Functionally rodless mice: Transgenic models for the investigation of cone function in retinal disease and therapy

A. L. Lyubarsky, J. Lem, J. Chen, B. Falsini, A. Iannaccone, Edward N Pugh Jr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


Two genetically engineered strains of mice were used to characterize murine cone function electroretinographically, without interference of rod-driven responses: (1) mice with a deletion of the gene for the rod transducin α-subunit (transducin α-/-), and (2) mice with rod arrestin deleted (arrestin -/-). In the first three months of age, both strains have a normal complement of rods and normal rod structure, but transducin α-/- mice have no rod-driven responses to light, while rod-driven activity of arrestin -/- mice can be suppressed by a single intense flash for hours. In response to intense flashes the electroretinograms of these strains of mice showed a readily identifiable, pure-cone a-wave of ∼10 μV saturating amplitude. A 530 nm background that saturates rod responses of wild type mice was found to desensitize the b-wave responses of mice of both transgenic lines, whether the b-waves were driven by photons captured by M- or UV-cone pigments. The desensitizing effect of the 530 nm background on UV-pigment driven responses provides new evidence in support of the hypothesis of functional co-expression of the M-pigment in cones expressing primarily the UV-pigment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-415
Number of pages15
JournalVision Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Arrestin
  • Light adaptation
  • Phototransduction
  • Transducin
  • Transgenic mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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