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Anneka Joachimsthaler, Jan Kremers; Mouse Cones Adapt Fast, Rods Slowly In Vivo. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(6):2152-2164. doi: 10.1167/iovs.18-26356.
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To study rod- and cone-driven adaptation dynamics separately, we used the silent substitution technique to selectively stimulate rods or cones in the Opn1lwLIAIS (LIAIS) mouse, in which the native M-cone pigment is replaced by a human L-cone pigment (L*).
ERG recordings were performed on anesthetized LIAIS mice. ERG stimuli were sinusoidally modulated. After 10 minutes of adaptation to 0.4 candela per square meter (cd/m2) ERGs were measured, followed by 11-minute adaptation to 8.8 cd/m2 background and recordings directly after the luminance increase and every second minute. Finally, during adaptation to 0.4 cd/m2 for 32 minutes, ERG responses were recorded directly after the change in background and every second minute. This protocol was repeated with rod-isolating stimuli (8 Hz; 75% rod contrast), L*-cone-isolating stimuli (12 Hz; 55% cone contrast) and white light (8 Hz and 12 Hz; 100% Michelson contrast).
At 8.8 cd/m2, responses directly displayed photopic response properties without further changes in either cone or white light responses. Rod-driven responses were very small. After the return to 0.4 cd/m2, both rod-driven and white light responses increased over a time course of about 30 minutes. Cone-driven responses were very small. Response phases changed directly after a change in background without further alterations.
Rod- and cone-driven signal pathways display strongly different adaptation characteristics: adaptation of cone-driven responses to photopic conditions is very fast, whereas rod-driven responses change with a time course up to 30 minutes during scotopic conditions. Luminance responses are cone-driven at 8.8 cd/m2 and rod-driven at 0.4 cd/m2.
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