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Zsuzsanna Szepessy, Ákos Lukáts, Tibor Fekete, Árpád Barsi, Pál Röhlich, Ágoston Szél; Cone Differentiation with No Photopigment Coexpression. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(10):3171-3175.
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purpose. To decide whether the transitory coexpression of cone visual pigments
described in the developing rat and gerbil retina is a universal
feature of dichromatic mammalian species.
methods. The rabbit, a species widely used in eye research, was selected for the
study and a search made for the presence of cones that bound more than
one cone antibody during the first postnatal week. To plot the
densities of individual cone types and to colocalize the two visual
pigments, immunocytochemistry on retinal wholemounts and consecutive
tangential sections, respectively, were used.
results. The sequence in which the visual pigments began to be expressed was the
same as that observed in other mammals: first, rhodopsin; second, blue
pigment; and last, green pigment. The striking increase in blue cone
density numbers observed in the rat, however, did not occur in the
rabbit. Instead, some days after the first blue cones appeared, the
green cones also started to express their visual pigment, and this cone
type soon outnumbered the blue cones. Within the limits of the
immunocytochemical method, it was established that unlike the
developing rat, the presence of double-labeled cones was not a
character of the rabbit retina.
conclusions. Visual pigment coexpression is an interesting phenomenon of retinal
development, however, it is not the exclusive scenario of photoreceptor
differentiation. Each species must be carefully studied before deciding
whether its retinal cones synthesize both pigments during retinal
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