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Furu Zhang, Kazuhiro Kurokawa, Marcel T. Bernucci, Hae Won Jung, Ayoub Lassoued, James A. Crowell, Jay Neitz, Maureen Neitz, Donald T. Miller; Revealing How Color Vision Phenotype and Genotype Manifest in Individual Cone Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2021;62(2):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/iovs.62.2.8.
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Psychophysical and genetic testing provide substantial information about color vision phenotype and genotype. However, neither reveals how color vision phenotypes and genotypes manifest themselves in individual cones, where color vision and its anomalies are thought to originate. Here, we use adaptive-optics phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography (AO-PSOCT) to investigate these relationships.
We used AO-PSOCT to measure cone function—optical response to light stimulation—in each of 16 human subjects with different phenotypes and genotypes of color vision (five color-normal, three deuteranopic, two protanopic, and six deuteranomalous trichromatic subjects). We classified three spectral types of cones (S, M, and L), and we measured cone structure—namely cone density, cone mosaic arrangement, and spatial arrangement of cone types.
For the different phenotypes, our cone function results show that (1) color normals possess S, M, and L cones; (2) deuteranopes are missing M cones but are normal otherwise; (3) protanopes are missing L cones but are normal otherwise; and (4) deuteranomalous trichromats are missing M cones but contain evidence of at least two subtypes of L cones. Cone function was consistent with the subjects’ genotype in which only the first two M and L genes in the gene array are expressed and was correlated with the estimated spectral separation between photopigments, including in the deuteranomalous trichromats. The L/M cone ratio was highly variable in the color normals. No association was found between cone density and the genotypes and phenotypes investigated, and the cone mosaic arrangement was altered in the dichromats.
AO-PSOCT is a novel method for assessing color vision phenotype and genotype in single cone cells.
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