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Momotaz Begum, Dorothy P. Joiner, Daniel Y. Ts'o; Stimulus-Driven Retinal Intrinsic Signal Optical Imaging in Mouse Demonstrates a Dominant Rod-Driven Component. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2020;61(8):37. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.61.8.37.
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The primary hypotheses tested are that (1) there exist stimulus-driven intrinsic optical signals in the mouse retina similar to those previously observed in other species, and (2) these optical signals require an intact rod photoreceptor phototransduction cascade.
We used 38 wild-type C57BL6J mice and 18 genetic knockout Gnat1−/− mice to study the light-evoked retinal intrinsic response. A custom mouse fundus camera delivered visual stimuli and collected mouse retinal imaging data of changes in retinal reflectance for further analysis. The retina was stimulated in the high-mesopic range with a 505-nm light-emitting diode while also being illuminated with 780-nm near-infrared light.
Wild-type C57BL6J mice yielded retinal imaging signals that typically showed a stimulus-driven decrease in retinal reflectance of ∼0.1%, with a time course of several seconds. The signals exhibit spatial specificity in the retina. Overall, the mouse imaging signals are similar in sign and time course to those reported in other mammalian species but are of lower amplitude. In contrast, functional retinal imaging of Gnat1−/− mice that lack a functional rod transducin yielded no such stimulus-driven signals.
Previous studies have not shown which pathway component is essential for the generation of these imaged signals. The absence of the intrinsic signal responses in Gnat1−/− knockout mice indicates that a functional rod transducin is likely to be necessary for generating the retinal intrinsic signals. These studies, to the best of our knowledge, demonstrate for the first time in vivo mouse retinal functional imaging signals similar to those previously shown in other mammalian species.
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