Melanopsin is required for non-image-forming photic responses in blind mice

Satchidananda Panda, Ignacio Provencio, Daniel C. Tu, Susana S. Pires, Mark D. Rollag, Ana Maria Castrucci, Mathew T. Pletcher, Trey K. Sato, Tim Wiltshire, Mary Andahazy, Steve A. Kay, Russell N. Van Gelder, John B. Hogenesch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

592 Scopus citations


Although mice lacking rod and cone photoreceptors are blind, they retain many eye-mediated responses to light, possibly through photosensitive retinal ganglion cells. These cells express melanopsin, a photopigment that confers this photosensitivity. Mice lacking melanopsin still retain nonvisual photoreception, suggesting that rods and cones could operate in this capacity. We observed that mice with both outer-retinal degeneration and a deficiency in melanopsin exhibited complete loss of photoentrainment of the circadian oscillator, pupillary light responses, photic suppression of arylalkylamine-N-acetyltransferase transcript, and acute suppression of locomotor activity by light. This indicates the importance of both nonvisual and classical visual photoreceptor systems for nonvisual photic responses in mammals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-527
Number of pages3
Issue number5632
StatePublished - Jul 25 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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