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Nina Milosavljevic, Annette E. Allen, Jasmina Cehajic-Kapetanovic, Robert J. Lucas; Chemogenetic Activation of ipRGCs Drives Changes in Dark-Adapted (Scotopic) Electroretinogram. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(14):6305-6312. doi: 10.1167/iovs.16-20448.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of activating melanopsin-expressing intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) on dark-adapted (scotopic) electroretinograms (ERG).
We used mice (Opn4Cre/+) expressing cre recombinase in melanopsin-expressing cells for a targeted gene delivery of a chemogenetic Gq-coupled receptor, hM3Dq, to ipRGCs. Intraperitoneal injection of clozapine N-oxide (CNO) at 5 mg/kg was used for acute activation of hM3Dq and thus excitation of ipRGCs in darkness. Dark-adapted flash ERGs were recorded across a 9-fold range of irradiances from hM3Dq Opn4Cre/+ and control Opn4Cre/+ mice before and after intraperitoneal injection of CNO. A- and b-wave amplitudes and implicit times and oscillatory potentials (OPs) were analyzed. Paired-flash stimuli were used to isolate cone-driven responses.
Clozapine N-oxide application suppressed a- and b-wave amplitudes of the dark-adapted ERG across the flash intensity range in hM3Dq Opn4Cre/+ mice compared to control mice. Examination of the normalized irradiance-response functions revealed a shift in b-wave but not a-wave sensitivity. No changes in a- and b-wave implicit times were detected. Total OP amplitudes were also reduced in hM3Dq Opn4Cre/+ mice compared to controls following CNO administration. The paired-flash method revealed reduction in both the first (rods and cones) and second (cones only) flash response.
Acute and selective activation of ipRGCs modulates the amplitude of both a- and b-waves of the scotopic ERG, indicating that the influence of this ganglion cell class on the retinal physiology extends to the photoreceptors as well as their downstream pathways.
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