants into the photoreceptor layer of the retina. Rod progenitors from postnatal mouse retinas can be transplanted and can form photoreceptors in recipient adult retinas; optimal numbers of transplantable cells are obtained from postnatal day 3–5 (P3–5) retinas. These cells can also be expanded in culture; however, this results in the loss of photoreceptor potential. Gene expression differences between postnatal retinas, cultured retinal progenitor cells (RPCs), and rod photoreceptor precursors were investigated to identify gene expression patterns involved in the specification of rod photoreceptors. Methods Microarrays were used to investigate differences in gene expression between cultured RPCs that have lost photoreceptor potential, P1 retinas, and fresh P5 retinas that contain significant numbers of transplantable photoreceptors. Additionally, fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) sorted Rho-eGFP-expressing rod photoreceptor precursors were compared with Rho-eGFP-negative cells from the same P5 retinas. Differential expression was confirmed with quantitative polymerase chain reaction (q-PCR). Results Analysis of the microarray data sets, including the use of t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding (t-SNE) to identify expression pattern neighbors of key photoreceptor specific genes, resulted in the identification of 636 genes differentially regulated during rod specification. Forty-four of these

  3. Phototransduction in mouse rods and cones

    PubMed Central

    Fu, Yingbin; Yau, King-Wai

    2010-01-01

    Phototransduction is the process by which light triggers an electrical signal in a photoreceptor cell. Image-forming vision in vertebrates is mediated by two types of photoreceptors: the rods and the cones. In this review, we provide a summary of the success in which the mouse has served as a vertebrate model for studying rod phototransduction, with respect to both the activation and termination steps. Cones are still not as well-understood as rods partly because it is difficult to work with mouse cones due to their scarcity and fragility. The situation may change, however. PMID:17226052

  4. In Vivo Imaging of Human Cone Photoreceptor Inner Segments

    PubMed Central

    Scoles, Drew; Sulai, Yusufu N.; Langlo, Christopher S.; Fishman, Gerald A.; Curcio, Christine A.; Carroll, Joseph; Dubra, Alfredo

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. An often overlooked prerequisite to cone photoreceptor gene therapy development is residual photoreceptor structure that can be rescued. While advances in adaptive optics (AO) retinal imaging have recently enabled direct visualization of individual cone and rod photoreceptors in the living human retina, these techniques largely detect strongly directionally-backscattered (waveguided) light from normal intact photoreceptors. This represents a major limitation in using existing AO imaging to quantify structure of remnant cones in degenerating retina. Methods. Photoreceptor inner segment structure was assessed with a novel AO scanning light ophthalmoscopy (AOSLO) differential phase technique, that we termed nonconfocal split-detector, in two healthy subjects and four subjects with achromatopsia. Ex vivo preparations of five healthy donor eyes were analyzed for comparison of inner segment diameter to that measured in vivo with split-detector AOSLO. Results. Nonconfocal split-detector AOSLO reveals the photoreceptor inner segment with or without the presence of a waveguiding outer segment. The diameter of inner segments measured in vivo is in good agreement with histology. A substantial number of foveal and parafoveal cone photoreceptors with apparently intact inner segments were identified in patients with the inherited disease achromatopsia. Conclusions. The application of nonconfocal split-detector to emerging human gene therapy trials will improve the potential of therapeutic success, by identifying patients with sufficient retained photoreceptor structure to benefit the most from intervention. Additionally, split-detector imaging may be useful for studies of other retinal degenerations such as AMD, retinitis pigmentosa, and choroideremia where the outer segment is lost before the remainder of the photoreceptor cell. PMID:24906859

  5. Minireview: The Role of Nuclear Receptors in Photoreceptor Differentiation and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Swaroop, Anand

    2012-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptors are specialized sensory cells that mediate vision. Transcriptional controls are critical for the development and long-term survival of photoreceptors; when these controls become ineffective, retinal dysfunction or degenerative disease may result. This review discusses the role of nuclear receptors, a class of ligand-regulated transcription factors, at key stages of photoreceptor life in the mammalian retina. Nuclear receptors with known ligands, such as retinoids or thyroid hormone, together with several orphan receptors without identified physiological ligands, complement other classes of transcription factors in directing the differentiation and functional maintenance of photoreceptors. The potential of nuclear receptors to respond to ligands introduces versatility into the control of photoreceptor development and function and may suggest new opportunities for treatments of photoreceptor disease. PMID:22556342

  6. Kinesin family 17 (osmotic avoidance abnormal-3) is dispensable for photoreceptor morphology and function.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Li; Tam, Beatrice M; Ying, Guoxing; Wu, Sen; Hauswirth, William W; Frederick, Jeanne M; Moritz, Orson L; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2015-12-01

    In Caenorhabditis elegans, homodimeric [kinesin family (KIF) 17, osmotic avoidance abnormal-3 (OSM-3)] and heterotrimeric (KIF3) kinesin-2 motors are required to establish sensory cilia by intraflagellar transport (IFT) where KIF3 and KIF17 cooperate to build the axoneme core and KIF17 builds the distal segments. However, the function of KIF17 in vertebrates is unresolved. We expressed full-length and motorless KIF17 constructs in mouse rod photoreceptors using adeno-associated virus in Xenopus laevis rod photoreceptors using a transgene and in ciliated IMCD3 cells. We found that tagged KIF17 localized along the rod outer segment axoneme when expressed in mouse and X. laevis photoreceptors, whereas KIF3A was restricted to the proximal axoneme. Motorless KIF3A and KIF17 mutants caused photoreceptor degeneration, likely through dominant negative effects on IFT. KIF17 mutant lacking the motor domain translocated to nuclei after exposure of a C-terminal nuclear localization signal. Germ-line deletion of Kif17 in mouse did not affect photoreceptor function. A rod-specific Kif3/Kif17 double knockout mouse demonstrated that KIF17 and KIF3 do not act synergistically and did not prevent rhodopsin trafficking to rod outer segments. In summary, the nematode model of KIF3/KIF17 cooperation apparently does not apply to mouse photoreceptors in which the photosensory cilium is built exclusively by KIF3. PMID:26229057

  7. Assessment of Biasi and Columbia University CHF correlations with GE 3x3 rod bundle experiment. [PWR; BWR

    SciTech Connect

    Chen, B.C.J.; Chien, T.H.; Sha, W.T.; Kim, J.H.

    1984-01-01

    The critical heat flux (CHF), at which a sudden degradation of heat transfer occurs without corresponding decrease in heat generation, is one of the limiting parameters for safe operation of nuclear reactors. Reactor operation beyond the CHF causes a rapid rise in fuel cladding temperature and thus should be avoided to maintain the fuel element integrity. Reactor power limits are therefore set so that a prescribed safety margin below the CHF is maintained. Two CHF correlations are evaluated for reactor core thermal hydraulic analysis: the Biasi correlation and the Columbia University correlation. The BODYFIT-2PE computer code is used for this assessment. The CHF predicted by the BODYFIT-2PE using the two correlations is compared with GE 3x3 rod bundle CHF experiment.

  8. Binding of amaranthin in photoreceptors of monkey retina.

    PubMed

    Uehara, F; Ohba, N; Sameshima, M; Unoki, K; Okubo, A; Yanagita, T; Sugata, M; Iwakiri, N; Nakagawa, S

    1994-01-01

    The binding of amaranthin, specific for the Gal beta 1,3 GalNAc and NeuAc alpha 2,3 Gal beta 1,3 GalNAc sequences, to the photoreceptors of the monkey retina was investigated using the avidin-biotinylated peroxidase method. Amaranthin bound to the surfaces of both cone and rod photoreceptors. This and previous lectin histochemical studies show that O-glycoside-linked glycoconjugates are present on the surfaces of both cones and rods: Gal beta 1,3 GalNAc and NeuAc alpha 2,3 Gal beta 1,3 GalNAc are the terminal sugars of the glycoconjugates around cones and rods, respectively. PMID:7723202

  9. Lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF) delays photoreceptor degeneration in explants of rd/rd mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Ahuja, P; Caffé, A R; Holmqvist, I; Söderpalm, A K; Singh, D P; Shinohara, T; van Veen, T

    2001-09-17

    Lens epithelium derived growth factor (LEDGF) has been shown to rescue embryonic chick photoreceptor cells from serum starvation and heat stress, light damaged photoreceptor cells in Lewis rats, and photoreceptor cells in RCS rats. The aim of our study is to study the rescue effect of LEDGF on photoreceptor cells in the rd/rd mouse using our long-term serum free organ culture. At the end of this culture period of 21-26 days LEDGF treated rd mouse retina showed an increased photoreceptor survival compared to the untreated controls. LEDGF has no effect on expression and localization of opsin and arrestin in the rod photoreceptor cells when RPE is present. The protective potency of LEDGF on the retinal photoreceptor cells is similar to that of BDNF. LEDGF is known to activate heat shock proteins (Hsps) and the elevated Hsps are also reported to suppress apoptosis. PMID:11588609

  10. Rod Electroretinograms Elicited by Silent Substitution Stimuli from the Light-Adapted Human Eye

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, John; Parry, Neil R. A.; Kremers, Jan; Kommanapalli, Deepika; Murray, Ian J.; McKeefry, Declan J.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose To demonstrate that silent substitution stimuli can be used to generate electroretinograms (ERGs) that effectively isolate rod photoreceptor function in humans without the need for dark adaptation, and that this approach constitutes a viable alternative to current clinical standard testing protocols. Methods Rod-isolating and non-isolating sinusoidal flicker stimuli were generated on a 4 primary light-emitting diode (LED) Ganzfeld stimulator to elicit ERGs from participants with normal and compromised rod function who had not undergone dark-adaptation. Responses were subjected to Fourier analysis, and the amplitude and phase of the fundamental were used to examine temporal frequency and retinal illuminance response characteristics. Results Electroretinograms elicited by rod-isolating silent substitution stimuli exhibit low-pass temporal frequency response characteristics with an upper response limit of 30 Hz. Responses are optimal between 5 and 8 Hz and between 10 and 100 photopic trolands (Td). There is a significant correlation between the response amplitudes obtained with the silent substitution method and current standard clinical protocols. Analysis of signal-to-noise ratios reveals significant differences between subjects with normal and compromised rod function. Conclusions Silent substitution provides an effective method for the isolation of human rod photoreceptor function in subjects with normal as well as compromised rod function when stimuli are used within appropriate parameter ranges. Translational Relevance This method of generating rod-mediated ERGs can be achieved without time-consuming periods of dark adaptation, provides improved isolation of rod- from cone-based activity, and will lead to the development of faster clinical electrophysiologic testing protocols with improved selectivity. PMID:27617180

  11. Organic photoreceptors: an overview

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Melnyk, Andrew R.; Pai, David M.

    1990-07-01

    When Chester Carison invented xerography, he employed sulfur and anthracene as photoconductors. Although the initial commercialization of his idea relied on inorganic photoconductors, the current trend is towards use of organic photoconductors because of their material variety, economy and flexibility. High speed copying and printing machines use belts coated with organic photoreceptors, while personal copiers and printers use aluminum drums dip-coated with organic photoreceptors. Multilayered, organic photoreceptors are now routinely mass produced by the millions with both visible sensitivity for copiers and infrared sensitivity for printers. This paper presents a brief overview of key photoreceptor properties and follow with a survey of electronic organic materials of current interest. The photodischarge characteristic is determined mainly by three factors: the photogeneration, the injection, and the transport of charge carriers. These functions can be accomplished by separate electronic material layers; photogeneration by organic pigments and charge transport by aromatic-amine electron-donor molecules. The photogeneration layers are usually fabricated by solvent coating a dispersion of a pigment in a polymeric binder while the charge transport layers are solvent coated to form a solid solution of the aromatic amine in a polymeric binder. Examples and characteristics of organic pigments and charge transport molecules of current interest are discussed.

  12. Dynamical Adaptation in Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Damon A.; Benichou, Raphael; Meister, Markus; Azeredo da Silveira, Rava

    2013-01-01

    Adaptation is at the heart of sensation and nowhere is it more salient than in early visual processing. Light adaptation in photoreceptors is doubly dynamical: it depends upon the temporal structure of the input and it affects the temporal structure of the response. We introduce a non-linear dynamical adaptation model of photoreceptors. It is simple enough that it can be solved exactly and simulated with ease; analytical and numerical approaches combined provide both intuition on the behavior of dynamical adaptation and quantitative results to be compared with data. Yet the model is rich enough to capture intricate phenomenology. First, we show that it reproduces the known phenomenology of light response and short-term adaptation. Second, we present new recordings and demonstrate that the model reproduces cone response with great precision. Third, we derive a number of predictions on the response of photoreceptors to sophisticated stimuli such as periodic inputs, various forms of flickering inputs, and natural inputs. In particular, we demonstrate that photoreceptors undergo rapid adaptation of response gain and time scale, over ∼ 300 ms—i. e., over the time scale of the response itself—and we confirm this prediction with data. For natural inputs, this fast adaptation can modulate the response gain more than tenfold and is hence physiologically relevant. PMID:24244119

  13. Examination of VLC-PUFA–Deficient Photoreceptor Terminals

    PubMed Central

    Bennett, Lea D.; Hopiavuori, Blake R.; Brush, Richard S.; Chan, Michael; Van Hook, Matthew J.; Thoreson, Wallace B.; Anderson, Robert E.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose. Juvenile-onset autosomal dominant Stargardt-like macular dystrophy (STGD3) is caused by mutations in ELOVL4 (elongation of very long fatty acids-4), an elongase necessary for the biosynthesis of very long chain fatty acids (VLC-FAs ≥ C26). Photoreceptors are enriched with VLC polyunsaturated fatty acids (VLC-PUFAs), which are necessary for long-term survival of rod photoreceptors. The purpose of these studies was to determine the effect of deletion of VLC-PUFAs on rod synaptic function in retinas of mice conditionally depleted (KO) of Elovl4. Methods. Retina function was assessed in wild-type (WT) and KO by electroretinography. Outer plexiform structure was evaluated by immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy. Single-cell recordings measured rod ion channel operation and rod bipolar glutamate signaling. Sucrose gradient centrifugation was used to isolate synaptosomes from bovine retina. Proteins and lipids were analyzed by Western blotting and tandem mass spectroscopy, respectively. Results. Inner retinal responses (b-wave, oscillatory potentials, and scotopic threshold responses) of the ERG were decreased in the KO mice compared to controls. However the rod ion channel operation and bipolar glutamate responses were comparable between groups. Biochemical analysis revealed that conventional and ribbon synapses have VLC-PUFAs. Ultrastructural analysis showed that the outer plexiform layer was disorganized and the diameter of vesicles in rod terminals was smaller in the KO mice. Conclusions. Very long chain PUFAs affect rod function by contributing to synaptic vesicle size, which may alter the dynamics of synaptic transmission, ultimately resulting in a loss of neuronal connectivity and death of rod photoreceptors. PMID:24764063

  14. Functional and Molecular Characterization of Rod-like Cells from Retinal Stem Cells Derived from the Adult Ciliary Epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Demontis, Gian Carlo; Aruta, Claudia; Comitato, Antonella; De Marzo, Anna; Marigo, Valeria

    2012-01-01

    In vitro generation of photoreceptors from stem cells is of great interest for the development of regenerative medicine approaches for patients affected by retinal degeneration and for high throughput drug screens for these diseases. In this study, we show unprecedented high percentages of rod-fated cells from retinal stem cells of the adult ciliary epithelium. Molecular characterization of rod-like cells demonstrates that they lose ciliary epithelial characteristics but acquire photoreceptor features. Rod maturation was evaluated at two levels: gene expression and electrophysiological functionality. Here we present a strong correlation between phototransduction protein expression and functionality of the cells in vitro. We demonstrate that in vitro generated rod-like cells express cGMP-gated channels that are gated by endogenous cGMP. We also identified voltage-gated channels necessary for rod maturation and viability. This level of analysis for the first time provides evidence that adult retinal stem cells can generate highly homogeneous rod-fated cells. PMID:22432014

  15. Synaptic transmission from rods to rod-dominated bipolar cells in the tiger salamander retina.

    PubMed

    Yang, X L; Wu, S M

    1993-06-11

    Synaptic transmission between photoreceptors and bipolar cells was studied in dark-adapted tiger salamander retinas. Based on the relative light sensitivity, bipolar cells, either depolarizing (DBC) or hyperpolarizing (HBC), fell into two groups: one receives inputs primarily from rods (rod-dominated bipolar cells, DBCR and HBCR) and the other receives inputs primarily from cones (cone-dominated bipolar cells, DBCC and HBCC). The input-output relations of the rod-DBCR and rod-HBCR synapses were determined by plotting the voltage responses of the rod and DBCR (or HBCR) to dim 500-nm light steps, which polarizes only the rods but not the cones. The slope gains of both synapses were the highest near the dark rod voltage (-2.5 for the rod-DBCR synapse and 4.0 for the rod-HBCR synapse), and they (the absolute values) became progressively smaller at more hyperpolarized rod voltages. PMID:8186975

  16. Rodding Surgery

    MedlinePlus

    ... Rods can be made of stainless steel or titanium. Regular rods do not expand. They have many ... v regular), the rod materials (stainless steel v titanium) and the age for a first rodding surgery. ...

  17. Photoreceptor and Postreceptor Responses in Congenital Stationary Night Blindness

    PubMed Central

    Raghuram, Aparna; Hansen, Ronald M.; Moskowitz, Anne; Fulton, Anne B.

    2013-01-01

    Purpose. To investigate photoreceptor and postreceptor retinal function in patients with congenital stationary night blindness (CSNB). Methods. Forty-one patients with CSNB (ages 0.19–32 years) were studied. ERG responses to a series of full-field stimuli were obtained under scotopic and photopic conditions and were used to categorize the CSNB patients as complete (cCSNB) or incomplete (iCSNB). Rod and cone photoreceptor (RROD, SROD, RCONE, SCONE) and rod-driven postreceptor (VMAX, log σ) response parameters were calculated from the a- and b-waves. Cone-driven responses to 30 Hz flicker and ON and OFF responses to a long duration (150 ms) flash were also obtained. Dark-adapted thresholds were measured. Analysis of variance was used to compare data from patients with cCSNB, patients with iCSNB, and controls. Results. We found significant reduction in saturated photoreceptor amplitude (RROD, RCONE) but normal photoreceptor sensitivity (SROD, SCONE) in both CSNB groups. Rod-driven postreceptor response amplitude (VMAX) and sensitivity (log σ) were significantly reduced in CSNB. Log σ was significantly worse in cCSNB than in iCSNB; this was the only scotopic parameter that differed between the two CSNB groups. Photopic b-wave amplitude increased monotonically with stimulus strength in CSNB patients rather than showing a normal photopic hill. The amplitude of the 30-Hz flicker response was reduced compared with controls, more so in iCSNB than in cCSNB. The mean dark-adapted threshold was significantly elevated in CSNB, more so in cCSNB than in iCSNB. Conclusions. These results are evidence of normal photoreceptor function (despite the low saturated photoresponse amplitude) and anomalous postreceptor retinal circuitry. PMID:23761088

  18. Two temporal functions of Glass: Ommatidium patterning and photoreceptor differentiation.

    PubMed

    Liang, Xulong; Mahato, Simpla; Hemmerich, Chris; Zelhof, Andrew C

    2016-06-01

    Much progress has been made in elucidating the molecular networks required for specifying retinal cells, including photoreceptors, but the downstream mechanisms that maintain identity and regulate differentiation remain poorly understood. Here, we report that the transcription factor Glass has a dual role in establishing a functional Drosophila eye. Utilizing conditional rescue approaches, we confirm that persistent defects in ommatidium patterning combined with cell death correlate with the overall disruption of eye morphology in glass mutants. In addition, we reveal that Glass exhibits a separable role in regulating photoreceptor differentiation. In particular, we demonstrate the apparent loss of glass mutant photoreceptors is not only due to cell death but also a failure of the surviving photoreceptors to complete differentiation. Moreover, the late reintroduction of Glass in these developmentally stalled photoreceptors is capable of restoring differentiation in the absence of correct ommatidium patterning. Mechanistically, transcription profiling at the time of differentiation reveals that Glass is necessary for the expression of many genes implicated in differentiation, i.e. rhabdomere morphogenesis, phototransduction, and synaptogenesis. Specifically, we show Glass directly regulates the expression of Pph13, which encodes a transcription factor necessary for opsin expression and rhabdomere morphogenesis. Finally, we demonstrate the ability of Glass to choreograph photoreceptor differentiation is conserved between Drosophila and Tribolium, two holometabolous insects. Altogether, our work identifies a fundamental regulatory mechanism to generate the full complement of cells required for a functional rhabdomeric visual system and provides a critical framework to investigate the basis of differentiation and maintenance of photoreceptor identity. PMID:27105580

  19. Evolutionary aspects of plant photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Li, Fay-Wei; Mathews, Sarah

    2016-03-01

    Plant photoreceptors link environmental light cues with physiological responses, determining how individual plants complete their life cycles. Structural and functional evolution of photoreceptors has co-occurred as plants diversified and faced the challenge of new light environments, during the transition of plants to land and as substantial plant canopies evolved. Large-scale comparative sequencing projects allow us for the first time to document photoreceptor evolution in understudied clades, revealing some surprises. Here we review recent progress in evolutionary studies of three photoreceptor families: phytochromes, phototropins and neochromes. PMID:26843269

  20. Photoreceptor degeneration and rd1 mutation in the grizzled/mocha mouse strain.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Xiaoxi; Pennesi, Mark; Seong, Eunju; Gao, Hua; Burmeister, Margit; Wu, Samuel M

    2003-04-01

    The mocha mouse is a spontaneous mutant carrying a defective adaptor-like protein complex AP-3delta subunit. We examined retinal function and histology of the mocha mutant. We found that not only mocha homozygotes but also other littermates in the inbred strain are blind due to severe defects in both rod and cone photoreceptors on electroretinogram recordings. The functional deficit was caused by rapid, early postnatal photoreceptor degeneration. Genotyping confirmed the presence of a viral insertion of rd1 gene in the mocha strain. We conclude that rd1 allele contamination is primarily responsible for photoreceptor degeneration, and caution against behavioral tests with visual cues in the present stocks. PMID:12668055

  1. Nonvisual photoreceptors of the deep brain, pineal organs and retina.

    PubMed

    Vigh, B; Manzano, M J; Zádori, A; Frank, C L; Lukáts, A; Röhlich, P; Szél, A; Dávid, C

    2002-04-01

    , pineal organs also contain neurons and glial elements. Extracranial pineal organs of submammalians are cone-dominated photoreceptors sensitive to different wavelengths of light, while intracranial pineal organs predominantly contain rod-like photoreceptor cells and thus scotopic light receptors. Vitamin B-based light-sensitive cryptochromes localized immunocytochemically in some pineal cells may take part in both the photoreception and the pacemaker function of the pineal organ. In spite of expressing phototransduction cascade molecules and forming outer segment-like cilia in some species, the mammalian pineal is considered by most of the authors as a light-insensitive organ. Expression of phototransduction cascade molecules, predominantly in young animals, is a photoreceptor-like characteristic of pinealocytes in higher vertebrates that may contribute to a light-percepting task in the perinatal entrainment of rhythmic functions. In adult mammals, adrenergic nerves--mediating daily fluctuation of sympathetic activity rather than retinal light information as generally supposed--may sustain circadian periodicity already entrained by light perinatally. Altogether three phases were supposed to exist in pineal entrainment of internal pacemakers: an embryological synchronization by light and in viviparous vertebrates by maternal effects (1); a light-based, postnatal entrainment (2); and in adults, a maintenance of periodicity by daily sympathetic rhythm of the hypothalamus. In addition to its visual function, the lateral eye retina performs a nonvisual task. Nonvisual retinal light perception primarily entrains genetically-determined periodicity, such as rod-cone dominance, EEG rhythms or retinomotor movements. It also influences the suprachiasmatic nucleus, the primary pacemaker of the brain. As neither rods nor cones seem to represent the nonvisual retinal photoreceptors, the presence of additional photoreceptors has been supposed. Cryptochrome 1, a photosensitive molecule

  2. Ciliary photoreceptors in the cerebral eyes of a protostome larva

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Eyes in bilaterian metazoans have been described as being composed of either ciliary or rhabdomeric photoreceptors. Phylogenetic distribution, as well as distinct morphologies and characteristic deployment of different photopigments (ciliary vs. rhabdomeric opsins) and transduction pathways argue for the co-existence of both of these two photoreceptor types in the last common bilaterian ancestor. Both receptor types exist throughout the Bilateria, but only vertebrates are thought to use ciliary photoreceptors for directional light detection in cerebral eyes, while all other invertebrate bilaterians studied utilize rhabdomeric photoreceptors for this purpose. In protostomes, ciliary photoreceptors that express c-opsin have been described only from a non-visual deep-brain photoreceptor. Their homology with vertebrate rods and cones of the human eye has been hypothesized to represent a unique functional transition from non-visual to visual roles in the vertebrate lineage. Results To test the hypothesis that protostome cerebral eyes employ exclusively rhabdomeric photoreceptors, we investigated the ultrastructure of the larval eyes in the brachiopod Terebratalia transversa. We show that these pigment-cup eyes consist of a lens cell and a shading pigment cell, both of which are putative photoreceptors, deploying a modified, enlarged cilium for light perception, and have axonal connections to the larval brain. Our investigation of the gene expression patterns of c-opsin, Pax6 and otx in these eyes confirms that the larval eye spots of brachiopods are cerebral eyes that deploy ciliary type photoreceptors for directional light detection. Interestingly, c-opsin is also expressed during early embryogenesis in all potential apical neural cells, becoming restricted to the anterior neuroectoderm, before expression is initiated in the photoreceptor cells of the eyes. Coincident with the expression of c-opsin in the presumptive neuroectoderm, we found that middle

  3. Depth-resolved rhodopsin molecular contrast imaging for functional assessment of photoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Tan; Wen, Rong; Lam, Byron L.; Puliafito, Carmen A.; Jiao, Shuliang

    2015-09-01

    Rhodopsin, the light-sensing molecule in the outer segments of rod photoreceptors, is responsible for converting light into neuronal signals in a process known as phototransduction. Rhodopsin is thus a functional biomarker for rod photoreceptors. Here we report a novel technology based on visible-light optical coherence tomography (VIS-OCT) for in vivo molecular imaging of rhodopsin. The depth resolution of OCT allows the visualization of the location where the change of optical absorption occurs and provides a potentially accurate assessment of rhodopsin content by segmentation of the image at the location. Rhodopsin OCT can be used to quantitatively image rhodopsin distribution and thus assess the distribution of functional rod photoreceptors in the retina. Rhodopsin OCT can bring significant impact into ophthalmic clinics by providing a tool for the diagnosis and severity assessment of a variety of retinal conditions.

  4. Depth-resolved rhodopsin molecular contrast imaging for functional assessment of photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tan; Wen, Rong; Lam, Byron L.; Puliafito, Carmen A.; Jiao, Shuliang

    2015-01-01

    Rhodopsin, the light-sensing molecule in the outer segments of rod photoreceptors, is responsible for converting light into neuronal signals in a process known as phototransduction. Rhodopsin is thus a functional biomarker for rod photoreceptors. Here we report a novel technology based on visible-light optical coherence tomography (VIS-OCT) for in vivo molecular imaging of rhodopsin. The depth resolution of OCT allows the visualization of the location where the change of optical absorption occurs and provides a potentially accurate assessment of rhodopsin content by segmentation of the image at the location. Rhodopsin OCT can be used to quantitatively image rhodopsin distribution and thus assess the distribution of functional rod photoreceptors in the retina. Rhodopsin OCT can bring significant impact into ophthalmic clinics by providing a tool for the diagnosis and severity assessment of a variety of retinal conditions. PMID:26358529

  5. Wide-Field Fundus Autofluorescence for Retinitis Pigmentosa and Cone/Cone-Rod Dystrophy.

    PubMed

    Oishi, Akio; Oishi, Maho; Ogino, Ken; Morooka, Satoshi; Yoshimura, Nagahisa

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa and cone/cone-rod dystrophy are inherited retinal diseases characterized by the progressive loss of rod and/or cone photoreceptors. To evaluate the status of rod/cone photoreceptors and visual function, visual acuity and visual field tests, electroretinogram, and optical coherence tomography are typically used. In addition to these examinations, fundus autofluorescence (FAF) has recently garnered attention. FAF visualizes the intrinsic fluorescent material in the retina, which is mainly lipofuscin contained within the retinal pigment epithelium. While conventional devices offer limited viewing angles in FAF, the recently developed Optos machine enables recording of wide-field FAF. With wide-field analysis, an association between abnormal FAF areas and visual function was demonstrated in retinitis pigmentosa and cone-rod dystrophy. In addition, the presence of "patchy" hypoautofluorescent areas was found to be correlated with symptom duration. Although physicians should be cautious when interpreting wide-field FAF results because the peripheral parts of the image are magnified significantly, this examination method provides previously unavailable information. PMID:26427426

  6. Quantitative analysis of synaptic release at the photoreceptor synapse.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Gabriel; Rabl, Katalin; Gemp, Ian; Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2010-05-19

    Exocytosis from the rod photoreceptor is stimulated by submicromolar Ca(2+) and exhibits an unusually shallow dependence on presynaptic Ca(2+). To provide a quantitative description of the photoreceptor Ca(2+) sensor for exocytosis, we tested a family of conventional and allosteric computational models describing the final Ca(2+)-binding steps leading to exocytosis. Simulations were fit to two measures of release, evoked by flash-photolysis of caged Ca(2+): exocytotic capacitance changes from individual rods and postsynaptic currents of second-order neurons. The best simulations supported the occupancy of only two Ca(2+) binding sites on the rod Ca(2+) sensor rather than the typical four or five. For most models, the on-rates for Ca(2+) binding and maximal fusion rate were comparable to those of other neurons. However, the off-rates for Ca(2+) unbinding were unexpectedly slow. In addition to contributing to the high-affinity of the photoreceptor Ca(2+) sensor, slow Ca(2+) unbinding may support the fusion of vesicles located at a distance from Ca(2+) channels. In addition, partial sensor occupancy due to slow unbinding may contribute to the linearization of the first synapse in vision. PMID:20483317

  7. Quantitative Analysis of Synaptic Release at the Photoreceptor Synapse

    PubMed Central

    Duncan, Gabriel; Rabl, Katalin; Gemp, Ian; Heidelberger, Ruth; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Exocytosis from the rod photoreceptor is stimulated by submicromolar Ca2+ and exhibits an unusually shallow dependence on presynaptic Ca2+. To provide a quantitative description of the photoreceptor Ca2+ sensor for exocytosis, we tested a family of conventional and allosteric computational models describing the final Ca2+-binding steps leading to exocytosis. Simulations were fit to two measures of release, evoked by flash-photolysis of caged Ca2+: exocytotic capacitance changes from individual rods and postsynaptic currents of second-order neurons. The best simulations supported the occupancy of only two Ca2+ binding sites on the rod Ca2+ sensor rather than the typical four or five. For most models, the on-rates for Ca2+ binding and maximal fusion rate were comparable to those of other neurons. However, the off-rates for Ca2+ unbinding were unexpectedly slow. In addition to contributing to the high-affinity of the photoreceptor Ca2+ sensor, slow Ca2+ unbinding may support the fusion of vesicles located at a distance from Ca2+ channels. In addition, partial sensor occupancy due to slow unbinding may contribute to the linearization of the first synapse in vision. PMID:20483317

  8. Plant Flavoprotein Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Christie, John M.; Blackwood, Lisa; Petersen, Jan; Sullivan, Stuart

    2015-01-01

    Plants depend on the surrounding light environment to direct their growth. Blue light (300–500 nm) in particular acts to promote a wide variety of photomorphogenic responses including seedling establishment, phototropism and circadian clock regulation. Several different classes of flavin-based photoreceptors have been identified that mediate the effects of blue light in the dicotyledonous genetic model Arabidopsis thaliana. These include the cryptochromes, the phototropins and members of the Zeitlupe family. In this review, we discuss recent advances, which contribute to our understanding of how these photosensory systems are activated by blue light and how they initiate signaling to regulate diverse aspects of plant development. PMID:25516569

  9. Phosducin regulates transmission at the photoreceptor-to-ON-bipolar cell synapse

    PubMed Central

    Herrmann, Rolf; Lobanova, Ekaterina S.; Hammond, Timothy; Kessler, Christopher; Burns, Marie E.; Frishman, Laura J.; Arshavsky, Vadim Y.

    2010-01-01

    The rate of synaptic transmission between photoreceptors and bipolar cells has been long known to depend on conditions of ambient illumination. However, the molecular mechanisms that mediate and regulate transmission at this ribbon synapse are poorly understood. We conducted electroretinographic recordings from dark- and light-adapted mice lacking the abundant photoreceptor-specific protein, phosducin, and found that the ON-bipolar cell responses in these animals have a reduced light-sensitivity in the dark-adapted state. Further desensitization of their responses, normally caused by steady background illumination was also diminished compared to wild type animals. This effect was observed in both rod- and cone-driven pathways, with the latter affected to a larger degree. The underlying mechanism is likely to be photoreceptor-specific because phosducin is not expressed in other retina neurons and transgenic expression of phosducin in rods of phosducin knockout mice rescued the rod-specific phenotype. The underlying mechanism functions downstream from the phototransduction cascade, as evident from the sensitivity of phototransduction in phosducin knockout rods being affected to a much lesser degree than b-wave responses. These data indicate that a major regulatory component responsible for setting the sensitivity of signal transmission between photoreceptors and ON-bipolar cells is confined to photoreceptors and that phosducin participates in the underlying molecular mechanism. PMID:20203183

  10. Position along the nasal/temporal plane affects synaptic development by adult photoreceptors, revealed by micropatterning.

    PubMed

    Kung, Frank; Wang, Jianfeng; Perez-Castillejos, Raquel; Townes-Anderson, Ellen

    2015-03-01

    In retinal degeneration, death of photoreceptors causes blindness. Repair of the retina by transplanting photoreceptors has resulted in limited functional connectivity between transplanted and host neurons. We hypothesize that absence of appropriate biological cues, specifically positional (retinotopographic) cues, reduces synaptogenesis. Here we use micropatterning to test whether regional origin affects the early synaptic development of photoreceptors. Right and left retinas from salamanders were first labelled with dextran tetramethyl-rhodamine and fluorescein, respectively, bisected into nasal (N)/temporal (T) or dorsal (D)/ventral (V) halves, individually dissociated, mixed, and cultured for 1 week. Origin of cells was identified by the fluorescent label. Interactions between photoreceptors and neighboring (target) cells were assessed by the number of neuritic contacts with a presynaptic swelling (varicosity). Randomly-plated photoreceptors showed no preference for cellular origin, likely due to multiple potential interactions available to each cell. To reduce cell-cell interactions, culture substrate was patterned using a microfluidic device with 10 μm-wide channels separated by 200 μm, thus allowing only 1-2 targets per photoreceptor. In patterned cultures, 36.89% of N rod cells contacted T targets but only 27.42% of N rod cells contacted N targets; similarly 35.05% of T rod cells contacted N cells but only 17.08% contacted T cells. Thus, opposite regions were more permissive of contact. However, neither cone nor D/V rod cells showed preferences for positional origin of targets. In conclusion, micropatterning demonstrated that neuritic differentiation by rod cells depends on retinotopographic cues along the nasal/temporal plane, suggesting that transplanting rod cells of known positional origin will increase transplant success. PMID:25616113

  11. Asymptotic decay of the pair correlation function in molecular fluids: Application to hard rods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Savenko, S. V.; Dijkstra, Marjolein

    2005-08-01

    We investigate the asymptotic decay of the total correlation function h(1,2) in molecular fluids. To this end, we expand the angular dependence of h(1,2) and the direct correlation function c(1,2) in the Ornstein-Zernike equation in a complete set of rotational invariants. We show that all the harmonic expansion coefficients hl1l2l(r) are governed by a common exponential decay length and a common wavelength of oscillations in the isotropic phase. We determine the asymptotic decay of the total correlation functions by investigating the pole structure of the reciprocal ( q -space) harmonic expansion coefficients hl1l2l(q) . The expansion coefficients in laboratory frame of reference hl1l2l(r) are calculated in computer simulations for an isotropic fluid of hard spherocylinders. We find that the asymptotic decay of h(1,2) is exponentially damped oscillatory for hard spherocylinders with a length-to-diameter ratio L/D⩽10 for all statepoints in the isotropic fluid phase. We compare our results on the pole structure using different theoretical Ansätze for c(1,2) for hard ellipsoids. The theoretical results show that the asymptotic decay of h(1,2) is exponentially damped oscillatory for all elongations of the ellipsoids.

  12. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway preserves photoreceptors after retinal injury.

    PubMed

    Sweigard, J Harry; Matsumoto, Hidetaka; Smith, Kaylee E; Kim, Leo A; Paschalis, Eleftherios I; Okonuki, Yoko; Castillejos, Alexandra; Kataoka, Keiko; Hasegawa, Eiichi; Yanai, Ryoji; Husain, Deeba; Lambris, John D; Vavvas, Demetrios; Miller, Joan W; Connor, Kip M

    2015-07-22

    Degeneration of photoreceptors is a primary cause of vision loss worldwide, making the underlying mechanisms surrounding photoreceptor cell death critical to developing new treatment strategies. Retinal detachment, characterized by the separation of photoreceptors from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium, is a sight-threatening event that can happen in a number of retinal diseases. The detached photoreceptors undergo apoptosis and programmed necrosis. Given that photoreceptors are nondividing cells, their loss leads to irreversible visual impairment even after successful retinal reattachment surgery. To better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, we analyzed innate immune system regulators in the vitreous of human patients with retinal detachment and correlated the results with findings in a mouse model of retinal detachment. We identified the alternative complement pathway as promoting early photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Photoreceptors down-regulate membrane-bound inhibitors of complement, allowing for selective targeting by the alternative complement pathway. When photoreceptors in the detached retina were removed from the primary source of oxygen and nutrients (choroidal vascular bed), the retina became hypoxic, leading to an up-regulation of complement factor B, a key mediator of the alternative pathway. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway in knockout mice or through pharmacological means ameliorated photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Our current study begins to outline the mechanism by which the alternative complement pathway facilitates photoreceptor cell death in the damaged retina. PMID:26203084

  13. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway preserves photoreceptors after retinal injury

    PubMed Central

    Sweigard, J. Harry; Matsumoto, Hidetaka; Smith, Kaylee E.; Kim, Leo A.; Paschalis, Eleftherios I.; Okonuki, Yoko; Castillejos, Alexandra; Kataoka, Keiko; Hasegawa, Eiichi; Yanai, Ryoji; Husain, Deeba; Lambris, John D.; Vavvas, Demetrios; Miller, Joan W.; Connor, Kip M.

    2015-01-01

    Degeneration of photoreceptors is a primary cause of vision loss worldwide, making the underlying mechanisms surrounding photoreceptor cell death critical to developing new treatment strategies. Retinal detachment, characterized by the separation of photoreceptors from the underlying retinal pigment epithelium, is a sight-threatening event that can happen in a number of retinal diseases. The detached photoreceptors undergo apoptosis and programmed necrosis. Given that photoreceptors are nondividing cells, their loss leads to irreversible visual impairment even after successful retinal reattachment surgery. To better understand the underlying disease mechanisms, we analyzed innate immune system regulators in the vitreous of human patients with retinal detachment and correlated the results with findings in a mouse model of retinal detachment. We identified the alternative complement pathway as promoting early photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Photoreceptors down-regulate membrane-bound inhibitors of complement, allowing for selective targeting by the alternative complement pathway. When photoreceptors in the detached retina were removed from the primary source of oxygen and nutrients (choroidal vascular bed), the retina became hypoxic, leading to an up-regulation of complement factor B, a key mediator of the alternative pathway. Inhibition of the alternative complement pathway in knockout mice or through pharmacological means ameliorated photoreceptor cell death during retinal detachment. Our current study begins to outline the mechanism by which the alternative complement pathway facilitates photoreceptor cell death in the damaged retina. PMID:26203084

  14. Classical Photoreceptors Are Primarily Responsible for the Pupillary Light Reflex in Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Jain, Varsha; Srivastava, Ipsit; Palchaudhuri, Shriya; Goel, Manvi; Sinha-Mahapatra, Sumit K.; Dhingra, Narender K.

    2016-01-01

    Pupillary light reflex (PLR) is an important clinical tool to assess the integrity of visual pathways. The available evidence suggests that melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells (mRGCs) mediate PLR—driven by the classical photoreceptors (rods and cones) at low irradiances and by melanopsin activation at high irradiances. However, genetic or pharmacological elimination of melanopsin does not completely abolish PLR at high irradiances, raising the possibility that classical photoreceptors may have a role even at high irradiances. Using an inducible mouse model of photoreceptor degeneration, we asked whether classical photoreceptors are responsible for PLR at all irradiances, and found that the PLR was severely attenuated at all irradiances. Using multiple approaches, we show that the residual PLR at high irradiances in this mouse was primarily from the remnant rods and cones, with a minor contribution from melanopsin activation. In contrast, in rd1 mouse where classical photoreceptor degeneration occurs during development, the PLR was absent at low irradiances but intact at high irradiances, as reported previously. Since mRGCs receive inputs from classical photoreceptors, we also asked whether developmental loss of classical photoreceptors as in rd1 mouse leads to compensatory takeover of the high-irradiance PLR by mRGCs. Specifically, we looked at a distinct subpopulation of mRGCs that express Brn3b transcription factor, which has been shown to mediate PLR. We found that rd1 mouse had a significantly higher proportion of Brn3b-expressing M1 type of mRGCs than in the inducible model. Interestingly, inducing classical photoreceptor degeneration during development also resulted in a higher proportion of Brn3b-expressing M1 cells and partially rescued PLR at high irradiances. These results suggest that classical photoreceptors are primarily responsible for PLR at all irradiances, while melanopsin activation makes a minor contribution at very high irradiances

  15. Visual ecology and potassium conductances of insect photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Frolov, Roman; Immonen, Esa-Ville; Weckström, Matti

    2016-04-01

    Voltage-activated potassium channels (Kv channels) in the microvillar photoreceptors of arthropods are responsible for repolarization and regulation of photoreceptor signaling bandwidth. On the basis of analyzing Kv channels in dipteran flies, it was suggested that diurnal, rapidly flying insects predominantly express sustained K(+) conductances, whereas crepuscular and nocturnally active animals exhibit strongly inactivating Kv conductances. The latter was suggested to function for minimizing cellular energy consumption. In this study we further explore the evolutionary adaptations of the photoreceptor channelome to visual ecology and behavior by comparing K(+) conductances in 15 phylogenetically diverse insects, using patch-clamp recordings from dissociated ommatidia. We show that rapid diurnal flyers such as the blowfly (Calliphora vicina) and the honeybee (Apis mellifera) express relatively large noninactivating Kv conductances, conforming to the earlier hypothesis in Diptera. Nocturnal and/or slow-moving species do not in general exhibit stronger Kv conductance inactivation in the physiological membrane voltage range, but the photoreceptors in species that are known to rely more on vision behaviorally had higher densities of sustained Kv conductances than photoreceptors of less visually guided species. No statistically significant trends related to visual performance could be identified for the rapidly inactivating Kv conductances. Counterintuitively, strong negative correlations were observed between photoreceptor capacitance and specific membrane conductance for both sustained and inactivating fractions of Kv conductance, suggesting insignificant evolutionary pressure to offset negative effects of high capacitance on membrane filtering with increased conductance. PMID:26864762

  16. Rax Homeoprotein Regulates Photoreceptor Cell Maturation and Survival in Association with Crx in the Postnatal Mouse Retina

    PubMed Central

    Irie, Shoichi; Sanuki, Rikako; Muranishi, Yuki; Kato, Kimiko; Chaya, Taro

    2015-01-01

    The Rax homeobox gene plays essential roles in multiple processes of vertebrate retina development. Many vertebrate species possess Rax and Rax2 genes, and different functions have been suggested. In contrast, mice contain a single Rax gene, and its functional roles in late retinal development are still unclear. To clarify mouse Rax function in postnatal photoreceptor development and maintenance, we generated conditional knockout mice in which Rax in maturing or mature photoreceptor cells was inactivated by tamoxifen treatment (Rax iCKO mice). When Rax was inactivated in postnatal Rax iCKO mice, developing photoreceptor cells showed a significant decrease in the level of the expression of rod and cone photoreceptor genes and mature adult photoreceptors exhibited a specific decrease in cone cell numbers. In luciferase assays, we found that Rax and Crx cooperatively transactivate Rhodopsin and cone opsin promoters and that an optimum Rax expression level to transactivate photoreceptor gene expression exists. Furthermore, Rax and Crx colocalized in maturing photoreceptor cells, and their coimmunoprecipitation was observed in cultured cells. Taken together, these results suggest that Rax plays essential roles in the maturation of both cones and rods and in the survival of cones by regulating photoreceptor gene expression with Crx in the postnatal mouse retina. PMID:25986607

  17. Cone photoreceptor definition on adaptive optics retinal imaging

    PubMed Central

    Muthiah, Manickam Nick; Gias, Carlos; Chen, Fred Kuanfu; Zhong, Joe; McClelland, Zoe; Sallo, Ferenc B; Peto, Tunde; Coffey, Peter J; da Cruz, Lyndon

    2014-01-01

    Aims To quantitatively analyse cone photoreceptor matrices on images captured on an adaptive optics (AO) camera and assess their correlation to well-established parameters in the retinal histology literature. Methods High resolution retinal images were acquired from 10 healthy subjects, aged 20–35 years old, using an AO camera (rtx1, Imagine Eyes, France). Left eye images were captured at 5° of retinal eccentricity, temporal to the fovea for consistency. In three subjects, images were also acquired at 0, 2, 3, 5 and 7° retinal eccentricities. Cone photoreceptor density was calculated following manual and automated counting. Inter-photoreceptor distance was also calculated. Voronoi domain and power spectrum analyses were performed for all images. Results At 5° eccentricity, the cone density (cones/mm2 mean±SD) was 15.3±1.4×103 (automated) and 13.9±1.0×103 (manual) and the mean inter-photoreceptor distance was 8.6±0.4 μm. Cone density decreased and inter-photoreceptor distance increased with increasing retinal eccentricity from 2 to 7°. A regular hexagonal cone photoreceptor mosaic pattern was seen at 2, 3 and 5° of retinal eccentricity. Conclusions Imaging data acquired from the AO camera match cone density, intercone distance and show the known features of cone photoreceptor distribution in the pericentral retina as reported by histology, namely, decreasing density values from 2 to 7° of eccentricity and the hexagonal packing arrangement. This confirms that AO flood imaging provides reliable estimates of pericentral cone photoreceptor distribution in normal subjects. PMID:24729030

  18. Retinal photoreceptors and visual pigments in Boa constrictor imperator.

    PubMed

    Sillman, A J; Johnson, J L; Loew, E R

    2001-09-01

    The photoreceptors of Boa constrictor, a boid snake of the subfamily Boinae, were examined with scanning electron microscopy and microspectrophotometry. The retina of B. constrictor is duplex but highly dominated by rods, cones comprising 11% of the photoreceptor population. The rather tightly packed rods have relatively long outer segments with proximal ends that are somewhat tapered. There are two morphologically distinct, single cones. The most common cone by far has a large inner segment and a relatively stout outer segment. The second cone, seen only infrequently, has a substantially smaller inner segment and a finer outer segment. The visual pigments of B. constrictor are virtually identical to those of the pythonine boid, Python regius. Three different visual pigments are present, all based on vitamin A(1.) The visual pigment of the rods has a wavelength of peak absorbance (lambda(max)) at 495 +/- 2 nm. The visual pigment of the more common, large cone has a lambda(max) at 549 +/- 1 nm. The small, rare cone contains a visual pigment with lambda(max) at 357 +/- 2 nm, providing the snake with sensitivity in the ultraviolet. We suggest that B. constrictor might employ UV sensitivity to locate conspecifics and/or to improve hunting efficiency. The data indicate that wavelength discrimination above 430 nm would not be possible without some input from the rods. PMID:11550183

  19. Immuno-Histochemical Analysis of Rod and Cone Reaction to RPE65 Deficiency in the Inferior and Superior Canine Retina

    PubMed Central

    Klein, Daniela; Mendes-Madeira, Alexandra; Schlegel, Patrice; Rolling, Fabienne; Lorenz, Birgit; Haverkamp, Silke; Stieger, Knut

    2014-01-01

    Mutations in the RPE65 gene are associated with autosomal recessive early onset severe retinal dystrophy. Morphological and functional studies indicate early and dramatic loss of rod photoreceptors and early loss of S-cone function, while L and M cones remain initially functional. The Swedish Briard dog is a naturally occurring animal model for this disease. Detailed information about rod and cone reaction to RPE65 deficiency in this model with regard to their location within the retina remains limited. The aim of this study was to analyze morphological parameters of cone and rod viability in young adult RPE65 deficient dogs in different parts of the retina in order to shed light on local disparities in this disease. In retinae of affected dogs, sprouting of rod bipolar cell dendrites and horizontal cell processes was dramatically increased in the inferior peripheral part of affected retinae, while central inferior and both superior parts did not display significantly increased sprouting. This observation was correlated with photoreceptor cell layer thickness. Interestingly, while L/M cone opsin expression was uniformly reduced both in the superior and inferior part of the retina, S-cone opsin expression loss was less severe in the inferior part of the retina. In summary, in retinae of young adult RPE65 deficient dogs, the degree of rod bipolar and horizontal cell sprouting as well as of S-cone opsin expression depends on the location. As the human retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is pigmented similar to the RPE in the inferior part of the canine retina, and the kinetics of photoreceptor degeneration in humans seems to be similar to what has been observed in the inferior peripheral retina in dogs, this area should be studied in future gene therapy experiments in this model. PMID:24466015

  20. Heteromeric MT1/MT2 Melatonin Receptors Modulate Photoreceptor Function

    PubMed Central

    Baba, Kenkichi; Benleulmi-Chaachoua, Abla; Journé, Anne-Sophie; Kamal, Maud; Guillaume, Jean-Luc; Dussaud, Sébastien; Gbahou, Florence; Yettou, Katia; Liu, Cuimei; Contreras-Alcantara, Susana; Jockers, Ralf; Tosini, Gianluca

    2013-01-01

    The formation of G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) heteromers elicits signaling diversification and holds great promise for improved drug selectivity. Most studies have been conducted in heterologous expression systems; however, in vivo validation is missing from most cases thus questioning the physiological significance of GPCR heteromerization. Melatonin MT1 and MT2 receptors have been shown to exist as homo- and heteromers in vitro. We show here that the effect of melatonin on rod photoreceptor light sensitivity is mediated by melatonin MT1/MT2 receptor heteromers. This effect involves activation of the heteromer-specific PLC/PKC pathway and is abolished in MT1−/− and MT2−/− mice as well as in mice overexpressing a non-functional MT2 receptor mutant that competes with the formation of functional MT1/MT2 heteromers in photoreceptor cells. This study establishes the essential role of melatonin receptor heteromers in retinal function and supports the physiological importance of GPCR heteromerization. Finally, our work may have important therapeutic implications, as the heteromer complex may provide a unique pharmacological target to improve photoreceptor functioning and to extend the viability of photoreceptors during aging. PMID:24106342

  1. Fly Photoreceptors Encode Phase Congruency.

    PubMed

    Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A; Hardie, Roger C; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    More than five decades ago it was postulated that sensory neurons detect and selectively enhance behaviourally relevant features of natural signals. Although we now know that sensory neurons are tuned to efficiently encode natural stimuli, until now it was not clear what statistical features of the stimuli they encode and how. Here we reverse-engineer the neural code of Drosophila photoreceptors and show for the first time that photoreceptors exploit nonlinear dynamics to selectively enhance and encode phase-related features of temporal stimuli, such as local phase congruency, which are invariant to changes in illumination and contrast. We demonstrate that to mitigate for the inherent sensitivity to noise of the local phase congruency measure, the nonlinear coding mechanisms of the fly photoreceptors are tuned to suppress random phase signals, which explains why photoreceptor responses to naturalistic stimuli are significantly different from their responses to white noise stimuli. PMID:27336733

  2. Fly Photoreceptors Encode Phase Congruency

    PubMed Central

    Friederich, Uwe; Billings, Stephen A.; Hardie, Roger C.; Juusola, Mikko; Coca, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    More than five decades ago it was postulated that sensory neurons detect and selectively enhance behaviourally relevant features of natural signals. Although we now know that sensory neurons are tuned to efficiently encode natural stimuli, until now it was not clear what statistical features of the stimuli they encode and how. Here we reverse-engineer the neural code of Drosophila photoreceptors and show for the first time that photoreceptors exploit nonlinear dynamics to selectively enhance and encode phase-related features of temporal stimuli, such as local phase congruency, which are invariant to changes in illumination and contrast. We demonstrate that to mitigate for the inherent sensitivity to noise of the local phase congruency measure, the nonlinear coding mechanisms of the fly photoreceptors are tuned to suppress random phase signals, which explains why photoreceptor responses to naturalistic stimuli are significantly different from their responses to white noise stimuli. PMID:27336733

  3. A FRAP-Based Method for Monitoring Molecular Transport in Ciliary Photoreceptor Cells In Vivo.

    PubMed

    Wunderlich, Kirsten A; Wolfrum, Uwe

    2016-01-01

    The outer segment of rod and cone photoreceptor cells represents a highly modified primary sensory cilium. It renews on a daily basis throughout lifetime and effective vectorial transport to the cilium is essential for the maintenance of the photoreceptor cell function. Defects in molecules of transport modules lead to severe retinal ciliopathies. We have recently established a fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP)-based method to monitor molecular trafficking in living rodent photoreceptor cells. We irreversibly bleach the fluorescence of tagged molecules (e.g. eGFP-Rhodopsin) in photoreceptor cells of native vibratome sections through the retina by high laser intensity. In the laser scanning microscope, the recovery of the fluorescent signal is monitored over time and the kinetics of movements of molecules can be quantitatively ascertained. PMID:27514918

  4. The dynamic architecture of photoreceptor ribbon synapses: Cytoskeletal, extracellular matrix, and intramembrane proteins

    PubMed Central

    MERCER, AARON J.; THORESON, WALLACE B.

    2012-01-01

    Rod and cone photoreceptors possess ribbon synapses that assist in the transmission of graded light responses to second-order bipolar and horizontal cells of the vertebrate retina. Proper functioning of the synapse requires the juxtaposition of presynaptic release sites immediately adjacent to postsynaptic receptors. In this review, we focus on the synaptic, cytoskeletal, and extracellular matrix proteins that help to organize photoreceptor ribbon synapses in the outer plexiform layer. We examine the proteins that foster the clustering of release proteins, calcium channels, and synaptic vesicles in the presynaptic terminals of photoreceptors adjacent to their postsynaptic contacts. Although many proteins interact with one another in the presynaptic terminal and synaptic cleft, these protein–protein interactions do not create a static and immutable structure. Instead, photoreceptor ribbon synapses are remarkably dynamic, exhibiting structural changes on both rapid and slow time scales. PMID:22192503

  5. Action spectra and adaptation properties of carp photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Witkovsky, P; Nelson, J; Ripps, H

    1973-04-01

    The mass photoreceptor response of the isolated carp retina was studied after immersing the tissue in aspartate-Ringer solution. Two electro-retinogram components were isolated by differential depth recording: a fast cornea-negative wave, arising in the receptor layer, and a slow, cornea-negative wave arising at some level proximal to the photoreceptors. Only the fast component was investigated further. In complete dark adaptation, its action spectrum peaked near 540 nm and indicated input from both porphyropsin-containing rods (lambda(max) approximately 525 nm) and cones with longer wavelength sensitivity. Under photopic conditions a broad action spectrum, lambda(max) approximately 580 nm was seen. In the presence of chromatic backgrounds, the photopic curve could be fractionated into three components whose action spectra agreed reasonably well with the spectral characteristics of blue, green, and red cone pigments of the goldfish. In parallel studies, the carp rod pigment was studied in situ by transmission densitometry. The reduction in optical density after a full bleach averaged 0.28 at its lambda(max) 525 nm. In the isolated retina no regeneration of rod pigment occurred within 2 h after bleaching. The bleaching power of background fields used in adaptation experiments was determined directly. Both rods and cones generated increment threshold functions with slopes of +1 on log-log coordinates over a 3-4 log range of background intensities. Background fields which bleached less than 0.5% rod pigment nevertheless diminished photoreceptor sensitivity. The degree and rate of recovery of receptor sensitivity after exposure to a background field was a function of the total flux (I x t) of the field. Rod saturation, i.e. the abolition of rod voltages, occurred after approximately 12% of rod pigment was bleached. In light-adapted retinas bathed in normal Ringer solution, a small test flash elicited a larger response in the presence of an annular background field than

  6. Arf-like Protein 3 (ARL3) Regulates Protein Trafficking and Ciliogenesis in Mouse Photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hanke-Gogokhia, Christin; Wu, Zhijian; Gerstner, Cecilia D; Frederick, Jeanne M; Zhang, Houbin; Baehr, Wolfgang

    2016-03-25

    Arf-like protein 3 (ARL3) is a ubiquitous small GTPase expressed in ciliated cells of plants and animals. Germline deletion ofArl3in mice causes multiorgan ciliopathy reminiscent of Bardet-Biedl or Joubert syndromes. As photoreceptors are elegantly compartmentalized and have cilia, we probed the function of ARL3 (ADP-ribosylation factor (Arf)-like 3 protein) by generating rod photoreceptor-specific (prefix(rod)) and retina-specific (prefix(ret))Arl3deletions. In predegenerate(rod)Arl3(-/-)mice, lipidated phototransduction proteins showed trafficking deficiencies, consistent with the role of ARL3 as a cargo displacement factor for lipid-binding proteins. By contrast,(ret)Arl3(-/-)rods and cones expressing Cre recombinase during embryonic development formed neither connecting cilia nor outer segments and degenerated rapidly. Absence of cilia infers participation of ARL3 in ciliogenesis and axoneme formation. Ciliogenesis was rescued, and degeneration was reversed in part by subretinal injection of adeno-associated virus particles expressing ARL3-EGFP. The conditional knock-out phenotypes permitted identification of two ARL3 functions, both in the GTP-bound form as follows: one as a regulator of intraflagellar transport participating in photoreceptor ciliogenesis and the other as a cargo displacement factor transporting lipidated protein to the outer segment. Surprisingly, a farnesylated inositol polyphosphate phosphatase only trafficked from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi, thereby excluding it from a role in photoreceptor cilia physiology. PMID:26814127

  7. Dispersed-flow film boiling in rod-bundle geometry: steady-state heat-transfer data and correlation comparisons. [PWR; BWR

    SciTech Connect

    Yoder, G. L.; Morris, D. G.; Mullins, C. B.; Ott, L. J.; Reed, D. A.

    1982-03-01

    Assessment of six film boiling correlations and one single-phase vapor correlation has been made using data from 22 steady state upflow rod bundle tests (series 3.07.9). Bundle fluid conditions were calculated using energy and mass conservation considerations. Results of the steady state film boiling tests support the conclusions reached in the analysis of prior transient tests 3.03.6AR, 3.06.6B, and 3.08.6C. Comparisons between experimentally determined and correlation-predicted heat transfer coefficients, are presented.

  8. Spatial Distribution of Intraflagellar Transport Proteins in Vertebrate Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Luby-Phelps, Katharine; Fogerty, Joseph; Baker, Sheila A.; Pazour, Gregory J.; Besharse, Joseph C.

    2008-01-01

    Intraflagellar transport (IFT) of a ∼17S particle containing at least 16 distinct polypeptides is required for the assembly and maintenance of cilia and flagella. Although both genetic and biochemical evidence suggest a role for IFT in vertebrate photoreceptors, the spatial distribution of IFT proteins within photoreceptors remains poorly defined. We have evaluated the distribution of 4 IFT proteins using a combination of immunocytochemistry and rod-specific over-expression of GFP tagged IFT proteins. Endogenous IFT proteins are most highly concentrated within the inner segment, around the basal body, and within the outer segment IFT proteins are localized in discrete particles along the entire length of the axoneme. IFT52-GFP and IFT57-GFP mimicked this pattern in transgenic Xenopus. PMID:17931679

  9. Photoreceptor types and distributions in the retinae of insectivores.

    PubMed

    Peichl, L; Künzle, H; Vogel, P

    2000-01-01

    The retinae of insectivores have been rarely studied, and their photoreceptor arrangements and expression patterns of visual pigments are largely unknown. We have determined the presence and distribution of cones in three species of shrews (common shrew Sorex araneus, greater white-toothed shrew Crocidura russula, dark forest shrew Crocidura poensis; Soricidae) and in the lesser hedgehog tenrec Echinops telfairi (Tenrecidae). Special cone types were identified and quantified in flattened whole retinae by antisera/antibodies recognizing the middle-to-long-wavelength-sensitive (M/L-)cone opsin and the short-wavelength-sensitive (S-)cone opsin, respectively. A combination of immunocytochemistry with conventional histology was used to assess rod densities and cone/rod ratios. In all four species the rods dominate at densities of about 230,000-260,000/mm2. M/L- and S-cones are present, comprising between 2% of the photoreceptors in the nocturnal Echinops telfairi and 13% in Sorex araneus that has equal diurnal and nocturnal activity phases. This suggests dichromatic color vision like in many other mammals. A striking feature in all four species are dramatically higher S-cone proportions in ventral than in dorsal retina (0.5% vs. 2.5-12% in Sorex, 5-15% vs. 30-45% in Crocidura poensis, 3-12% vs. 20-50% in Crocidura russula, 10-30% vs. 40-70% in Echinops). The functional and comparative aspects of these structural findings are discussed. PMID:11193110

  10. The functional cycle of visual arrestins in photoreceptor cells

    PubMed Central

    Gurevich, Vsevolod V.; Hanson, Susan M.; Song, Xiufeng; Vishnivetskiy, Sergey A.; Gurevich, Eugenia V.

    2011-01-01

    Visual arrestin-1 plays a key role in the rapid and reproducible shutoff of rhodopsin signaling. Its highly selective binding to light-activated phosphorylated rhodopsin is an integral part of the functional perfection of rod photoreceptors. Structure-function studies revealed key elements of the sophisticated molecular mechanism ensuring arrestin-1 selectivity and paved the way to the targeted manipulation of the arrestin-1 molecule to design mutants that can compensate for congenital defects in rhodopsin phosphorylation. Arrestin-1 self-association and light-dependent translocation in photoreceptor cells work together to keep a constant supply of active rhodopsin-binding arrestin-1 monomer in the outer segment. Recent discoveries of arrestin-1 interaction with other signaling proteins suggest that it is a much more versatile signaling regulator than previously thought, affecting the function of the synaptic terminals and rod survival. Elucidation of the fine molecular mechanisms of arrestin-1 interactions with rhodopsin and other binding partners is necessary for the comprehensive understanding of rod function and for devising novel molecular tools and therapeutic approaches to the treatment of visual disorders. PMID:21824527

  11. A Short N-terminal Domain of HDAC4 Preserves Photoreceptors and Restores Visual Function in Retinitis Pigmentosa

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Xinzheng; Wang, Shao-Bin; Xu, Hongping; Ribic, Adema; Mohns, Ethan J.; Zhou, Yu; Zhu, Xianjun; Biederer, Thomas; Crair, Michael C.; Chen, Bo

    2015-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa is a leading cause of inherited blindness, with no effective treatment currently available. Mutations primarily in genes expressed in rod photoreceptors lead to early rod death, followed by a slower phase of cone photoreceptor death. Rd1 mice provide an invaluable animal model to evaluate therapies for the disease. We previously reported that overexpression of histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) prolongs rod survival in rd1 mice. Here we report a key role of a short N-terminal domain of HDAC4 in photoreceptor protection. Expression of this domain suppresses multiple cell death pathways in photoreceptor degeneration, and preserves even more rd1 rods than the full length HDAC4 protein. Expression of a short N-terminal domain of HDAC4 in transgenic mice carrying the rd1 mutation also prolongs the survival of cone photoreceptors, and partially restores visual function. Our results may facilitate the design of a small protein therapy for some forms of retinitis pigmentosa. PMID:26272629

  12. Histochemical study of retinal photoreceptors development during pre- and postnatal period and their association with retinal pigment epithelium

    PubMed Central

    Ebrahimi, Vahid; Vojoudi, Elham; Fazel, Alireza; Ebrahimzadeh-bideskan, Alireza

    2014-01-01

    Objective(s): The aim of this study was to evaluate distribution and changes of glycoconjugates of retinal photoreceptors during both pre- and postnatal development. Materials and Methods: Tissue sections from days 15 to 20 of Wistar rat embryos and 1 to 12 postnatal days of rat newborns including developing eye were prepared for lectinhistochemistry technique. Horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled lectins including Vicia villosa (VVA), peanut agglutinin (PNA), Maclura pomifera (MPA) and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA-ІІ) were used. Alcian blue (pH 2.5) was used for counterstaining. Results: Interphotoreceptor matrix (IPM) plays a crucial role in photoreceptors differentiation and acts as a mediator in interactions between photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). Specific cell surface glycoconjugates secreted from cone cells could help us to distinguish these cells from rod photoreceptors. Our results for the first time revealed the strong reaction of cone photoreceptors with the cone-specific lectin (PNA) at postnatal day 12 (P12). Postnatal day 12 can be determined as the final differentiation of cone photoreceptors. Conclusion: According to our findings, we suggest that the generation of the eye photoreceptors begins from pre- natal period and their final differentiations will continue to postnatal period. Glycoconjugates including (β-D-Gal [1-3]-D-GalNac) and (β-D-Gal) terminal sugars play a critical role in the pre- and postnatal development and differentiation of retinal photoreceptors. PMID:25429338

  13. Serial sectioning for examination of photoreceptor cell architecture by focused ion beam technology

    PubMed Central

    Mustafi, Debarshi; Avishai, Amir; Avishai, Nanthawan; Engel, Andreas; Heuer, Arthur; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2011-01-01

    Structurally deciphering complex neural networks requires technology with sufficient resolution to allow visualization of single cells and their intimate surrounding connections. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM), coupled with serial ion ablation (SIA) technology, presents a new avenue to study these networks. SIA allows ion ablation to remove nanometer sections of tissue for SEM imaging, resulting in serial section data collection for three-dimensional reconstruction. Here we highlight a method for preparing retinal tissues for imaging of photoreceptors by SIA-SEM technology. We show that this technique can be used to visualize whole rod photoreceptors and the internal disc elements from wild-type (wt) mice. The distance parameters of the discs and photoreceptors are in good agreement with previous work with other methods. Moreover, we show that large planes of retinal tissue can be imaged at high resolution to display the packing of normal rods. Finally, SIA-SEM imaging of retinal tissue from a mouse model (Nrl−/−) with phenotypic changes akin to the human disease enhanced S-cone syndrome (ESCS) revealed a structural profile of overall photoreceptor ultrastructure and internal elements that accompany this disease. Overall, this work presents a new method to study photoreceptor cells at high structural resolution that has a broad applicability to the visual neuroscience field. PMID:21439323

  14. A Cambrian origin for vertebrate rods

    PubMed Central

    Asteriti, Sabrina; Grillner, Sten; Cangiano, Lorenzo

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrates acquired dim-light vision when an ancestral cone evolved into the rod photoreceptor at an unknown stage preceding the last common ancestor of extant jawed vertebrates (∼420 million years ago Ma). The jawless lampreys provide a unique opportunity to constrain the timing of this advance, as their line diverged ∼505 Ma and later displayed high-morphological stability. We recorded with patch electrodes the inner segment photovoltages and with suction electrodes the outer segment photocurrents of Lampetra fluviatilis retinal photoreceptors. Several key functional features of jawed vertebrate rods are present in their phylogenetically homologous photoreceptors in lamprey: crucially, the efficient amplification of the effect of single photons, measured by multiple parameters, and the flow of rod signals into cones. These results make convergent evolution in the jawless and jawed vertebrate lines unlikely and indicate an early origin of rods, implying strong selective pressure toward dim-light vision in Cambrian ecosystems. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07166.001 PMID:26095697

  15. Connexin 36 and rod bipolar cell independent rod pathways drive retinal ganglion cells and optokinetic reflexes.

    PubMed

    Cowan, Cameron S; Abd-El-Barr, Muhammad; van der Heijden, Meike; Lo, Eric M; Paul, David; Bramblett, Debra E; Lem, Janis; Simons, David L; Wu, Samuel M

    2016-02-01

    Rod pathways are a parallel set of synaptic connections which enable night vision by relaying and processing rod photoreceptor light responses. We use dim light stimuli to isolate rod pathway contributions to downstream light responses then characterize these contributions in knockout mice lacking rod transducin-α (Trα), or certain pathway components associated with subsets of rod pathways. These comparisons reveal that rod pathway driven light sensitivity in retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) is entirely dependent on Trα, but partially independent of connexin 36 (Cx36) and rod bipolar cells. Pharmacological experiments show that rod pathway-driven and Cx36-independent RGC ON responses are also metabotropic glutamate receptor 6-dependent. To validate the RGC findings in awake, behaving animals we measured optokinetic reflexes (OKRs), which are sensitive to changes in ON pathways. Scotopic OKR contrast sensitivity was lost in Trα(-/-) mice, but indistinguishable from controls in Cx36(-/-) and rod bipolar cell knockout mice. Mesopic OKRs were also altered in mutant mice: Trα(-/-) mice had decreased spatial acuity, rod BC knockouts had decreased sensitivity, and Cx36(-/-) mice had increased sensitivity. These results provide compelling evidence against the complete Cx36 or rod BC dependence of night vision's ON component. Further, the findings suggest the parallel nature of rod pathways provides considerable redundancy to scotopic light sensitivity but distinct contributions to mesopic responses through complicated interactions with cone pathways. PMID:26718442

  16. Diacylglycerol kinase epsilon in bovine and rat photoreceptor cells. Light-dependent distribution in photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed

    Natalini, Paola M; Zulian, Sandra E; Ilincheta de Boschero, Mónica G; Giusto, Norma M

    2013-07-01

    The present study shows the selective light-dependent distribution of 1,2-diacylglycerol kinase epsilon (DAGKɛ) in photoreceptor cells from bovine and albino rat retina. Immunofluorescence microscopy in isolated rod outer segments from bleached bovine retinas (BBROS) revealed a higher DAGKɛ signal than that found in rod outer segments from dark-adapted bovine retinas (BDROS). The light-dependent outer segment localization of DAGKɛ was also observed by immunohistochemistry in retinas from albino rats. DAGK activity, measured in terms of phosphatidic acid formation from a) [(3)H]DAG and ATP in the presence of EGTA and R59022, a type I DAGK inhibitor, or b) [γ-(32)P]ATP and 1-stearoyl, 2-arachidonoylglycerol (SAG), was found to be significantly higher in BBROS than in BDROS. Higher light-dependent DAGK activity (condition b) was also found when ROS were isolated from dark-adapted rat retinas exposed to light. Western blot analysis of isolated ROS proteins from bovine and rat retinas confirmed that illumination increases DAGKɛ content in the outer segments of these two species. Light-dependent DAGKɛ localization in the outer segment was not observed when U73122, a phospholipase C inhibitor, was present prior to the exposure of rat eyecups (in situ model) to light. Furthermore, no increased PA synthesis from [(3)H]DAG and ATP was observed in the presence of neomycin prior to the exposure of bovine eyecups to light. Interestingly, when BBROS were pre-phosphorylated with ATP in the presence of 1,2-dioctanoyl sn-glycerol (di-C8) or phorbol dibutyrate (PDBu) as PKC activation conditions, higher DAGK activity was observed than in dephosphorylated controls. Taken together, our findings suggest that the selective distribution of DAGKɛ in photoreceptor cells is a light-dependent mechanism that promotes increased SAG removal and synthesis of 1-stearoyl, 2-arachidonoyl phosphatidic acid in the sensorial portion of this cell, thus demonstrating a novel mechanism of light

  17. Imaging Ca2+ Dynamics in Cone Photoreceptor Axon Terminals of the Mouse Retina

    PubMed Central

    Kulkarni, Manoj; Schubert, Timm; Baden, Tom; Wissinger, Bernd; Euler, Thomas; Paquet-Durand, Francois

    2015-01-01

    Retinal cone photoreceptors (cones) serve daylight vision and are the basis of color discrimination. They are subject to degeneration, often leading to blindness in many retinal diseases. Calcium (Ca2+), a key second messenger in photoreceptor signaling and metabolism, has been proposed to be indirectly linked with photoreceptor degeneration in various animal models. Systematically studying these aspects of cone physiology and pathophysiology has been hampered by the difficulties of electrically recording from these small cells, in particular in the mouse where the retina is dominated by rod photoreceptors. To circumvent this issue, we established a two-photon Ca2+ imaging protocol using a transgenic mouse line that expresses the genetically encoded Ca2+ biosensor TN-XL exclusively in cones and can be crossbred with mouse models for photoreceptor degeneration. The protocol described here involves preparing vertical sections (“slices”) of retinas from mice and optical imaging of light stimulus-evoked changes in cone Ca2+ level. The protocol also allows “in-slice measurement” of absolute Ca2+ concentrations; as the recordings can be followed by calibration. This protocol enables studies into functional cone properties and is expected to contribute to the understanding of cone Ca2+ signaling as well as the potential involvement of Ca2+ in photoreceptor death and retinal degeneration. PMID:25993489

  18. Imaging Ca2+ dynamics in cone photoreceptor axon terminals of the mouse retina.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Manoj; Schubert, Timm; Baden, Tom; Wissinger, Bernd; Euler, Thomas; Paquet-Durand, Francois

    2015-01-01

    Retinal cone photoreceptors (cones) serve daylight vision and are the basis of color discrimination. They are subject to degeneration, often leading to blindness in many retinal diseases. Calcium (Ca(2+)), a key second messenger in photoreceptor signaling and metabolism, has been proposed to be indirectly linked with photoreceptor degeneration in various animal models. Systematically studying these aspects of cone physiology and pathophysiology has been hampered by the difficulties of electrically recording from these small cells, in particular in the mouse where the retina is dominated by rod photoreceptors. To circumvent this issue, we established a two-photon Ca(2+) imaging protocol using a transgenic mouse line that expresses the genetically encoded Ca(2+) biosensor TN-XL exclusively in cones and can be crossbred with mouse models for photoreceptor degeneration. The protocol described here involves preparing vertical sections ("slices") of retinas from mice and optical imaging of light stimulus-evoked changes in cone Ca(2+) level. The protocol also allows "in-slice measurement" of absolute Ca(2+) concentrations; as the recordings can be followed by calibration. This protocol enables studies into functional cone properties and is expected to contribute to the understanding of cone Ca(2+) signaling as well as the potential involvement of Ca(2+) in photoreceptor death and retinal degeneration. PMID:25993489

  19. Large variation among photoreceptors as the basis of visual flexibility in the common backswimmer

    PubMed Central

    Immonen, Esa-Ville; Ignatova, Irina; Gislen, Anna; Warrant, Eric; Vähäsöyrinki, Mikko; Weckström, Matti; Frolov, Roman

    2014-01-01

    The common backswimmer, Notonecta glauca, uses vision by day and night for functions such as underwater prey animal capture and flight in search of new habitats. Although previous studies have identified some of the physiological mechanisms facilitating such flexibility in the animal's vision, neither the biophysics of Notonecta photoreceptors nor possible cellular adaptations are known. Here, we studied Notonecta photoreceptors using patch-clamp and intracellular recording methods. Photoreceptor size (approximated by capacitance) was positively correlated with absolute sensitivity and acceptance angles. Information rate measurements indicated that large and more sensitive photoreceptors performed better than small ones. Our results suggest that backswimmers are adapted for vision in both dim and well-illuminated environments by having open-rhabdom eyes with large intrinsic variation in absolute sensitivity among photoreceptors, exceeding those found in purely diurnal or nocturnal species. Both electrophysiology and microscopic analysis of retinal structure suggest two retinal subsystems: the largest peripheral photoreceptors provide vision in dim light and the smaller peripheral and central photoreceptors function primarily in sunlight, with light-dependent pigment screening further contributing to adaptation in this system by dynamically recruiting photoreceptors with varying sensitivity into the operational pool. PMID:25274359

  20. Large variation among photoreceptors as the basis of visual flexibility in the common backswimmer.

    PubMed

    Immonen, Esa-Ville; Ignatova, Irina; Gislen, Anna; Warrant, Eric; Vähäsöyrinki, Mikko; Weckström, Matti; Frolov, Roman

    2014-11-22

    The common backswimmer, Notonecta glauca, uses vision by day and night for functions such as underwater prey animal capture and flight in search of new habitats. Although previous studies have identified some of the physiological mechanisms facilitating such flexibility in the animal's vision, neither the biophysics of Notonecta photoreceptors nor possible cellular adaptations are known. Here, we studied Notonecta photoreceptors using patch-clamp and intracellular recording methods. Photoreceptor size (approximated by capacitance) was positively correlated with absolute sensitivity and acceptance angles. Information rate measurements indicated that large and more sensitive photoreceptors performed better than small ones. Our results suggest that backswimmers are adapted for vision in both dim and well-illuminated environments by having open-rhabdom eyes with large intrinsic variation in absolute sensitivity among photoreceptors, exceeding those found in purely diurnal or nocturnal species. Both electrophysiology and microscopic analysis of retinal structure suggest two retinal subsystems: the largest peripheral photoreceptors provide vision in dim light and the smaller peripheral and central photoreceptors function primarily in sunlight, with light-dependent pigment screening further contributing to adaptation in this system by dynamically recruiting photoreceptors with varying sensitivity into the operational pool. PMID:25274359

  1. Midkine-a Protein Localization in the Developing and Adult Retina of the Zebrafish and Its Function During Photoreceptor Regeneration

    PubMed Central

    Taylor, Scott; Thummel, Ryan; Hitchcock, Peter F.

    2015-01-01

    Midkine is a heparin binding growth factor with important functions in neuronal development and survival, but little is known about its function in the retina. Previous studies show that in the developing zebrafish, Midkine-a (Mdka) regulates cell cycle kinetics in retinal progenitors, and following injury to the adult zebrafish retina, mdka is strongly upregulated in Müller glia and the injury-induced photoreceptor progenitors. Here we provide the first data describing Mdka protein localization during different stages of retinal development and during the regeneration of photoreceptors in adults. We also experimentally test the role of Mdka during photoreceptor regeneration. The immuno-localization of Mdka reflects the complex spatiotemporal pattern of gene expression and also reveals the apparent secretion and extracellular trafficking of this protein. During embryonic retinal development the Mdka antibodies label all mitotically active cells, but at the onset of neuronal differentiation, immunostaining is also localized to the nascent inner plexiform layer. Starting at five days post fertilization through the juvenile stage, Mdka immunostaining labels the cytoplasm of horizontal cells and the overlying somata of rod photoreceptors. Double immunolabeling shows that in adult horizontal cells, Mdka co-localizes with markers of the Golgi complex. Together, these data are interpreted to show that Mdka is synthesized in horizontal cells and secreted into the outer nuclear layer. In adults, Mdka is also present in the end feet of Müller glia. Similar to mdka gene expression, Mdka in horizontal cells is regulated by circadian rhythms. After the light-induced death of photoreceptors, Mdka immuonolabeling is localized to Müller glia, the intrinsic stem cells of the zebrafish retina, and proliferating photoreceptor progenitors. Knockdown of Mdka during photoreceptor regeneration results in less proliferation and diminished regeneration of rod photoreceptors. These data

  2. Visual Coding in Locust Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Faivre, Olivier; Juusola, Mikko

    2008-01-01

    Information capture by photoreceptors ultimately limits the quality of visual processing in the brain. Using conventional sharp microelectrodes, we studied how locust photoreceptors encode random (white-noise, WN) and naturalistic (1/f stimuli, NS) light patterns in vivo and how this coding changes with mean illumination and ambient temperature. We also examined the role of their plasma membrane in shaping voltage responses. We found that brightening or warming increase and accelerate voltage responses, but reduce noise, enabling photoreceptors to encode more information. For WN stimuli, this was accompanied by broadening of the linear frequency range. On the contrary, with NS the signaling took place within a constant bandwidth, possibly revealing a ‘preference’ for inputs with 1/f statistics. The faster signaling was caused by acceleration of the elementary phototransduction current - leading to bumps - and their distribution. The membrane linearly translated phototransduction currents into voltage responses without limiting the throughput of these messages. As the bumps reflected fast changes in membrane resistance, the data suggest that their shape is predominantly driven by fast changes in the light-gated conductance. On the other hand, the slower bump latency distribution is likely to represent slower enzymatic intracellular reactions. Furthermore, the Q10s of bump duration and latency distribution depended on light intensity. Altogether, this study suggests that biochemical constraints imposed upon signaling change continuously as locust photoreceptors adapt to environmental light and temperature conditions. PMID:18478123

  3. VA opsin-based photoreceptors in the hypothalamus of birds.

    PubMed

    Halford, Stephanie; Pires, Susana S; Turton, Michael; Zheng, Lei; González-Menéndez, Irene; Davies, Wayne L; Peirson, Stuart N; García-Fernández, José M; Hankins, Mark W; Foster, Russell G

    2009-08-25

    Studies in the 1930s demonstrated that birds possess photoreceptors that are located within the hypothalamus and regulate photoperiodic responses to day length. Most recently, photoperiod has been shown to alter the activity of the pars tuberalis to release thyrotrophin, which ultimately drives a reproductive response. Despite these significant findings, the cellular and molecular identity of the hypothalamic photoreceptors has remained a mystery. Action spectra implicated an opsin-based photopigment system, but further identification based on rod- or cone-opsin probes failed, suggesting the utilization of a novel opsin. The vertebrate ancient (VA) opsin photopigments were isolated in 1997 but were thought to have a restricted taxonomic distribution, confined to the agnatha and teleost fish. Here, we report the isolation of VA opsin from chicken and show that the two isoforms spliced from this gene (cVAL and cVA) are capable of forming functional photopigments. Further, we show that VA opsin is expressed within a population of hypothalamic neurons with extensive projections to the median eminence. These results provide the most complete cellular and molecular description of a deep brain photoreceptor in any vertebrate and strongly implicate VA opsin in mediating the avian photoperiodic response. PMID:19664923

  4. The Influence of Photoreceptor Size and Distribution on Optical Sensitivity in the Eyes of Lanternfishes (Myctophidae)

    PubMed Central

    de Busserolles, Fanny; Fitzpatrick, John L.; Marshall, N. Justin; Collin, Shaun P.

    2014-01-01

    The mesopelagic zone of the deep-sea (200-1000 m) is characterised by exponentially diminishing levels of downwelling sunlight and by the predominance of bioluminescence emissions. The ability of mesopelagic organisms to detect and behaviourally react to downwelling sunlight and/or bioluminescence will depend on the visual task and ultimately on the eyes and their capacity for detecting low levels of illumination and intermittent point sources of bioluminescent light. In this study, we investigate the diversity of the visual system of the lanternfish (Myctophidae). We focus specifically on the photoreceptor cells by examining their size, arrangement, topographic distribution and contribution to optical sensitivity in 53 different species from 18 genera. We also examine the influence(s) of both phylogeny and ecology on these photoreceptor variables using phylogenetic comparative analyses in order to understand the constraints placed on the visual systems of this large group of mesopelagic fishes at the first stage of retinal processing. We report great diversity in the visual system of the Myctophidae at the level of the photoreceptors. Photoreceptor distribution reveals clear interspecific differences in visual specialisations (areas of high rod photoreceptor density), indicating potential interspecific differences in interactions with prey, predators and/or mates. A great diversity in photoreceptor design (length and diameter) and density is also present. Overall, the myctophid eye is very sensitive compared to other teleosts and each species seems to be specialised for the detection of a specific signal (downwelling light or bioluminescence), potentially reflecting different visual demands for survival. Phylogenetic comparative analyses highlight several relationships between photoreceptor characteristics and the ecological variables tested (depth distribution and luminous tissue patterns). Depth distribution at night was a significant factor in most of the

  5. Origin and Impact of Phototransduction Noise in Primate Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Angueyra, Juan Manuel; Rieke, Fred

    2013-01-01

    Noise in the responses of cone photoreceptors sets a fundamental limit to visual sensitivity, yet the origin of noise in mammalian cones and its relation to behavioral sensitivity are poorly understood. Our work here on primate cones improves understanding of these issues in three ways. First, we find that cone noise is not dominated by spontaneous photopigment activation or by quantal fluctuations in photon absorption but instead by other sources, namely channel noise and fluctuations in cGMP. Second, we find that adaptation in cones, unlike that in rods, affects signals and noise differently. This difference helps explain why thresholds for rod- and cone-mediated signals have different dependencies on background light level. Third, past estimates of noise in mammalian cones are too high to explain behavioral sensitivity. Our measurements indicate a lower level of cone noise, and thus help reconcile physiological and behavioral estimates of cone noise and sensitivity. PMID:24097042

  6. Bifurcation analysis of a photoreceptor interaction model for Retinitis Pigmentosa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Camacho, Erika T.; Radulescu, Anca; Wirkus, Stephen

    2016-09-01

    Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) is the term used to describe a diverse set of degenerative eye diseases affecting the photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the retina. This work builds on an existing mathematical model of RP that focused on the interaction of the rods and cones. We non-dimensionalize the model and examine the stability of the equilibria. We then numerically investigate other stable modes that are present in the system for various parameter values and relate these modes to the original problem. Our results show that stable modes exist for a wider range of parameter values than the stability of the equilibrium solutions alone, suggesting that additional approaches to preventing cone death may exist.

  7. Melatonin modulates M4-type ganglion-cell photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Pack, W; Hill, D D; Wong, K Y

    2015-09-10

    In the retina, melatonin is secreted at night by rod/cone photoreceptors and serves as a dark-adaptive signal. Melatonin receptors have been found in many retinal neurons including melanopsin-containing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), suggesting it could modulate the physiology of these inner retinal photoreceptors. Here, we investigated whether melatonin modulates the alpha-like M4-type ipRGCs, which are believed to mediate image-forming vision as well as non-image-forming photoresponses. Applying melatonin during daytime (when endogenous melatonin secretion is low) caused whole-cell-recorded M4 cells' rod/cone-driven depolarizing photoresponses to become broader and larger, whereas the associated elevation in spike rate was reduced. Melanopsin-based light responses were not affected significantly. Nighttime application of the melatonin receptor antagonist luzindole also altered M4 cells' rod/cone-driven light responses but in the opposite ways: the duration and amplitude of the graded depolarization were reduced, whereas the accompanying spiking increase was enhanced. These luzindole-induced changes confirmed that M4 cells are modulated by endogenous melatonin. Melatonin could induce the above effects by acting directly on M4 cells because immunohistochemistry detected MT1 receptors in these cells, although it could also act presynaptically. Interestingly, the daytime and nighttime recordings showed significant differences in resting membrane potential, spontaneous spike rate and rod/cone-driven light responses, suggesting that M4 cells are under circadian control. This is the first report of a circadian variation in ipRGCs' resting properties and synaptic input, and of melatoninergic modulation of ipRGCs. PMID:26141846

  8. Cav1.4 L-Type Calcium Channels Contribute to Calpain Activation in Degenerating Photoreceptors of rd1 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Schön, Christian; Paquet-Durand, François; Michalakis, Stylianos

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited blinding disorder characterized by progressive degeneration and loss of photoreceptors. The exact mechanism of degeneration and cell death of photoreceptors is not known, but is thought to involve disturbed Ca2+—signaling. Ca2+ can enter the photoreceptor cell via outer segment cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels or synaptic Cav1.4 L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC). Previously, we have shown that genetic ablation of the Cngb1 gene encoding the B subunit of the rod CNG channel delays the fast progressing degeneration in the rd1 mutant mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. In this study, we crossbred rd1 mice with the Cacna1f-deficient mouse lacking the Cav1.4 α1 subunit of the L-type VGCC. Longitudinal in vivo examinations of photoreceptor layer thickness by optical coherence tomography revealed a significant, but not sustained delay of retinal degeneration in Cacna1f x rd1 double mutant mice compared to rd1 mice. This was accompanied by a reduction of TUNEL positive cells in the early phase of rod degeneration. Remarkably, Cacna1f x rd1 double mutant mice displayed a strong decrease in the activation of the Ca2+-dependent protease calpain during photoreceptor loss. Our results show that genetic deletion of the synaptic Cav1.4 L-type VGCCs impairs calpain activation and leads to a short-term preservation of photoreceptors in the rd1 mouse. PMID:27270916

  9. Cav1.4 L-Type Calcium Channels Contribute to Calpain Activation in Degenerating Photoreceptors of rd1 Mice.

    PubMed

    Schön, Christian; Paquet-Durand, François; Michalakis, Stylianos

    2016-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited blinding disorder characterized by progressive degeneration and loss of photoreceptors. The exact mechanism of degeneration and cell death of photoreceptors is not known, but is thought to involve disturbed Ca2+-signaling. Ca2+ can enter the photoreceptor cell via outer segment cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channels or synaptic Cav1.4 L-type voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCC). Previously, we have shown that genetic ablation of the Cngb1 gene encoding the B subunit of the rod CNG channel delays the fast progressing degeneration in the rd1 mutant mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. In this study, we crossbred rd1 mice with the Cacna1f-deficient mouse lacking the Cav1.4 α1 subunit of the L-type VGCC. Longitudinal in vivo examinations of photoreceptor layer thickness by optical coherence tomography revealed a significant, but not sustained delay of retinal degeneration in Cacna1f x rd1 double mutant mice compared to rd1 mice. This was accompanied by a reduction of TUNEL positive cells in the early phase of rod degeneration. Remarkably, Cacna1f x rd1 double mutant mice displayed a strong decrease in the activation of the Ca2+-dependent protease calpain during photoreceptor loss. Our results show that genetic deletion of the synaptic Cav1.4 L-type VGCCs impairs calpain activation and leads to a short-term preservation of photoreceptors in the rd1 mouse. PMID:27270916

  10. Triplet correlations in the hard rod fluid: A test for topological reduction of graph-theoretic corrections to the superposition approximation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haymet, A. D. J.

    1984-04-01

    Two series expansions for the triplet correlation function, which have been used previously to study three-dimensional liquids, are evaluated in a case where the exact triple correlation function is known, namely, hard rods in one dimension. These series are studied in the context of the Yvon-Born-Green (YBG) integral equation. The coefficients in the f-bond series are evaluated analytically, but the resultant corrections to the superposition approximation are minor. In contrast, the coefficients of the h-bond series, which are calculated numerically, provide an accurate approximation to the triplet correlation function for densities of interest below two-thirds of the close-packed density. The validity of the ``scaling'' approximation of the h-bond series, which has been used in theories of quantum liquids, is also examined, and these calculations are shown to be relevant to earlier studies of three-dimensional liquids.

  11. Protein and Signaling Networks in Vertebrate Photoreceptor Cells

    PubMed Central

    Koch, Karl-Wilhelm; Dell’Orco, Daniele

    2015-01-01

    Vertebrate photoreceptor cells are exquisite light detectors operating under very dim and bright illumination. The photoexcitation and adaptation machinery in photoreceptor cells consists of protein complexes that can form highly ordered supramolecular structures and control the homeostasis and mutual dependence of the secondary messengers cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) and Ca2+. The visual pigment in rod photoreceptors, the G protein-coupled receptor rhodopsin is organized in tracks of dimers thereby providing a signaling platform for the dynamic scaffolding of the G protein transducin. Illuminated rhodopsin is turned off by phosphorylation catalyzed by rhodopsin kinase (GRK1) under control of Ca2+-recoverin. The GRK1 protein complex partly assembles in lipid raft structures, where shutting off rhodopsin seems to be more effective. Re-synthesis of cGMP is another crucial step in the recovery of the photoresponse after illumination. It is catalyzed by membrane bound sensory guanylate cyclases (GCs) and is regulated by specific neuronal Ca2+-sensor proteins called guanylate cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs). At least one GC (ROS-GC1) was shown to be part of a multiprotein complex having strong interactions with the cytoskeleton and being controlled in a multimodal Ca2+-dependent fashion. The final target of the cGMP signaling cascade is a cyclic nucleotide-gated (CNG) channel that is a hetero-oligomeric protein located in the plasma membrane and interacting with accessory proteins in highly organized microdomains. We summarize results and interpretations of findings related to the inhomogeneous organization of signaling units in photoreceptor outer segments. PMID:26635520

  12. Bat Eyes Have Ultraviolet-Sensitive Cone Photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Müller, Brigitte; Glösmann, Martin; Peichl, Leo; Knop, Gabriel C.; Hagemann, Cornelia; Ammermüller, Josef

    2009-01-01

    Mammalian retinae have rod photoreceptors for night vision and cone photoreceptors for daylight and colour vision. For colour discrimination, most mammals possess two cone populations with two visual pigments (opsins) that have absorption maxima at short wavelengths (blue or ultraviolet light) and long wavelengths (green or red light). Microchiropteran bats, which use echolocation to navigate and forage in complete darkness, have long been considered to have pure rod retinae. Here we use opsin immunohistochemistry to show that two phyllostomid microbats, Glossophaga soricina and Carollia perspicillata, possess a significant population of cones and express two cone opsins, a shortwave-sensitive (S) opsin and a longwave-sensitive (L) opsin. A substantial population of cones expresses S opsin exclusively, whereas the other cones mostly coexpress L and S opsin. S opsin gene analysis suggests ultraviolet (UV, wavelengths <400 nm) sensitivity, and corneal electroretinogram recordings reveal an elevated sensitivity to UV light which is mediated by an S cone visual pigment. Therefore bats have retained the ancestral UV tuning of the S cone pigment. We conclude that bats have the prerequisite for daylight vision, dichromatic colour vision, and UV vision. For bats, the UV-sensitive cones may be advantageous for visual orientation at twilight, predator avoidance, and detection of UV-reflecting flowers for those that feed on nectar. PMID:19636375

  13. AAV Vectors for FRET-Based Analysis of Protein-Protein Interactions in Photoreceptor Outer Segments

    PubMed Central

    Becirovic, Elvir; Böhm, Sybille; Nguyen, Ong N. P.; Riedmayr, Lisa M.; Hammelmann, Verena; Schön, Christian; Butz, Elisabeth S.; Wahl-Schott, Christian; Biel, Martin; Michalakis, Stylianos

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a powerful method for the detection and quantification of stationary and dynamic protein-protein interactions. Technical limitations have hampered systematic in vivo FRET experiments to study protein-protein interactions in their native environment. Here, we describe a rapid and robust protocol that combines adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated in vivo delivery of genetically encoded FRET partners with ex vivo FRET measurements. The method was established on acutely isolated outer segments of murine rod and cone photoreceptors and relies on the high co-transduction efficiency of retinal photoreceptors by co-delivered AAV vectors. The procedure can be used for the systematic analysis of protein-protein interactions of wild type or mutant outer segment proteins in their native environment. Conclusively, our protocol can help to characterize the physiological and pathophysiological relevance of photoreceptor specific proteins and, in principle, should also be transferable to other cell types. PMID:27516733

  14. LACK OF PROTEIN-TYROSINE SULFATION DISRUPTS PHOTORECEPTOR OUTER SEGMENT MORPHOGENESIS, RETINAL FUNCTION AND RETINAL ANATOMY

    PubMed Central

    Sherry, David M.; Murray, Anne R.; Kanan, Yogita; Arbogast, Kelsey L.; Hamilton, Robert A.; Fliesler, Steven J.; Burns, Marie E.; Moore, Kevin L.; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R.

    2010-01-01

    To investigate the role(s) of protein-tyrosine sulfation in the retina, we examined retinal function and structure in mice lacking tyrosylprotein sulfotransferases (TPST) 1 and 2. Tpst double knockout (DKO; Tpst1−/−/Tpst2−/−) retinas had drastically reduced electroretinographic responses, although their photoreceptors exhibited normal responses in single cell recordings. These retinas appeared normal histologically; however, the rod photoreceptors had ultrastructurally abnormal outer segments, with membrane evulsions into the extracellular space, irregular disc membrane spacing, and expanded intradiscal space. Photoreceptor synaptic terminals were disorganized in Tpst DKO retinas, but established ultrastructurally normal synapses, as did bipolar and amacrine cells; however, the morphology and organization of neuronal processes in the inner retina were abnormal. These results indicate that protein-tyrosine sulfation is essential for proper outer segment morphogenesis and synaptic function, but is not critical for overall retinal structure or synapse formation, and may serve broader functions in neuronal development and maintenance. PMID:21039965

  15. AAV Vectors for FRET-Based Analysis of Protein-Protein Interactions in Photoreceptor Outer Segments.

    PubMed

    Becirovic, Elvir; Böhm, Sybille; Nguyen, Ong N P; Riedmayr, Lisa M; Hammelmann, Verena; Schön, Christian; Butz, Elisabeth S; Wahl-Schott, Christian; Biel, Martin; Michalakis, Stylianos

    2016-01-01

    Fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) is a powerful method for the detection and quantification of stationary and dynamic protein-protein interactions. Technical limitations have hampered systematic in vivo FRET experiments to study protein-protein interactions in their native environment. Here, we describe a rapid and robust protocol that combines adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector-mediated in vivo delivery of genetically encoded FRET partners with ex vivo FRET measurements. The method was established on acutely isolated outer segments of murine rod and cone photoreceptors and relies on the high co-transduction efficiency of retinal photoreceptors by co-delivered AAV vectors. The procedure can be used for the systematic analysis of protein-protein interactions of wild type or mutant outer segment proteins in their native environment. Conclusively, our protocol can help to characterize the physiological and pathophysiological relevance of photoreceptor specific proteins and, in principle, should also be transferable to other cell types. PMID:27516733

  16. Light Adaptation in the Ventral Photoreceptor of Limulus

    PubMed Central

    Srebro, Richard; Behbehani, Michael

    1974-01-01

    Light adaptation in both the ventral photoreceptor and the lateral eye photoreceptor is a complex process consisting of at least two phases. One phase, which we call the rapid phase of adaptation, occurs whenever there is temporal overlap of the discrete waves that compose a light response. The recovery from the rapid phase of adaptation follows an exponential time-course with a time constant of approximately 75 ms at 21°C. The rapid phase of adaptation occurs at light intensities barely above discrete wave threshold as well as at substantially higher light intensities with the same recovery time-course at all intensities. It occurs in voltage-clamped and unclamped photoreceptors. The kinetics of the rapid phase of adaptation is closely correlated to the photocurrent which appears to initiate it after a short delay. The rapid phase of adaptation is probably identical to what is called the "adapting bump" process. At light intensities greater than about 10 times discrete wave threshold another phase of light adaptation occurs. It develops slowly over a period of ½ s or so, and decays even more slowly over a period of several seconds. It is graded with light intensity and occurs in both voltage-clamped and unclamped photoreceptors. We call this the slow phase of light adaptation. PMID:4846765

  17. Estimating photoreceptor excitations from spectral outputs of a personal light exposure measurement device.

    PubMed

    Cao, Dingcai; Barrionuevo, Pablo A

    2015-03-01

    The intrinsic circadian clock requires photoentrainment to synchronize the 24-hour solar day. Therefore, light stimulation is an important component of chronobiological research. Currently, the chronobiological research field overwhelmingly uses photopic illuminance that is based on the luminous efficiency function, V(λ), to quantify light levels. However, recent discovery of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), which are activated by self-contained melanopsin photopigment and also by inputs from rods and cones, makes light specification using a one-dimensional unit inadequate. Since the current understanding of how different photoreceptor inputs contribute to the circadian system through ipRGCs is limited, it is recommended to specify light in terms of the excitations of five photoreceptors (S-, M-, L-cones, rods and ipRGCs; Lucas et al., 2014). In the current study, we assessed whether the spectral outputs from a commercially available spectral watch (i.e. Actiwatch Spectrum) could be used to estimate photoreceptor excitations. Based on the color sensor spectral sensitivity functions from a previously published work, as well as from our measurements, we computed spectral outputs in the long-wavelength range (R), middle-wavelength range (G), short-wavelength range (B) and broadband range (W) under 52 CIE illuminants (25 daylight illuminants, 27 fluorescent lights). We also computed the photoreceptor excitations for each illuminant using human photoreceptor spectral sensitivity functions. Linear regression analyses indicated that the Actiwatch spectral outputs could predict photoreceptor excitations reliably, under the assumption of linear responses of the Actiwatch color sensors. In addition, R, G, B outputs could classify illuminant types (fluorescent versus daylight illuminants) satisfactorily. However, the assessment of actual Actiwatch recording under several testing light sources showed that the spectral outputs were subject to

  18. The two-step development of a duplex retina involves distinct events of cone and rod neurogenesis and differentiation.

    PubMed

    Valen, Ragnhild; Eilertsen, Mariann; Edvardsen, Rolf Brudvik; Furmanek, Tomasz; Rønnestad, Ivar; van der Meeren, Terje; Karlsen, Ørjan; Nilsen, Tom Ole; Helvik, Jon Vidar

    2016-08-15

    Unlike in mammals, persistent postembryonic retinal growth is a characteristic feature of fish, which includes major remodeling events that affect all cell types including photoreceptors. Consequently, visual capabilities change during development, where retinal sensitivity to different wavelengths of light (photopic vision), -and to limited photons (scotopic vision) are central capabilities for survival. Differently from well-established model fish, Atlantic cod has a prolonged larval stage where only cone photoreceptors are present. Rods do not appear until juvenile transition (metamorphosis), a hallmark of indirect developing species. Previously we showed that whole gene families of lws (red-sensitive) and sws1 (UV-sensitive) opsins have been lost in cod, while rh2a (green-sensitive) and sws2 (blue-sensitive) genes have tandem duplicated. Here, we provide a comprehensive characterization of a two-step developing duplex retina in Atlantic cod. The study focuses on cone subtype dynamics and delayed rod neurogenesis and differentiation in all cod life stages. Using transcriptomic and histological approaches we show that different opsins disappear in a topographic manner during development where central to peripheral retina is a key axis of expressional change. Early cone differentiation was initiated in dorso-temporal retina different from previously described in fish. Rods first appeared during initiation of metamorphosis and expression of the nuclear receptor transcription factor nr2e3-1, suggest involvement in rod specification. The indirect developmental strategy thus allows for separate studies of cones and rods development, which in nature correlates with visual changes linked to habitat shifts. The clustering of key retinal genes according to life stage, suggests that Atlantic cod with its sequenced genome may be an important resource for identification of underlying factors required for development and function of photopic and scotopic vision. PMID:27374844

  19. Function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived photoreceptor progenitors in blind mice

    PubMed Central

    Barnea-Cramer, Alona O.; Wang, Wei; Lu, Shi-Jiang; Singh, Mandeep S.; Luo, Chenmei; Huo, Hongguang; McClements, Michelle E.; Barnard, Alun R.; MacLaren, Robert E.; Lanza, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Photoreceptor degeneration due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a primary cause of inherited retinal blindness. Photoreceptor cell-replacement may hold the potential for repair in a completely degenerate retina by reinstating light sensitive cells to form connections that relay information to downstream retinal layers. This study assessed the therapeutic potential of photoreceptor progenitors derived from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs and iPSCs) using a protocol that is suitable for future clinical trials. ESCs and iPSCs were cultured in four specific stages under defined conditions, resulting in generation of a near-homogeneous population of photoreceptor-like progenitors. Following transplantation into mice with end-stage retinal degeneration, these cells differentiated into photoreceptors and formed a cell layer connected with host retinal neurons. Visual function was partially restored in treated animals, as evidenced by two visual behavioral tests. Furthermore, the magnitude of functional improvement was positively correlated with the number of engrafted cells. Similar efficacy was observed using either ESCs or iPSCs as source material. These data validate the potential of human pluripotent stem cells for photoreceptor replacement therapies aimed at photoreceptor regeneration in retinal disease. PMID:27405580

  20. Function of human pluripotent stem cell-derived photoreceptor progenitors in blind mice.

    PubMed

    Barnea-Cramer, Alona O; Wang, Wei; Lu, Shi-Jiang; Singh, Mandeep S; Luo, Chenmei; Huo, Hongguang; McClements, Michelle E; Barnard, Alun R; MacLaren, Robert E; Lanza, Robert

    2016-01-01

    Photoreceptor degeneration due to retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a primary cause of inherited retinal blindness. Photoreceptor cell-replacement may hold the potential for repair in a completely degenerate retina by reinstating light sensitive cells to form connections that relay information to downstream retinal layers. This study assessed the therapeutic potential of photoreceptor progenitors derived from human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (ESCs and iPSCs) using a protocol that is suitable for future clinical trials. ESCs and iPSCs were cultured in four specific stages under defined conditions, resulting in generation of a near-homogeneous population of photoreceptor-like progenitors. Following transplantation into mice with end-stage retinal degeneration, these cells differentiated into photoreceptors and formed a cell layer connected with host retinal neurons. Visual function was partially restored in treated animals, as evidenced by two visual behavioral tests. Furthermore, the magnitude of functional improvement was positively correlated with the number of engrafted cells. Similar efficacy was observed using either ESCs or iPSCs as source material. These data validate the potential of human pluripotent stem cells for photoreceptor replacement therapies aimed at photoreceptor regeneration in retinal disease. PMID:27405580

  1. Quantification of photoreceptor layer thickness in different macular pathologies using ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Drexler, Wolfgang; Hermann, Boris; Unterhuber, Angelika; Sattmann, Harald; Wirtitsch, Matthias; Stur, Michael; Scholda, Christoph; Ergun, Erdem; Anger, Elisabeth; Ko, Tony H.; Schubert, Christian; Ahnelt, Peter K.; Fujimoto, James G.; Fercher, Adolf F.

    2004-07-01

    In vivo ultrahigh resolution ophthalmic OCT has been performed in more than 300 eyes of 200 patients with several retinal pathologies, demonstrating unprecedented visualization of all major intraretinal layers, in particular the photoreceptor layer. Visualization as well as quantification of the inner and outer segment of the photoreceptor layer especially in the foveal region has been acvhieved. In normal subjects the photoreceptor layer thickness in the center of the fovea is about of 90 μm, approximately equally distributed to the inner and the outer photoreceptor segment. In the parafoveal region this thickness is reduced to ~50 μm (~30 μm for the inner and ~20 μm for the outer segment). This is in good agreement with well known increase of cone outer segments in the central foveal region. Photoreceptor layer impairment in different macular pathologies like macular hole, central serous chorioretinopathy, age related macular degeneration, foveomacular dystrophies, Stargardt dystrophy as well as retinitis pigmentosa has been investigated. Photoreceptor layer loss significantly correlated with visual acuity (R2 = 0.6, p < 0.001) and microperimetry findings for the first time in 22 eyes with Stargardt dystrophy. Visualization and quantification of photoreceptor inner and outer segment using ultrahigh resolution OCT has the potential to improve early ophthalmic diagnosis, contributes to a better understanding of pathogenesis of retinal diseases as well as might have impact in the development and monitoring of novel therapy approaches.

  2. Genetic Dissection of Dual Roles for the Transcription Factor six7 in Photoreceptor Development and Patterning in Zebrafish

    PubMed Central

    Sotolongo-Lopez, Mailin; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Saade, Carole J.; Vera, Daniel L.; Fadool, James M.

    2016-01-01

    The visual system of a particular species is highly adapted to convey detailed ecological and behavioral information essential for survival. The consequences of structural mutations of opsins upon spectral sensitivity and environmental adaptation have been studied in great detail, but lacking is knowledge of the potential influence of alterations in gene regulatory networks upon the diversity of cone subtypes and the variation in the ratio of rods and cones observed in numerous diurnal and nocturnal species. Exploiting photoreceptor patterning in cone-dominated zebrafish, we uncovered two independent mechanisms by which the sine oculis homeobox homolog 7 (six7) regulates photoreceptor development. In a genetic screen, we isolated the lots-of-rods-junior (ljrp23ahub) mutation that resulted in an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in otherwise normal appearing larvae. Sequence analysis, genome editing using TALENs and knockdown strategies confirm ljrp23ahub as a hypomorphic allele of six7, a teleost orthologue of six3, with known roles in forebrain patterning and expression of opsins. Based on the lack of predicted protein-coding changes and a deletion of a conserved element upstream of the transcription start site, a cis-regulatory mutation is proposed as the basis of the reduced expression of six7 in ljrp23ahub. Comparison of the phenotypes of the hypomorphic and knock-out alleles provides evidence of two independent roles in photoreceptor development. EdU and PH3 labeling show that the increase in rod number is associated with extended mitosis of photoreceptor progenitors, and TUNEL suggests that the lack of green-sensitive cones is the result of cell death of the cone precursor. These data add six7 to the small but growing list of essential genes for specification and patterning of photoreceptors in non-mammalian vertebrates, and highlight alterations in transcriptional regulation as a potential source of photoreceptor variation across species

  3. Genetic Dissection of Dual Roles for the Transcription Factor six7 in Photoreceptor Development and Patterning in Zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Sotolongo-Lopez, Mailin; Alvarez-Delfin, Karen; Saade, Carole J; Vera, Daniel L; Fadool, James M

    2016-04-01

    The visual system of a particular species is highly adapted to convey detailed ecological and behavioral information essential for survival. The consequences of structural mutations of opsins upon spectral sensitivity and environmental adaptation have been studied in great detail, but lacking is knowledge of the potential influence of alterations in gene regulatory networks upon the diversity of cone subtypes and the variation in the ratio of rods and cones observed in numerous diurnal and nocturnal species. Exploiting photoreceptor patterning in cone-dominated zebrafish, we uncovered two independent mechanisms by which the sine oculis homeobox homolog 7 (six7) regulates photoreceptor development. In a genetic screen, we isolated the lots-of-rods-junior (ljrp23ahub) mutation that resulted in an increased number and uniform distribution of rods in otherwise normal appearing larvae. Sequence analysis, genome editing using TALENs and knockdown strategies confirm ljrp23ahub as a hypomorphic allele of six7, a teleost orthologue of six3, with known roles in forebrain patterning and expression of opsins. Based on the lack of predicted protein-coding changes and a deletion of a conserved element upstream of the transcription start site, a cis-regulatory mutation is proposed as the basis of the reduced expression of six7 in ljrp23ahub. Comparison of the phenotypes of the hypomorphic and knock-out alleles provides evidence of two independent roles in photoreceptor development. EdU and PH3 labeling show that the increase in rod number is associated with extended mitosis of photoreceptor progenitors, and TUNEL suggests that the lack of green-sensitive cones is the result of cell death of the cone precursor. These data add six7 to the small but growing list of essential genes for specification and patterning of photoreceptors in non-mammalian vertebrates, and highlight alterations in transcriptional regulation as a potential source of photoreceptor variation across species

  4. The locations of mitochondria in mammalian photoreceptors: relation to retinal vasculature.

    PubMed

    Stone, Jonathan; van Driel, Diana; Valter, Krisztina; Rees, Sandra; Provis, Jan

    2008-01-16

    Adult mammalian photoreceptors are elongated cells, and their mitochondria are sequestered to the ends of the cell, to the inner segments and (in some species) to axon terminals in the outer plexiform layer (OPL). We hypothesised that mitochondria migrate to these locations towards sources of oxygen, from the choroid and (in some species) from the deep capillaries of the retinal circulation. Six mammalian species were surveyed, using electron and light microscopy, including immunohistochemistry for the mitochondrial enzyme cytochrome oxidase (CO). In all 6 species, mitochondria were absent from photoreceptor somas and were numerous in inner segments. Mitochondria were prominent in axon terminals in 3 species (mouse, rat, human) with a retinal circulation and were absent from those terminals in 3 species (wallaby, rat, guinea pig) with avascular retinas. Further, in a human developmental series, it was evident that mitochondria migrate within rods and cones, towards and eventually past the outer limiting membrane (OLM), into the inner segment. In Müller and RPE cells also, mitochondria concentrated at the external surface of the cells. Neurones located in the inner layers of avascular retinas have mitochondria, but their expression of CO is low. Mitochondrial locations in photoreceptors, Müller and RPE cells are economically explained as the result of migration within the cell towards sources of oxygen. In photoreceptors, this migration results in a separation of mitochondria from the nuclear genome; this separation may be a factor in the vulnerability of photoreceptors to mutations, toxins and environmental stresses, which other retinal neurones survive. PMID:18048005

  5. MicroRNA-499 Expression Distinctively Correlates to Target Genes sox6 and rod1 Profiles to Resolve the Skeletal Muscle Phenotype in Nile Tilapia

    PubMed Central

    Carvalho, Robson F.; Martins, Cesar; Pinhal, Danillo

    2015-01-01

    A class of small non-coding RNAs, the microRNAs (miRNAs), has been shown to be essential for the regulation of specific cell pathways, including skeletal muscle development, maintenance and homeostasis in vertebrates. However, the relative contribution of miRNAs for determining the red and white muscle cell phenotypes is far from being fully comprehended. To better characterize the role of miRNA in skeletal muscle cell biology, we investigated muscle-specific miRNA (myomiR) signatures in Nile tilapia fish. Quantitative (RT-qPCR) and spatial (FISH) expression analyses revealed a highly differential expression (forty-four-fold) of miR-499 in red skeletal muscle compared to white skeletal muscle, whereas the remaining known myomiRs were equally expressed in both muscle cell types. Detailed examination of the miR-499 targets through bioinformatics led us to the sox6 and rod1 genes, which had low expression in red muscle cells according to RT-qPCR, FISH, and protein immunofluorescence profiling experiments. Interestingly, we verified that the high expression of miR-499 perfectly correlates with a low expression of sox6 and rod1 target genes, as verified by a distinctive predominance of mRNA destabilization and protein translational decay to these genes, respectively. Through a genome-wide comparative analysis of SOX6 and ROD1 protein domains and through an in silico gene regulatory network, we also demonstrate that both proteins are essentially similar in vertebrate genomes, suggesting their gene regulatory network may also be widely conserved. Overall, our data shed light on the potential regulation of targets by miR-499 associated with the slow-twitch muscle fiber type phenotype. Additionally the results provide novel insights into the evolutionary dynamics of miRNA and target genes enrolled in a putative constrained molecular pathway in the skeletal muscle cells of vertebrates. PMID:25793727

  6. Efficacy and selectivity of phosphodiesterase-targeted drugs to inhibit photoreceptor phosphodiesterase (PDE6) in retinal photoreceptors*

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiujun; Feng, Qing; Cote, Rick H.

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitors are important therapeutic agents, but their effects on photoreceptor PDE (PDE6) and photoreceptor cells are poorly understood. We characterized the potency and selectivity of various classes of PDE inhibitors on purified rod and cone PDE6 and on intact rod outer segments (ROS). Methods: The inhibition constant (KI) of isozyme-selective PDE inhibitors was determined for purified rod and cone PDE6. Perturbations of cGMP levels in isolated ROS suspensions by PDE inhibitors were quantitated by a cGMP enzyme-linked immunoassay. Results: Most PDE5-selective inhibitors are excellent PDE6 inhibitors. Vardenafil, a potent PDE5 inhibitor (KI = 0.2 nM), is the most potent PDE6 inhibitor tested (KI = 0.7 nM). Zaprinast is the only drug that inhibits PDE6 more potently than PDE5. PDE1-selective inhibitors were equally effective in inhibiting PDE6. In intact ROS, PDE inhibitors elevated cGMP levels but none fully inhibited PDE6. Their potency to elevate cGMP levels in ROS was much lower than their ability to inhibit the purified enzyme. Competition between PDE5/6-selective drugs and the inhibitory γ subunit for the active site of PDE6 is proposed to reduce the effectiveness of drugs at the enzyme active site. Conclusions: Several classes of PDE inhibitors equally well inhibit PDE6 as the PDE family to which they are targeted. In intact ROS, high PDE6 concentrations, binding of the γ subunit to the active site, and calcium feedback mechanisms attenuate the effectiveness of PDE inhibitors to inhibit PDE6 and disrupt the cGMP signaling pathway during visual transduction. PMID:16123402

  7. Rhodopsin molecular contrast imaging by optical coherence tomography for functional assessment of photoreceptors (Conference Presentation)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nafra, Zahra; Liu, Tan; Jiao, Shuliang

    2016-03-01

    Rhodopsin, the light-sensing molecule in the outer segments of rod photoreceptors, is responsible for converting light into neuronal signals in a process known as phototransduction. Rhodopsin is thus a functional biomarker for rod photoreceptors. We developed a novel technology based on visible-light optical coherence tomography (VIS-OCT) for in vivo molecular imaging of rhodopsin. The depth resolution of OCT allows the visualization of the location where the change of optical absorption occurs and provides a potentially accurate assessment of rhodopsin content by segmentation of the image at the location. A broadband supercontinuum laser, whose filtered output was centered at 520 nm, was used as the illuminating light source. To test the capabilities of the system on rhodopsin mapping we imaged the retina of albino rats. The rats were dark adapted before imaging. An integrated near infrared OCT was used to guide the alignment in dark. VIS-OCT three-dimensional images were then acquired under dark- and light- adapted states sequentially. Rhodopsin distribution was calculated from the differential image. The rhodopsin distributions can be displayed in both en face view and depth-resolved cross-sectional image. Rhodopsin OCT can be used to quantitatively image rhodopsin distribution and thus assess the distribution of functional rod photoreceptors in the retina. Rhodopsin OCT can bring significant impact into ophthalmic clinics by providing a tool for the diagnosis and severity assessment of a variety of retinal conditions.

  8. Lighting conditions and retinal development in goldfish: photoreceptor number and structure.

    PubMed

    Raymond, P A; Bassi, C J; Powers, M K

    1988-01-01

    The retinas of 63 goldfish were examined after varying durations of exposure to one of three environmental lighting conditions beginning before hatching: constant light (340 lux), cyclic light (12 hr 320 lux, 12 hr dark) and constant dark. Up to 8 months, no effects of constant light or dark on photoreceptor numbers or structure were apparent. Densities of rod and cone nuclei were normal and all retinal layers appeared normal by light microscopy. Exposure to constant light for 12 months or longer resulted in a reduction in rod density by 37%. Cone numbers were unaffected by constant light, even with exposures of 3 yr, and rod and cone outer segments were normal in length at 11-20 months under all environmental conditions. Due to poor survival, only one animal was available for quantitative examination from the group reared in constant dark 12 months or longer. Photoreceptor size and number in this retina were similar to those in the constant light condition. The results suggest that the formation and maturation of rods and cones in goldfish retina is unaffected by rearing in constant light. However, long-term exposure (greater than or equal to 12 months) may disrupt maintenance of differentiated rods. PMID:3335431

  9. The evolution of early vertebrate photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Collin, Shaun P.; Davies, Wayne L.; Hart, Nathan S.; Hunt, David M.

    2009-01-01

    Meeting the challenge of sampling an ancient aquatic landscape by the early vertebrates was crucial to their survival and would establish a retinal bauplan to be used by all subsequent vertebrate descendents. Image-forming eyes were under tremendous selection pressure and the ability to identify suitable prey and detect potential predators was thought to be one of the major drivers of speciation in the Early Cambrian. Based on the fossil record, we know that hagfishes, lampreys, holocephalans, elasmobranchs and lungfishes occupy critical stages in vertebrate evolution, having remained relatively unchanged over hundreds of millions of years. Now using extant representatives of these ‘living fossils’, we are able to piece together the evolution of vertebrate photoreception. While photoreception in hagfishes appears to be based on light detection and controlling circadian rhythms, rather than image formation, the photoreceptors of lampreys fall into five distinct classes and represent a critical stage in the dichotomy of rods and cones. At least four types of retinal cones sample the visual environment in lampreys mediating photopic (and potentially colour) vision, a sampling strategy retained by lungfishes, some modern teleosts, reptiles and birds. Trichromacy is retained in cartilaginous fishes (at least in batoids and holocephalans), where it is predicted that true scotopic (dim light) vision evolved in the common ancestor of all living gnathostomes. The capacity to discriminate colour and balance the tradeoff between resolution and sensitivity in the early vertebrates was an important driver of eye evolution, where many of the ocular features evolved were retained as vertebrates progressed on to land. PMID:19720654

  10. Circadian and light-driven regulation of rod dark adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Yunlu; Shen, Susan Q.; Corbo, Joseph C.; Kefalov, Vladimir J.

    2015-01-01

    Continuous visual perception and the dark adaptation of vertebrate photoreceptors after bright light exposure require recycling of their visual chromophore through a series of reactions in the retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE visual cycle). Light-driven chromophore consumption by photoreceptors is greater in daytime vs. nighttime, suggesting that correspondingly higher activity of the visual cycle may be required. However, as rod photoreceptors are saturated in bright light, the continuous turnover of their chromophore by the visual cycle throughout the day would not contribute to vision. Whether the recycling of chromophore that drives rod dark adaptation is regulated by the circadian clock and light exposure is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that mouse rod dark adaptation is slower during the day or after light pre-exposure. This surprising daytime suppression of the RPE visual cycle was accompanied by light-driven reduction in expression of Rpe65, a key enzyme of the RPE visual cycle. Notably, only rods in melatonin-proficient mice were affected by this daily visual cycle modulation. Our results demonstrate that the circadian clock and light exposure regulate the recycling of chromophore in the RPE visual cycle. This daily melatonin-driven modulation of rod dark adaptation could potentially protect the retina from light-induced damage during the day. PMID:26626567

  11. Retbindin Is an Extracellular Riboflavin-binding Protein Found at the Photoreceptor/Retinal Pigment Epithelium Interface*

    PubMed Central

    Kelley, Ryan A.; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R.; Naash, Muna I.

    2015-01-01

    Retbindin is a novel retina-specific protein of unknown function. In this study, we have used various approaches to evaluate protein expression, localization, biochemical properties, and function. We find that retbindin is secreted by the rod photoreceptors into the inter-photoreceptor matrix where it is maintained via electrostatic forces. Retbindin is predominantly localized at the interface between photoreceptors and retinal pigment epithelium microvilli, a region critical for retinal function and homeostasis. Interestingly, although it is associated with photoreceptor outer segments, retbindin's expression is not dependent on their presence. In vitro, retbindin is capable of binding riboflavin, thus implicating the protein as a metabolite carrier between the retina and the retinal pigment epithelium. Altogether, our data show that retbindin is a novel photoreceptor-specific protein with a unique localization and function. We hypothesize that retbindin is an excellent candidate for binding retinal flavins and possibly participating in their transport from the extracellular space to the photoreceptors. Further investigations are warranted to determine the exact function of retbindin in retinal homeostasis and disease. PMID:25542898

  12. DNA methylation and differential gene regulation in photoreceptor cell death

    PubMed Central

    Farinelli, P; Perera, A; Arango-Gonzalez, B; Trifunovic, D; Wagner, M; Carell, T; Biel, M; Zrenner, E; Michalakis, S; Paquet-Durand, F; Ekström, P A R

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) defines a group of inherited degenerative retinal diseases causing progressive loss of photoreceptors. To this day, RP is still untreatable and rational treatment development will require a thorough understanding of the underlying cell death mechanisms. Methylation of the DNA base cytosine by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) is an important epigenetic factor regulating gene expression, cell differentiation, cell death, and survival. Previous studies suggested an involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in RP, and in this study, increased cytosine methylation was detected in dying photoreceptors in the rd1, rd2, P23H, and S334ter rodent models for RP. Ultrastructural analysis of photoreceptor nuclear morphology in the rd1 mouse model for RP revealed a severely altered chromatin structure during retinal degeneration that coincided with an increased expression of the DNMT isozyme DNMT3a. To identify disease-specific differentially methylated DNA regions (DMRs) on a genomic level, we immunoprecipitated methylated DNA fragments and subsequently analyzed them with a targeted microarray. Genome-wide comparison of DMRs between rd1 and wild-type retina revealed hypermethylation of genes involved in cell death and survival as well as cell morphology and nervous system development. When correlating DMRs with gene expression data, we found that hypermethylation occurred alongside transcriptional repression. Consistently, motif analysis showed that binding sites of several important transcription factors for retinal physiology were hypermethylated in the mutant model, which also correlated with transcriptional silencing of their respective target genes. Finally, inhibition of DNMTs in rd1 organotypic retinal explants using decitabine resulted in a substantial reduction of photoreceptor cell death, suggesting inhibition of DNA methylation as a potential novel treatment in RP. PMID:25476906

  13. DNA methylation and differential gene regulation in photoreceptor cell death.

    PubMed

    Farinelli, P; Perera, A; Arango-Gonzalez, B; Trifunovic, D; Wagner, M; Carell, T; Biel, M; Zrenner, E; Michalakis, S; Paquet-Durand, F; Ekström, P A R

    2014-01-01

    Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) defines a group of inherited degenerative retinal diseases causing progressive loss of photoreceptors. To this day, RP is still untreatable and rational treatment development will require a thorough understanding of the underlying cell death mechanisms. Methylation of the DNA base cytosine by DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) is an important epigenetic factor regulating gene expression, cell differentiation, cell death, and survival. Previous studies suggested an involvement of epigenetic mechanisms in RP, and in this study, increased cytosine methylation was detected in dying photoreceptors in the rd1, rd2, P23H, and S334ter rodent models for RP. Ultrastructural analysis of photoreceptor nuclear morphology in the rd1 mouse model for RP revealed a severely altered chromatin structure during retinal degeneration that coincided with an increased expression of the DNMT isozyme DNMT3a. To identify disease-specific differentially methylated DNA regions (DMRs) on a genomic level, we immunoprecipitated methylated DNA fragments and subsequently analyzed them with a targeted microarray. Genome-wide comparison of DMRs between rd1 and wild-type retina revealed hypermethylation of genes involved in cell death and survival as well as cell morphology and nervous system development. When correlating DMRs with gene expression data, we found that hypermethylation occurred alongside transcriptional repression. Consistently, motif analysis showed that binding sites of several important transcription factors for retinal physiology were hypermethylated in the mutant model, which also correlated with transcriptional silencing of their respective target genes. Finally, inhibition of DNMTs in rd1 organotypic retinal explants using decitabine resulted in a substantial reduction of photoreceptor cell death, suggesting inhibition of DNA methylation as a potential novel treatment in RP. PMID:25476906

  14. Molecular evolutionary analysis of vertebrate transducins: a role for amino acid variation in photoreceptor deactivation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yi G; Weadick, Cameron J; Santini, Francesco; Chang, Belinda S W

    2013-12-01

    Transducin is a heterotrimeric G protein that plays a critical role in phototransduction in the rod and cone photoreceptor cells of the vertebrate retina. Rods, highly sensitive cells that recover from photoactivation slowly, underlie dim-light vision, whereas cones are less sensitive, recover more quickly, and underlie bright-light vision. Transducin deactivation is a critical step in photoreceptor recovery and may underlie the functional distinction between rods and cones. Rods and cones possess distinct transducin α subunits, yet they share a common deactivation mechanism, the GTPase activating protein (GAP) complex. Here, we used codon models to examine patterns of sequence evolution in rod (GNAT1) and cone (GNAT2) α subunits. Our results indicate that purifying selection is the dominant force shaping GNAT1 and GNAT2 evolution, but that GNAT2 has additionally been subject to positive selection operating at multiple phylogenetic scales; phylogeny-wide analysis identified several sites in the GNAT2 helical domain as having substantially elevated dN/dS estimates, and branch-site analysis identified several nearby sites as targets of strong positive selection during early vertebrate history. Examination of aligned GNAT and GAP complex crystal structures revealed steric clashes between several positively selected sites and the deactivating GAP complex. This suggests that GNAT2 sequence variation could play an important role in adaptive evolution of the vertebrate visual system via effects on photoreceptor deactivation kinetics and provides an alternative perspective to previous work that focused instead on the effect of GAP complex concentration. Our findings thus further the understanding of the molecular biology, physiology, and evolution of vertebrate visual systems. PMID:24145862

  15. Light-dependent GTP-binding proteins in squid photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Robinson, P R; Wood, S F; Szuts, E Z; Fein, A; Hamm, H E; Lisman, J E

    1990-01-01

    Previous biochemical and electrophysiological evidence suggests that in invertebrate photoreceptors, a GTP-binding protein (G-protein) mediates the actions of photoactivated rhodopsin in the initial stages of transduction. We find that squid photoreceptors contain more than one protein (molecular masses 38, 42 and 46 kDa) whose ADP-ribosylation by bacterial exotoxins is light-sensitive. Several lines of evidence suggest that these proteins represent distinct alpha subunits of G-proteins. (1) Pertussis toxin and cholera toxin react with distinct subsets of these polypeptides. (2) Only the 42 kDa protein immunoreacts with the monoclonal antibody 4A, raised against the alpha subunit of the G-protein of vertebrate rods [Hamm & Bownds (1984) J. Gen. Physiol. 84. 265-280]. (3) In terms of ADP-ribosylation, the 42 kDa protein is the least labile to freezing. (4) Of the 38 kDa and 42 kDa proteins, the former is preferentially extracted with hypo-osmotic solutions, as demonstrated by the solubility of its ADP-ribosylated state and by the solubility of the light-dependent binding of guanosine 5'-[gamma-thio]triphosphate. The specific target enzymes for the observed G-proteins have not been established. Images Fig. 1. Fig. 2. Fig. 3. Fig. 4. Fig. 5. PMID:2124806

  16. Simple photoreceptors in Limulus polyphemus.

    PubMed

    Millecchia, R; Bradbury, J; Mauro, A

    1966-12-01

    The "olfactory nerve," the endoparietal eye, and the rudimentary lateral eyes of Limulus (polyphemus) contain simple photoreceptor cells that duplicate many of the electrical responses of the retinular cells of the lateral eye; the responses are a receptor potential consisting of aninitial transient phase and a subsequent steady phase,low-amplitude fluctuations, and a small locally regenerative response to pulses of both light and current. Photic stimulation does not induce conducted action potentials, but does increase the membrane conductance. The receptor potentialrequires the presence of sodium ions in the external medium. Measurements of action and absorption spectra indicate a photopigment whose maximum absorption is of light with wavelength of 535 nanometers. The functional significance of these cells has not been ascertained. PMID:5921383

  17. Inhibition to retinal rod bipolar cells is regulated by light levels

    PubMed Central

    Mazade, Reece E.; Klein, Justin S.

    2013-01-01

    The retina responds to a wide range of light stimuli by adaptation of retinal signaling to background light intensity and the use of two different photoreceptors: rods that sense dim light and cones that sense bright light. Rods signal to rod bipolar cells that receive significant inhibition from amacrine cells in the dark, especially from a rod bipolar cell-activated GABAergic amacrine cell. This inhibition modulates the output of rod bipolar cells onto downstream neurons. However, it was not clear how the inhibition of rod bipolar cells changes when rod signaling is limited by an adapting background light and cone signaling becomes dominant. We found that both light-evoked and spontaneous rod bipolar cell inhibition significantly decrease with light adaptation. This suggests a global decrease in the activity of amacrine cells that provide input to rod bipolar cells with light adaptation. However, inhibition to rod bipolar cells is also limited by GABAergic connections between amacrine cells, which decrease GABAergic input to rod bipolar cells. When we removed this serial inhibition, the light-evoked inhibition to rod bipolar cells remained after light adaptation. These results suggest that decreased inhibition to rod bipolar cells after light adaptation is due to decreased rod pathway activity as well as an active increase in inhibition between amacrine cells. Together these serve to limit rod bipolar cell inhibition after light adaptation, when the rod pathway is inactive and modulation of the signal is not required. This suggests an efficiency mechanism in the retina to limit unnecessary signaling. PMID:23596335

  18. Association of Shank 1A Scaffolding Protein with Cone Photoreceptor Terminals in the Mammalian Retina

    PubMed Central

    Stella, Salvatore L.; Vila, Alejandro; Hung, Albert Y.; Rome, Michael E.; Huynh, Uyenchi; Sheng, Morgan; Kreienkamp, Hans-Juergen; Brecha, Nicholas C.

    2012-01-01

    Photoreceptor terminals contain post-synaptic density (PSD) proteins e.g., PSD-95/PSD-93, but their role at photoreceptor synapses is not known. PSDs are generally restricted to post-synaptic boutons in central neurons and form scaffolding with multiple proteins that have structural and functional roles in neuronal signaling. The Shank family of proteins (Shank 1–3) functions as putative anchoring proteins for PSDs and is involved in the organization of cytoskeletal/signaling complexes in neurons. Specifically, Shank 1 is restricted to neurons and interacts with both receptors and signaling molecules at central neurons to regulate plasticity. However, it is not known whether Shank 1 is expressed at photoreceptor terminals. In this study we have investigated Shank 1A localization in the outer retina at photoreceptor terminals. We find that Shank 1A is expressed presynaptically in cone pedicles, but not rod spherules, and it is absent from mice in which the Shank 1 gene is deleted. Shank 1A co-localizes with PSD-95, peanut agglutinin, a marker of cone terminals, and glycogen phosphorylase, a cone specific marker. These findings provide convincing evidence for Shank 1A expression in both the inner and outer plexiform layers, and indicate a potential role for PSD-95/Shank 1 complexes at cone synapses in the outer retina. PMID:22984429

  19. Alterations to retinal architecture prior to photoreceptor loss in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa.

    PubMed

    Roche, Sarah L; Wyse-Jackson, Alice C; Byrne, Ashleigh M; Ruiz-Lopez, Ana M; Cotter, Thomas G

    2016-01-01

    Mouse models of retinitis pigmentosa (RP) are essential tools in the pursuit to understand fully what cell types and processes underlie the degeneration observed in RP. Knowledge of these processes is required if we are to develop successful therapies to treat this currently incurable disease. We have used the rd10 mouse model of RP to study retinal morphology prior to photoreceptor loss, using immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy on cryosections, since little is known about how the mutation affects the retina during this period. We report novel findings that the mutation in the rd10 mouse results in retinal abnormalities earlier than was previously thought. Defects in rod and cone outer segments, bipolar cells, amacrine cells and photoreceptor synapses were apparent in the retina during early stages of postnatal retinal development and prior to the loss of photoreceptors. Additionally, we observed a dramatic response of glial cells during this period. Microglia responded as early as postnatal day (P) 5; ?13 days before any photoreceptor loss is detected with Müller glia and astrocytes exhibiting changes from P10 and P15 respectively. Overall, these findings present pathological aspects to the postnatal development of the rd10 retina, contributing significantly to our understanding of disease onset and progression in the rd10 mouse and provide a valuable resource for the study of retinal dystrophies. PMID:27160072

  20. Abnormal photoreceptor outer segment development and early retinal degeneration in kif3a mutant zebrafish.

    PubMed

    Raghupathy, Rakesh K; Zhang, Xun; Alhasani, Reem H; Zhou, Xinzhi; Mullin, Margaret; Reilly, James; Li, Wenchang; Liu, Mugen; Shu, Xinhua

    2016-08-01

    Photoreceptors are highly specialized sensory neurons that possess a modified primary cilium called the outer segment. Photoreceptor outer segment formation and maintenance require highly active protein transport via a process known as intraflagellar transport. Anterograde transport in outer segments is powered by the heterotrimeric kinesin II and coordinated by intraflagellar transport proteins. Here, we describe a new zebrafish model carrying a nonsense mutation in the kinesin II family member 3A (kif3a) gene. Kif3a mutant zebrafish exhibited curved body axes and kidney cysts. Outer segments were not formed in most parts of the mutant retina, and rhodopsin was mislocalized, suggesting KIF3A has a role in rhodopsin trafficking. Both rod and cone photoreceptors degenerated rapidly between 4 and 9 days post fertilization, and electroretinography response was not detected in 7 days post fertilization mutant larvae. Loss of KIF3A in zebrafish also resulted in an intracellular transport defect affecting anterograde but not retrograde transport of organelles. Our results indicate KIF3A plays a conserved role in photoreceptor outer segment formation and intracellular transport. PMID:27470972

  1. Photoreceptor Sensory Cilium: Traversing the Ciliary Gate

    PubMed Central

    Khanna, Hemant

    2015-01-01

    Cilia are antenna-like extensions of the plasma membrane found in nearly all cell types. In the retina of the eye, photoreceptors develop unique sensory cilia. Not much was known about the mechanisms underlying the formation and function of photoreceptor cilia, largely because of technical limitations and the specific structural and functional modifications that cannot be modeled in vitro. With recent advances in microscopy techniques and molecular and biochemical approaches, we are now beginning to understand the molecular basis of photoreceptor ciliary architecture, ciliary function and its involvement in human diseases. Here, I will discuss the studies that have revealed new knowledge of how photoreceptor cilia regulate their identity and function while coping with high metabolic and trafficking demands associated with processing light signal. PMID:26501325

  2. Damage to the photoreceptor cells of the rabbit retina from 56Fe ions: effect of age at exposure, 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, G. R.; Lett, J. T.; Chatterjee, A. (Principal Investigator)

    1996-01-01

    Optic and proximate tissues of New Zealand white (NZW) rabbits at ages (approximately 3.5 years) near the middle of their median lifespan (5-7 years) were given 0.5-3.5 Gy of 465 MeV u-1 56Fe ions in the Bragg plateau region of energy deposition at a linear energy transfer (LET infinity) of 220 +/- 31 keV micrometer-1. Dose-dependent losses of retinal photoreceptor cells (rods) occurred until 1-2 years after irradiation, the period of this interim report. Similar cumulative losses of photoreceptor cells were seen during the period 1-2 years post-irradiation for rabbits given comparable exposures when young (6-9 weeks old). Since losses of photoreceptor cells at early times had not been determined previously, the current experiment, which was designed to simulate the responses of mature astronauts, redressed that deficiency.

  3. CONTROL ROD

    DOEpatents

    Zinn, W.H.; Ross, H.V.

    1958-11-18

    A control rod is described for a nuclear reactor. In certaln reactor designs it becomes desirable to use a control rod having great width but relatively llttle thickness. This patent is addressed to such a need. The neutron absorbing material is inserted in a triangular tube, leaving volds between the circular insert and the corners of the triangular tube. The material is positioned within the tube by the use of dummy spacers to achleve the desired absorption pattern, then the ends of the tubes are sealed with suitable plugs. The tubes may be welded or soldered together to form two flat surfaces of any desired width, and covered with sheetmetal to protect the tubes from damage. This design provides a control member that will not distort under the action of outside forces or be ruptured by gases generated within the jacketed control member.

  4. The Effects of Diabetic Retinopathy and Pan-Retinal Photocoagulation on Photoreceptor Cell Function as Assessed by Dark Adaptometry

    PubMed Central

    Bavinger, J. Clay; Dunbar, Grace E.; Stem, Maxwell S.; Blachley, Taylor S.; Kwark, Leon; Farsiu, Sina; Jackson, Gregory R.; Gardner, Thomas W.

    2016-01-01

    Purpose The pathophysiology of vision loss in persons with diabetic retinopathy (DR) is complex and incompletely defined. We hypothesized that retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and rod and cone photoreceptor dysfunction, as measured by dark adaptometry, would increase with severity of DR, and that pan-retinal photocoagulation (PRP) would exacerbate this dysfunction. Methods Dark adaptation (DA) was measured in subjects with diabetes mellitus and healthy controls. Dark adaptation was measured at 5° superior to the fovea following a flash bleach, and the data were analyzed to yield cone and rod sensitivity curves. Retinal layer thicknesses were quantified using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). Results The sample consisted of 23 controls and 73 diabetic subjects. Subjects with moderate nonproliferative diabetic retinopathy (NPDR) exhibited significant impairment of rod recovery rate compared with control subjects (P = 0.04). Cone sensitivity was impaired in subjects with proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR) (type 1 diabetes mellitus [T1DM]: P = 0.0047; type 2 diabetes mellitus [T2DM]: P < 0.001). Subjects with untreated PDR compared with subjects treated with PRP exhibited similar rod recovery rates and cone sensitivities. Thinner RPE as assessed by OCT was associated with slower rod recovery and lower cone sensitivity, and thinner photoreceptor inner segment/outer segment layer was associated with lower cone sensitivity. Conclusions The results suggest that RPE and photoreceptor cell dysfunction, as assessed by cone sensitivity level and rod- and RPE-mediated dark adaptation, progresses with worsening DR, and rod recovery dysfunction occurs earlier than cone dysfunction. Function was preserved following PRP. The findings suggest multiple defects in retinoid function and provide potential points to improve visual function in persons with PDR. PMID:26803796

  5. Cone-like rectification properties of cGMP-gated channels in transmutated retinal photoreceptors of nocturnal geckoes.

    PubMed

    Vellani, Vittorio; Giacomoni, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Photoreceptors of nocturnal geckoes are scotopic, with rod-shaped outer segments, and sensitivities to light similar to the one of retinal rods from other species of lower vertebrates. However, these cells are not rods, but they originated from cones of ancestral diurnal geckoes with pure-cone retinas, after being forced to adapt to a nocturnal behavior. Several interesting adaptations of these rod-like cones have been studied to date; molecular biology and functional studies confirmed that several proteins of the phototransductive cascade display structural and functional properties that indicate their origin from cones rather than from rods. In this paper, we investigate, with whole cell voltage clamp in the photoreceptor detached outer segment preparation, the voltage rectification properties of cGMP-gated channels in three species, Gekko gecko, Tarentola mauritanica, and Hemidactylus frenatus. We show that the current-voltage properties in the physiological voltage range are reminiscent of the ones of cGMP-gated channels from cones rather than from rods of other cold-blooded vertebrates. The origin and the relevance of the mechanisms investigated are discussed. PMID:25506076

  6. Cone-Like Rectification Properties of cGMP-Gated Channels in Transmutated Retinal Photoreceptors of Nocturnal Geckoes

    PubMed Central

    Giacomoni, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    Photoreceptors of nocturnal geckoes are scotopic, with rod-shaped outer segments, and sensitivities to light similar to the one of retinal rods from other species of lower vertebrates. However, these cells are not rods, but they originated from cones of ancestral diurnal geckoes with pure-cone retinas, after being forced to adapt to a nocturnal behavior. Several interesting adaptations of these rod-like cones have been studied to date; molecular biology and functional studies confirmed that several proteins of the phototransductive cascade display structural and functional properties that indicate their origin from cones rather than from rods. In this paper, we investigate, with whole cell voltage clamp in the photoreceptor detached outer segment preparation, the voltage rectification properties of cGMP-gated channels in three species, Gekko gecko, Tarentola mauritanica, and Hemidactylus frenatus. We show that the current-voltage properties in the physiological voltage range are reminiscent of the ones of cGMP-gated channels from cones rather than from rods of other cold-blooded vertebrates. The origin and the relevance of the mechanisms investigated are discussed. PMID:25506076

  7. Light-Dependent Phosphorylation of Bardet Biedl Syndrome 5 in Photoreceptor Cells Modulates its Interaction with Arrestin1

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Tyler S.; Spitzbarth, Benjamin; Li, Jian; Dugger, Donald R.; Stern-Schneider, Gabi; Sehn, Elisabeth; Bolch, Susan N.; McDowell, J. Hugh; Tipton, Jeremiah; Wolfrum, Uwe; Smith, W. Clay

    2013-01-01

    Arrestins are dynamic proteins which move between cell compartments triggered by stimulation of G-protein-coupled receptors. Even more dynamically in vertebrate photoreceptors, arrestin1 (Arr1) moves between the inner and outer segments according to the lighting conditions. Previous studies have shown that the light-driven translocation of Arr1 in rod photoreceptors is initiated by rhodopsin through a phospholipase C/protein kinase C (PKC) signaling cascade. The purpose of this study is to identify the PKC substrate that regulates the translocation of Arr1. Mass spectrometry was used to identify the primary phosphorylated proteins in extracts prepared from PKC-stimulated mouse eye cups, confirming the finding with in vitro phosphorylation assays. Our results show that BBS5 is the principal protein phosphorylated either by phorbol ester stimulation or by light stimulation of PKC. Via immunoprecipitation of BBS5 in rod outer segments, Arr1 was pulled down; phosphorylation of BBS5 reduced this co-precipitation of Arr1. Immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy showed that BBS5 principally localizes along the axonemes of rods and cones, but also in photoreceptor inner segments, and synaptic regions. Our principal findings in this study are three-fold. First, we demonstrate that BBS5 is post-translationally regulated by phosphorylation via PKC, an event that is triggered by light in photoreceptor cells. Second, we find a direct interaction between BBS5 and Arr1, an interaction that is modulated by phosphorylation of BBS5. Finally, we show that BBS5 is distributed along the photoreceptor axoneme, co-localizing with Arr1 in the dark. These findings suggest a role for BBS5 in regulating light-dependent translocation of Arr1 and a model describing its role in Arr1 translocation is proposed. PMID:23817741

  8. Survival of some photoreceptor cells in albino rats following long-term exposure to continuous light.

    PubMed

    La Vail, M M

    1976-01-01

    Fischer albino rats, seven weeks of age, were exposed to continuous light at 65 foot-candle incident illuminance for up to 264 days. Other Fischer rats, seven months of age, were exposed to continuous light at 140 foot-candle incident illuminance for up to 147 days. In all cases, a small percentage of the photoreceptors survived. The identification of the surviving cells as photoreceptors was made by light microscopy on the basis of nuclear heterochromatin pattern and staining and by electron microscopy by the presence of ribbon synapses and ciliary basal bodies with ciliary filaments. No outer segment membranes were observed. The percentage of cones progressively increased from the normal 1.5 per cent to about 60 per cent with increasing exposure time, indicating that cone cells are more resistant than rods to destruction by constant light. PMID:1245384

  9. Meckelin 3 is necessary for photoreceptor outer segment development in rat Meckel syndrome.

    PubMed

    Tiwari, Sarika; Hudson, Scott; Gattone, Vincent H; Miller, Caroline; Chernoff, Ellen A G; Belecky-Adams, Teri L

    2013-01-01

    Ciliopathies lead to multiorgan pathologies that include renal cysts, deafness, obesity and retinal degeneration. Retinal photoreceptors have connecting cilia joining the inner and outer segment that are responsible for transport of molecules to develop and maintain the outer segment process. The present study evaluated meckelin (MKS3) expression during outer segment genesis and determined the consequences of mutant meckelin on photoreceptor development and survival in Wistar polycystic kidney disease Wpk/Wpk rat using immunohistochemistry, analysis of cell death and electron microscopy. MKS3 was ubiquitously expressed throughout the retina at postnatal day 10 (P10) and P21. However, in the mature retina, MKS3 expression was restricted to photoreceptors and the retinal ganglion cell layer. At P10, both the wild type and homozygous Wpk mutant retina had all retinal cell types. In contrast, by P21, cells expressing rod- and cone-specific markers were fewer in number and expression of opsins appeared to be abnormally localized to the cell body. Cell death analyses were consistent with the disappearance of photoreceptor-specific markers and showed that the cells were undergoing caspase-dependent cell death. By electron microscopy, P10 photoreceptors showed rudimentary outer segments with an axoneme, but did not develop outer segment discs that were clearly present in the wild type counterpart. At p21 the mutant outer segments appeared much the same as the P10 mutant outer segments with only a short axoneme, while the wild-type controls had developed outer segments with many well-organized discs. We conclude that MKS3 is not important for formation of connecting cilium and rudimentary outer segments, but is critical for the maturation of outer segment processes. PMID:23516626

  10. Raman Spectroscopic Imaging of Cholesterol and Docosahexaenoic Acid Distribution in the Retinal Rod Outer Segment

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Zachary D.

    2011-01-01

    Raman vibrational spectroscopic imaging was performed on retinal rod cells isolated from bullfrogs (Rana catesbeiana). The Raman spectra enable determination of the lipid and protein rich rod outer segment (ROS) from the nucleus and inner segment of the cell. Peak fitting analysis of spectra obtained from individual rod photoreceptor cells show characteristic vibrational modes that can be associated with cholesterol and docosahexaenoic acid containing lipids. These results provide direct observations of biomolecular gradients in the rod photoreceptor cells, which, thus far, have been based on indirect detergent extracts and histochemical analysis with indicators such as filipin. The detected biomolecules are associated with regulation of the integral membrane protein rhodopsin, and methods capable direct observation of these biomolecules offer new routes to exploring their role in the regulation of cellular processes. PMID:21799539

  11. Photoreceptor phagocytosis is mediated by phosphoinositide signaling

    PubMed Central

    Mustafi, Debarshi; Kevany, Brian M.; Genoud, Christel; Bai, Xiaodong; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2013-01-01

    Circadian oscillations in peripheral tissues, such as the retinal compartment of the eye, are critical to anticipating changing metabolic demands. Circadian shedding of retinal photoreceptor cell discs with subsequent phagocytosis by the neighboring retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is essential for removal of toxic metabolites and lifelong survival of these postmitotic neurons. Defects in photoreceptor phagocytosis can lead to severe retinal pathology, but the biochemical mechanisms remain poorly defined. By first documenting a 2.8-fold burst of photoreceptor phagocytosis events in the mouse eye in the morning compared with the afternoon by serial block face imaging, we established time points to assess transcriptional readouts by RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq). We identified 365 oscillating protein-coding transcripts that implicated the phosphoinositide lipid signaling network mediating the discrete steps of photoreceptor phagocytosis. Moreover, examination of overlapping cistromic sites by core clock transcription factors and promoter elements of these effector genes provided a functional basis for the circadian cycling of these transcripts. RNA-Seq also revealed oscillating expression of 16 long intergenic noncoding RNAs and key histone modifying enzymes critical for circadian gene expression. Our phenotypic and genotypic characterization reveals a complex global landscape of overlapping and temporally controlled networks driving the essential circadian process in the eye.—Mustafi, D., Kevany, B. M., Genoud, C., Bai, X., Palczewski, K. Photoreceptor phagocytosis is mediated by phosphoinositide signaling. PMID:23913857

  12. Rim formation is not a prerequisite for distribution of cone photoreceptor outer segment proteins

    PubMed Central

    Conley, Shannon M.; Al-Ubaidi, Muayyad R.; Han, Zongchao; Naash, Muna I.

    2014-01-01

    Retinal degeneration slow (RDS/PRPH2) is critical for the formation of the disc/lamella rim in photoreceptor outer segments (OSs), but plays a different role in rods vs. cones. Without RDS, rods fail to form OSs, however, cones lacking RDS (in the rds−/−/Nrl−/−) exhibit balloon-like OSs devoid of lamellae. We show that distribution of most proteins in the lamella and PM domains is preserved even in the absence of RDS, rim, and lamella structures. However, the rim protein prominin-1 exhibits altered trafficking and OS localization, suggesting that proper targeting and distribution of rim proteins may require RDS. Our ultrastructural studies show that in cones, OS formation is initiated by the growth of opsin-containing membrane with RDS-mediated rim formation as a secondary step. This is directly opposite to rods and significantly advances our understanding of the role of the rim in cone OS morphogenesis. Furthermore, our results suggest that the unique folded lamella architecture of the cone OS may maximize density or proximity of phototransduction proteins, but is not required for OS function or for protein distribution and retention in different membrane domains.—Conley, S. M., Al-Ubaidi, M. R., Han, Z., Naash, M. I. Rim formation is not a prerequisite for distribution of cone photoreceptor outer segment proteins. PMID:24736412

  13. TrkB/BDNF Signaling Regulates Photoreceptor Progenitor Cell Fate Decisions

    PubMed Central

    Turner, Brian A.; Sparrow, Janet; Cai, Bolin; Monroe, Julie; Mikawa, Takashi; Hempstead, Barbara L.

    2008-01-01

    Neurotrophins, via activation of Trk receptor tyrosine kinases, serve as mitogens, survival factors and regulators of arborization during retinal development. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and TrkB regulate neuronal arborization and survival in late retinal development. However, TrkB is expressed during early retinal developmet where its functions are unclear. To assess TrkB/BDNF actions in the early chick retina, replication-incompetent retroviruses were utilized to over-express a dominant negative truncated form of TrkB (trunc TrkB), or BDNF and effects were assessed at E15. Clones expressing trunc TrkB were smaller than controls, and proliferation and apoptosis assays suggest that decreased clone size correlated with increased cell death when BDNF/TrkB signaling was impaired. Analysis of clonal composition revealed that trunc TrkB over-expression decreased photoreceptor numbers (41%) and increased cell numbers in the middle third of the inner nuclear layer (INL) (23%). Conversely, BDNF over-expression increased photoreceptor numbers (25%) and decreased INL numbers (17%). Photoreceptors over-expressing trunc TrkB demonstrated no increase in apoptosis nor abnormalities in lamination suggesting that TrkB activation is not required for photoreceptor cell survival or migration. These studies suggest that TrkB signaling regulates commitment to and/or differentiation of photoreceptor cells from retinal progenitor cells, identifying a novel role for TrkB/BDNF in regulating cell fate decisions. PMID:17005175

  14. Rod transduction parameters from the a wave of local receptor populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nusinowitz, Steven; Hood, Donald C.; Birch, David G.

    1995-10-01

    The analysis of electroretinogram a waves from locally stimulated populations of rods is complicated by the presence of scattered light within the eye. Scattered-light and cone contributions can be assessed after brief flashes of light designed to saturate only rods in the locally stimulated area. Subtracting the scattered-light and the cone responses from the local electroretinogram gives a pure rod a wave that can be fitted with models of photoreceptor activity. We demonstrate the feasibility of this technique by recording local rod a waves from a group of five normal subjects and by fitting the a waves with the rod model to derive transduction parameters. The local rod a waves are compared with expected responses derived from simulations in which the response of the entire retina to heterogeneous illumination is mimicked. electroretinography, rods, scattered light.

  15. In vivo imaging rhodopsin distribution in the photoreceptors with nano-second pulsed scanning laser ophthalmoscopy

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Tan; Liu, Xiaojing; Wen, Rong; Lam, Byron L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Rhodopsin is a biomarker for the function of rod photoreceptors, the dysfunction of which is related to many blinding diseases like retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. Imaging rhodopsin quantitatively may provide a powerful clinical tool for diagnosis of these diseases. To map rhodopsin distribution accurately in the retina, absorption by rhodopsin intermediates need to be minimized. Methods and materials We developed nano-second pulsed scanning laser ophthalmoscopy (SLO) to image rhodopsin distribution in the retina. The system takes advantage of the light-induced shift of rhodopsin absorption spectra, which in turn affects the fundus spectral reflection before and after photo-bleaching. By imaging the retina twice, one in the dark-adapted state and the other one in the light-adapted state, the rhodopsin absorption change can be calculated from the differential image, which is a function of the rhodopsin concentration in the rod photoreceptors. Results The system was successfully applied to in vivo imaging of rat retina in different bleaching conditions to verify its feasibility. Our studies showed that the differential image between the dark- and light-adapted states represents rhodopsin distribution in the retina. We also conducted a dynamic bleaching experiment to prove the importance of reducing light absorption of rhodopsin intermediates. Conclusions The preliminary results showed that our nano-second pulsed-light SLO is promising in imaging the functional biomarker of the rod photoreceptors. By using nanosecond pulsed laser, in which one laser pulse generates one pixel of the image, the absorption of rhodopsin intermediates can be reduced. PMID:25694955

  16. 3',5'-cyclic adenosine monophosphate and adenylate cyclase in phototransduction by limulus ventral photoreceptors.

    PubMed Central

    Brown, J E; Kaupp, U B; Malbon, C C

    1984-01-01

    Biochemical and electrophysiological measurements were made on photoreceptor cells from Limulus ventral eyes to investigate the possible role of cyclic AMP and adenylate cyclase in the visual transduction mechanism. Cyclic AMP content in a photoreceptor-enriched fraction (the end organs) of Limulus ventral eyes was approximately 15 pmol/mg protein. The cyclic AMP content was increased by bathing eyes in 1-methyl-3-isobutyl xanthine or forskolin and was increased almost 100-fold when bathed in both. Illumination did not change cyclic AMP content significantly in any of these conditions. Discrete events that can be recorded electrophysiologically occur spontaneously in darkness. An increase in the frequency of discrete events is evoked by dim illumination. The discrete events are a sign of excitation of Limulus photoreceptor cells. Drug-induced changes in the rate of occurrence of discrete events recorded electrophysiologically in darkness were not correlated with changes in cyclic AMP content. Adenylate cyclase activity measured from a small number of pooled photoreceptor clusters was stimulated by fluoride and vanadate ions, hydrolysis-resistant analogues of GTP, cholera toxin and forskolin. The Limulus enzyme is similar pharmacologically to mammalian and avian adenylate cyclases. Activation of adenylate cyclase by drugs was not correlated with changes in the rate of occurrence of discrete events recorded electrophysiologically in darkness. A heat-treated Lubrol extract of membranes from Limulus ventral eyes reconstituted the adenylate cyclase activity of membranes from S49 mouse lymphoma cyc- mutant cells which lack a functional regulatory protein. These findings suggest that Limulus ventral eye photoreceptors contain a regulatory protein that mediates the activation of adenylate cyclase by guanine nucleotides, fluoride or cholera toxin. This regulatory protein is homologous with that found in mammalian and avian adenylate cyclases. Our findings suggest that

  17. Transplantation of Photoreceptor Precursors Isolated via a Cell Surface Biomarker Panel From Embryonic Stem Cell‐Derived Self‐Forming Retina

    PubMed Central

    Gonzalez‐Cordero, Anai; West, Emma L.; Han, Ya‐Ting; Welby, Emily; Naeem, Arifa; Blackford, Samuel J. I.; Bainbridge, James W. B.; Pearson, Rachael A.; Ali, Robin R.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Loss of photoreceptors due to retinal degeneration is a major cause of untreatable blindness. Cell replacement therapy, using pluripotent stem cell‐derived photoreceptor cells, may be a feasible future treatment. Achieving safe and effective cell replacement is critically dependent on the stringent selection and purification of optimal cells for transplantation. Previously, we demonstrated effective transplantation of post‐mitotic photoreceptor precursor cells labelled by fluorescent reporter genes. As genetically labelled cells are not desirable for therapy, here we developed a surface biomarker cell selection strategy for application to complex pluripotent stem cell differentiation cultures. We show that a five cell surface biomarker panel CD73(+)CD24(+)CD133(+)CD47(+)CD15(−) facilitates the isolation of photoreceptor precursors from three‐dimensional self‐forming retina differentiated from mouse embryonic stem cells. Importantly, stem cell‐derived cells isolated using the biomarker panel successfully integrate and mature into new rod photoreceptors in the adult mouse retinae after subretinal transplantation. Conversely, unsorted or negatively selected cells do not give rise to newly integrated rods after transplantation. The biomarker panel also removes detrimental proliferating cells prior to transplantation. Notably, we demonstrate how expression of the biomarker panel is conserved in the human retina and propose that a similar selection strategy will facilitate isolation of human transplantation‐competent cells for therapeutic application. Stem Cells 2015;33:2469—2482 PMID:25982268

  18. Functional coupling of a Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent nitric oxide synthase and a soluble guanylyl cyclase in vertebrate photoreceptor cells.

    PubMed Central

    Koch, K W; Lambrecht, H G; Haberecht, M; Redburn, D; Schmidt, H H

    1994-01-01

    Electrophysiological recordings on retinal rod cells, horizontal cells and on-bipolar cells indicate that exogenous nitric oxide (NO) has neuromodulatory effects in the vertebrate retina. We report here endogenous NO formation in mammalian photoreceptor cells. Photoreceptor NO synthase resembled the neuronal NOS type I from mammalian brain. NOS activity utilized the substrate L-arginine (Km = 4 microM) and the cofactors NADPH, FAD, FMN and tetrahydrobiopterin. The activity showed a complete dependence on the free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]) and was mediated by calmodulin. NO synthase activity was sufficient to activate an endogenous soluble guanylyl cyclase that copurified in photoreceptor preparations. This functional coupling was strictly controlled by the free [Ca2+] (EC50 = 0.84 microM). Activation of the soluble guanylyl cyclase by endogenous NO was up to 100% of the maximal activation of this enzyme observed with the exogenous NO donor compound sodium nitroprusside. This NO/cGMP pathway was predominantly localized in inner and not in outer segments of photoreceptors. Immunocytochemically, we localized NO synthase type I mainly in the ellipsoid region of the inner segments and a soluble guanylyl cyclase in cell bodies of cone photoreceptor cells. We conclude that in photoreceptors endogenous NO is functionally coupled to a soluble guanylyl cyclase and suggest that it has a neuromodulatory role in visual transduction and in synaptic transmission in the outer retina. Images PMID:7519146

  19. Mechanisms of amplification, deactivation, and noise reduction in invertebrate photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Lisman, J; Erickson, M A; Richard, E A; Cote, R H; Bacigalupo, J; Johnson, E; Kirkwood, A

    1992-01-01

    In this review we have discussed the problem of deactivation at both the rhodopsin and G protein levels. Of particular interest is the novel observation that rhodopsin deactivation can be modulated by light. This modulation is likely to play an important role in light adaptation by reducing the gain of transduction. One interesting possibility is that this modulation involves the phosphorylation of an arrestin-like molecule, but this remains to be tested. One of the experimental advantages of Limulus photoreceptors is the large size of the single photon responses and the fact that even single G proteins produce a detectable response. This made possible the observation that nonhydrolyzable GTP analogues produce discrete transient events rather than the step-like events that would be predicted by previous models. This observation led us to a new view of how enzyme deactivation is coupled to GTP hydrolysis on G protein. According to this view, enzymes are activated by G protein, but can be deactivated by processes that are not dependent on G protein or the hydrolysis of GTP. We have conducted several types of experiments, including some on the vertebrate rod system, that strongly support this hypothesis. A second major theme of this review is transduction noise. The available biochemical evidence suggests that both G protein and G protein-activated enzymes are likely to become spontaneously active and generate undesirable noise. Our measurements indicate, however, that this noise is orders of magnitude smaller than would be predicted by simple models, suggesting that special mechanisms must exist for suppressing this noise. We have proposed a specific mechanism by which enzymes regulated allosterically by multiple subunits could act as coincidence detectors to reduce transduction noise. Finally, there is the fundamental question of which second messengers have a direct role in invertebrate phototransduction. After Fesenko et al. (1985) showed that the light

  20. Probing Mechanisms of Photoreceptor Degeneration in a New Mouse Model of the Common Form of Autosomal Dominant Retinitis Pigmentosa due to P23H Opsin Mutations*♦

    PubMed Central

    Sakami, Sanae; Maeda, Tadao; Bereta, Grzegorz; Okano, Kiichiro; Golczak, Marcin; Sumaroka, Alexander; Roman, Alejandro J.; Cideciyan, Artur V.; Jacobson, Samuel G.; Palczewski, Krzysztof

    2011-01-01

    Rhodopsin, the visual pigment mediating vision under dim light, is composed of the apoprotein opsin and the chromophore ligand 11-cis-retinal. A P23H mutation in the opsin gene is one of the most prevalent causes of the human blinding disease, autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa. Although P23H cultured cell and transgenic animal models have been developed, there remains controversy over whether they fully mimic the human phenotype; and the exact mechanism by which this mutation leads to photoreceptor cell degeneration remains unknown. By generating P23H opsin knock-in mice, we found that the P23H protein was inadequately glycosylated with levels 1–10% that of wild type opsin. Moreover, the P23H protein failed to accumulate in rod photoreceptor cell endoplasmic reticulum but instead disrupted rod photoreceptor disks. Genetically engineered P23H mice lacking the chromophore showed accelerated photoreceptor cell degeneration. These results indicate that most synthesized P23H protein is degraded, and its retinal cytotoxicity is enhanced by lack of the 11-cis-retinal chromophore during rod outer segment development. PMID:21224384

  1. A Mutation in Syne2 Causes Early Retinal Defects in Photoreceptors, Secondary Neurons, and Müller Glia

    PubMed Central

    Maddox, Dennis M.; Collin, Gayle B.; Ikeda, Akihiro; Pratt, C. Herbert; Ikeda, Sakae; Johnson, Britt A.; Hurd, Ron E.; Shopland, Lindsay S.; Naggert, Jürgen K.; Chang, Bo; Krebs, Mark P.; Nishina, Patsy M.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose. The purpose of this study was to identify the molecular basis and characterize the pathological consequences of a spontaneous mutation named cone photoreceptor function loss 8 (cpfl8) in a mouse model with a significantly reduced cone electroretinography (ERG) response. Methods. The chromosomal position for the recessive cpfl8 mutation was determined by DNA pooling and by subsequent genotyping with simple sequence length polymorphic markers in an F2 intercross phenotyped by ERG. Genes within the candidate region of both mutants and controls were directly sequenced and compared. The effects of the mutation were examined in longitudinal studies by light microscopy, marker analysis, transmission electron microscopy, and ERG. Results. The cpfl8 mutation was mapped to Chromosome 12, and a premature stop codon was identified in the spectrin repeat containing nuclear envelope 2 (Syne2) gene. The reduced cone ERG response was due to a significant reduction in cone photoreceptors. Longitudinal studies of the early postnatal retina indicated that the cone photoreceptors fail to develop properly, rod photoreceptors mislocalize to the inner nuclear layer, and both rods and cones undergo apoptosis prematurely. Moreover, we observed migration defects of secondary neurons and ectopic Müller cell bodies in the outer nuclear layer in early postnatal development. Conclusions. SYNE2 is important for normal retinal development. We have determined that not only is photoreceptor nuclear migration affected, but also the positions of Müller glia and secondary neurons are disturbed early in retinal development. The cpfl8 mouse model will serve as an important resource for further examining the role of nuclear scaffolding and migration in the developing retina. PMID:26066746

  2. Retrograde intraciliary trafficking of opsin during the maintenance of cone-shaped photoreceptor outer segments of Xenopus laevis.

    PubMed

    Tian, Guilian; Lodowski, Kerrie H; Lee, Richard; Imanishi, Yoshikazu

    2014-11-01

    Photoreceptor outer segments (OSs) are essential for our visual perception, and take either rod or cone forms. The cell biological basis for the formation of rods is well established; however, the mechanism of cone formation is ill characterized. While Xenopus rods are called rods, they exhibit cone-shaped OSs during the early process of development. To visualize the dynamic reorganization of disk membranes, opsin and peripherin/rds were fused to a fluorescent protein, Dendra2, and expressed in early developing rod photoreceptors, in which OSs are still cone-shaped. Dendra2 is a fluorescent protein which can be converted from green to red irreversibly, and thus allows spatiotemporal labeling of proteins. Using a photoconversion technique, we found that disk membranes are assembled at the base of cone-shaped OSs. After incorporation into disks, however, Opsin-Dendra2 was also trafficked from old to new disk membranes, consistent with the hypothesis that retrograde trafficking of membrane components contributes to the larger disk membrane observed toward the base of the cone-shaped OS. Such retrograde trafficking is cargo-specific and was not observed for peripherin/rds-Dendra2. The trafficking is unlikely mediated by diffusion, since the disk membranes have a closed configuration, as evidenced by CNGA1 labeling of the plasma membrane. Consistent with retrograde trafficking, the axoneme, which potentially mediates retrograde intraflagellar trafficking, runs through the entire axis of OSs. This study provides an insight into the role of membrane reorganization in developing photoreceptor OSs, and proves that retrograde trafficking of membrane cargoes can occur there. PMID:24855015

  3. Photoreceptors mapping from past history till date.

    PubMed

    Parihar, Parul; Singh, Rachana; Singh, Samiksha; Tripathi, Durgesh Kumar; Chauhan, Devendra Kumar; Singh, Vijay Pratap; Prasad, Sheo Mohan

    2016-09-01

    The critical source of information in plants is light, which is perceived by receptors present in plants and animals. Receptors present in plant and animal system regulate important processes, and knowing the chromophores and signalling domains for each receptor could pave a way to trace out links between these receptors. The signalling mechanism for each receptor will give insight knowledge. This review has focussed on the photoreceptors from past history till date, that have evolved in the plant as well as in the animal system (to lesser extent). We have also focussed our attention on finding the links between the receptors by showing the commonalities as well as the differences between them, and also tried to trace out the links with the help of chromophores and signalling domain. Several photoreceptors have been traced out, which share similarity in the chromophore as well as in the signalling domain, which indicate towards the evolution of photoreceptors from one another. For instance, cryptochrome has been found to evolve three times from CPD photolyase as well as evolution of different types of phytochrome is a result of duplication and divergence. In addition, similarity between the photoreceptors suggested towards evolution from one another. This review has also discussed possible mechanism for each receptor i.e. how they regulate developmental processes and involve what kinds of regulators and also gives an insight on signalling mechanisms by these receptors. This review could also be a new initiative in the study of UVR8 associated studies. PMID:27387671

  4. Processing of polarized light by squid photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Saidel, W M; Lettvin, J Y; MacNichol, E F

    Behavioural tests have demonstrated that cephalopods can discriminate light polarized in different planes, and the receptors have been localized by electrophysiological studies of the eye. Discrimination of the plane of polarization is a consequence of both the structure of the microvilli in the outer segments of the photoreceptors and the orientation of the photosensitive chromophore on these membranes. However, between the depolarizing receptor response resulting from photoreception and the behaviour of the animal, nothing is known about neuronal processing of polarized light by cephalopods. Here we show that some squid photoreceptors discriminate the plane of polarization within the spike train, and that any particular plane is seen as a variable intensity. Given the well known orthogonal orientation of microvilli in outer segments of adjacent photoreceptors and the physiological preference for one of two mutually perpendicular planes of polarization by single photoreceptors, we conclude that cephalopod vision is based on two complementary views of the world, each determined by the transformation of polarization-sensitive receptors into complementary intensity scales. A visual system based on this transformation would lead to enhanced contrast underwater and visualization of object details obscured by confounding highlights. PMID:6877374

  5. Hypoxia reduces the effect of photoreceptor bleaching.

    PubMed

    Lin, Yun-Bin; Liu, Jorn-Hon; Chang, Yin

    2012-07-01

    Hypoxia and light illumination can both decrease oxygen consumption in the photoreceptor layers. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether the mutual effects of hypoxia and intense illumination to the photoreceptors are additive. The a-wave of flash electroretinogram (fERG) was recorded to indirectly measure the photoreceptors function under given conditions. Six normal healthy subjects, mean age 34.0 ± 3.8 years, all of whom had high-altitude (>3,000 m) mountain hiking experience, were recruited for the study. Flash a-wave electroretinography was examined under four conditions: (1) normal (D/N); (2) systemic hypoxia induced by inhaling a mixture of O(2) and N(2) gases, which caused oxyhemoglobin saturation (SaO(2)) ≈ 80% (D/H); (3) intense light illumination, which resulted in photoreceptor bleaching (B/N); and (4) a combination of conditions b and c (B/H). Thirty light stimuli, each with a 20-ms ON and 1,980-ms OFF cycle, were given and ERG performed to probe the photoreceptor function. The results showed that a-wave at the various conditions did not respond to all stimuli. The average a-wave amplitudes were 91.4 ± 46.5, 22.8 ± 42.5, 15.5 ± 28.9, and 35.2 ± 41.1 μV for D/N, D/H, B/N, and B/H, respectively. Nonparametric Friedman test for a-wave amplitude indicated that significant differences occurred in D/N-D/H, D/N-B/N, D/N-B/H, D/H-B/H, and B/N-B/H (all p values were <0.001, but D/H-B/N was 0.264). Thus, systemic hypoxia or strong illumination to the retina can cause an absence of the ERG a-wave or change its response, although individual differences were observed. In this study, systemic hypoxia appeared to reduce photoreceptor bleaching, an interesting finding in itself. The mechanisms underlying the disappearance of the ERG a-wave following hypoxia or intense illumination to the photoreceptors seem to differ. PMID:22544448

  6. Pax6a and Pax6b are required at different points in neuronal progenitor cell proliferation during zebrafish photoreceptor regeneration.

    PubMed

    Thummel, Ryan; Enright, Jennifer M; Kassen, Sean C; Montgomery, Jacob E; Bailey, Travis J; Hyde, David R

    2010-05-01

    The light-damaged zebrafish retina results in the death of photoreceptor cells and the subsequent regeneration of the missing rod and cone cells. Photoreceptor regeneration initiates with asymmetric Müller glial cell division to produce neuronal progenitor cells, which amplify, migrate to the outer nuclear layer (ONL), and differentiate into both classes of photoreceptor cells. In this study, we examined the role of the Pax6 protein in regeneration. In zebrafish, there are two Pax6 proteins, one encoded by the pax6a gene and the other encoded by the pax6b gene. We intravitreally injected and electroporated morpholinos that were complementary to either the pax6a or pax6b mRNA to knockdown the translation of the corresponding protein. Loss of Pax6b expression did not affect Müller glial cell division, but blocked the subsequent first cell division of the neuronal progenitors. In contrast, the paralogous Pax6a protein was required for later neuronal progenitor cell divisions, which maximized the number of neuronal progenitors. Without neuronal progenitor cell amplification, proliferation of resident ONL rod precursor cells, which can only regenerate rods, increased inversely proportional to the number of INL neuronal progenitor cells. This confirmed that Müller glial-derived neuronal progenitor cells are necessary to regenerate cones and that distinct mechanisms selectively regenerate rod and cone photoreceptors. This work also defines distinct roles for Pax6a and Pax6b in regulating neuronal progenitor cell proliferation in the adult zebrafish retina and increases our understanding of the molecular pathways required for photoreceptor cell regeneration. PMID:20152834

  7. The transcription factor GTF2IRD1 regulates the topology and function of photoreceptors by modulating photoreceptor gene expression across the retina.

    PubMed

    Masuda, Tomohiro; Zhang, Xiaodong; Berlinicke, Cindy; Wan, Jun; Yerrabelli, Anitha; Conner, Elizabeth A; Kjellstrom, Sten; Bush, Ronald; Thorgeirsson, Snorri S; Swaroop, Anand; Chen, Shiming; Zack, Donald J

    2014-11-12

    The mechanisms that specify photoreceptor cell-fate determination, especially as regards to short-wave-sensitive (S) versus medium-wave-sensitive (M) cone identity, and maintain their nature and function, are not fully understood. Here we report the importance of general transcription factor II-I repeat domain-containing protein 1 (GTF2IRD1) in maintaining M cone cell identity and function as well as rod function. In the mouse, GTF2IRD1 is expressed in cell-fate determined photoreceptors at postnatal day 10. GTF2IRD1 binds to enhancer and promoter regions in the mouse rhodopsin, M- and S-opsin genes, but regulates their expression differentially. Through interaction with the transcription factors CRX and thyroid hormone receptor β 2, it enhances M-opsin expression, whereas it suppresses S-opsin expression; and with CRX and NRL, it enhances rhodopsin expression. In an apparent paradox, although GTF2IRD1 is widely expressed in multiple cell types across the retina, knock-out of GTF2IRD1 alters the retinal expression of only a limited number of annotated genes. Interestingly, however, the null mutation leads to altered topology of cone opsin expression in the retina, with aberrant S-opsin overexpression and M-opsin underexpression in M cones. Gtf2ird1-null mice also demonstrate abnormal M cone and rod electrophysiological responses. These findings suggest an important role for GTF2IRD1 in regulating the level and topology of rod and cone gene expression, and in maintaining normal retinal function. PMID:25392503

  8. The Transcription Factor GTF2IRD1 Regulates the Topology and Function of Photoreceptors by Modulating Photoreceptor Gene Expression across the Retina

    PubMed Central

    Masuda, Tomohiro; Zhang, Xiaodong; Berlinicke, Cindy; Wan, Jun; Yerrabelli, Anitha; Conner, Elizabeth A.; Kjellstrom, Sten; Bush, Ronald; Thorgeirsson, Snorri S.; Swaroop, Anand; Chen, Shiming

    2014-01-01

    The mechanisms that specify photoreceptor cell-fate determination, especially as regards to short-wave-sensitive (S) versus medium-wave-sensitive (M) cone identity, and maintain their nature and function, are not fully understood. Here we report the importance of general transcription factor II-I repeat domain-containing protein 1 (GTF2IRD1) in maintaining M cone cell identity and function as well as rod function. In the mouse, GTF2IRD1 is expressed in cell-fate determined photoreceptors at postnatal day 10. GTF2IRD1 binds to enhancer and promoter regions in the mouse rhodopsin, M- and S-opsin genes, but regulates their expression differentially. Through interaction with the transcription factors CRX and thyroid hormone receptor β 2, it enhances M-opsin expression, whereas it suppresses S-opsin expression; and with CRX and NRL, it enhances rhodopsin expression. In an apparent paradox, although GTF2IRD1 is widely expressed in multiple cell types across the retina, knock-out of GTF2IRD1 alters the retinal expression of only a limited number of annotated genes. Interestingly, however, the null mutation leads to altered topology of cone opsin expression in the retina, with aberrant S-opsin overexpression and M-opsin underexpression in M cones. Gtf2ird1-null mice also demonstrate abnormal M cone and rod electrophysiological responses. These findings suggest an important role for GTF2IRD1 in regulating the level and topology of rod and cone gene expression, and in maintaining normal retinal function. PMID:25392503

  9. Restoration of Vision with Ectopic Expression of Human Rod Opsin.

    PubMed

    Cehajic-Kapetanovic, Jasmina; Eleftheriou, Cyril; Allen, Annette E; Milosavljevic, Nina; Pienaar, Abigail; Bedford, Robert; Davis, Katherine E; Bishop, Paul N; Lucas, Robert J

    2015-08-17

    Many retinal dystrophies result in photoreceptor loss, but the inner retinal neurons can survive, making them potentially amenable to emerging optogenetic therapies. Here, we show that ectopically expressed human rod opsin, driven by either a non-selective or ON-bipolar cell-specific promoter, can function outside native photoreceptors and restore visual function in a mouse model of advanced retinal degeneration. Electrophysiological recordings from retinal explants and the visual thalamus revealed changes in firing (increases and decreases) induced by simple light pulses, luminance increases, and naturalistic movies in treated mice. These responses could be elicited at light intensities within the physiological range and substantially below those required by other optogenetic strategies. Mice with rod opsin expression driven by the ON-bipolar specific promoter displayed behavioral responses to increases in luminance, flicker, coarse spatial patterns, and elements of a natural movie at levels of contrast and illuminance (≈50-100 lux) typical of natural indoor environments. These data reveal that virally mediated ectopic expression of human rod opsin can restore vision under natural viewing conditions and at moderate light intensities. Given the inherent advantages in employing a human protein, the simplicity of this intervention, and the quality of vision restored, we suggest that rod opsin merits consideration as an optogenetic actuator for treating patients with advanced retinal degeneration. PMID:26234216

  10. Restoration of Vision with Ectopic Expression of Human Rod Opsin

    PubMed Central

    Cehajic-Kapetanovic, Jasmina; Eleftheriou, Cyril; Allen, Annette E.; Milosavljevic, Nina; Pienaar, Abigail; Bedford, Robert; Davis, Katherine E.; Bishop, Paul N.; Lucas, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Many retinal dystrophies result in photoreceptor loss, but the inner retinal neurons can survive, making them potentially amenable to emerging optogenetic therapies. Here, we show that ectopically expressed human rod opsin, driven by either a non-selective or ON-bipolar cell-specific promoter, can function outside native photoreceptors and restore visual function in a mouse model of advanced retinal degeneration. Electrophysiological recordings from retinal explants and the visual thalamus revealed changes in firing (increases and decreases) induced by simple light pulses, luminance increases, and naturalistic movies in treated mice. These responses could be elicited at light intensities within the physiological range and substantially below those required by other optogenetic strategies. Mice with rod opsin expression driven by the ON-bipolar specific promoter displayed behavioral responses to increases in luminance, flicker, coarse spatial patterns, and elements of a natural movie at levels of contrast and illuminance (≈50–100 lux) typical of natural indoor environments. These data reveal that virally mediated ectopic expression of human rod opsin can restore vision under natural viewing conditions and at moderate light intensities. Given the inherent advantages in employing a human protein, the simplicity of this intervention, and the quality of vision restored, we suggest that rod opsin merits consideration as an optogenetic actuator for treating patients with advanced retinal degeneration. PMID:26234216