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Frédéric Gaillard, Sharee Kuny, Yves Sauvé; Topographic Arrangement of S-cone Photoreceptors in the Retina of the Diurnal Nile Grass Rat (Arvicanthis niloticus). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(11):5426-5434. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-3896.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The retina of Arvicanthis niloticus, a diurnal murine rodent closely related to Rattus (rats) and Mus (mice), contains ≈30% to 35% cones and has several cone-driven functional characteristics found in humans. In this study the organization of these cone photoreceptors was examined, with emphasis on those expressing the S-opsin photopigment (S-cones).
Cones were labeled with antibodies against M- and S-opsins. Their topographic arrangement was examined on images of retinal flatmounts using density measures, nearest-neighbor distance, and Voronoi domain analysis. Partial sequencing of the S-opsin DNA was also performed to determine whether this visual pigment was blue/violet or UV sensitive.
Cone photoreceptors (estimated total population ≈1.450 million) came in two distinct types that express either M/L- or S-opsin. Both types were present across the retinal surface. S-cones (≈7–8% of the total cone population) achieved a higher density in a discrete temporodorsal sector of the retina. The S-cone mosaic was irregular. Finally, S-cones were likely to be UV sensitive, according to genetic analysis.
The topographic arrangement of cone photoreceptors in the retina of the diurnal Nile grass rat A. niloticus represents a highly pertinent model to improve understanding of the pathologic course of and related therapy for retinal disease involving cones.
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