Melanopsin phototransduction: slowly emerging from the dark.
ABSTRACT Melanopsin expressing retinal ganglion cells represent a third class of ocular photoreceptors and are involved in irradiance detection and non-image-forming responses to light including pupil constriction, circadian entrainment, and regulation of sleep. Over recent years, there has been a rapid increase in our understanding of the anatomical variety of pRGC subtypes, the regions of the brain which they innervate, and the behavioral responses of melanopsin-based light detection. However, by contrast, our understanding of the intracellular signaling cascade initiated following activation of melanopsin has, until recently, remained poorly characterized. This chapter focus on the melanopsin signaling pathway, detailing the cellular mechanisms of phototransduction that occur within pRGCs, highlighting recent advances, but also the gaps in our understanding of this important light detecting system.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mammalian vision consists of the classic image-forming pathway involving rod and cone photoreceptors interacting through a neural network within the retina before sending signals to the brain, and a non image-forming pathway that uses a photosensitive cell employing an alternative and evolutionary ancient phototransduction system and a direct connection to various centers in the brain. Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) contain the photopigment melanopsin, which is independently capable of photon detection while also receiving synaptic input from rod and cone photoreceptors via bipolar cells. These cells are the retinal sentry for subconscious visual processing that controls circadian photoentrainment and the pupillary light reflex. Classified as irradiance detectors, recent investigations have led to expanding roles for this specific cell type and its own neural pathways, some of which are blurring the boundaries between image-forming and non image-forming visual processes.Journal of Experimental Neuroscience 09/2013; 7:43-50. DOI:10.4137/JEN.S11267This article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched formatRG Format enables you to read in context with side-by-side figures, citations, and feedback from experts in your field.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Melanopsin has been implicated in the mammalian photoentrainment by blue light. This photopigment, which maximally absorbs light at wavelengths between 470 and 480 nm depending on the species, is found in the retina of all classes of vertebrates so far studied. In mammals, melanopsin activation triggers a signaling pathway which resets the circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN). Unlike mammals, Drosophila melanogaster and Danio rerio do not rely only on their eyes to perceive light, in fact their whole body may be capable of detecting light and entraining their circadian clock. Melanopsin, teleost multiple tissue (tmt) opsin and others such as neuropsin and va-opsin, are found in the peripheral tissues of Danio rerio, however, there are limited data concerning the photopigment/s or the signaling pathway/s directly involved in light detection. Here, we demonstrate that melanopsin is a strong candidate to mediate synchronization of zebrafish cells. The deduced amino acid sequence of melanopsin, although being a vertebrate opsin, is more similar to invertebrate than vertebrate photopigments, and melanopsin photostimulation triggers the phosphoinositide pathway through activation of a Gq/11-type G protein. We stimulated cultured ZEM-2S cells with blue light at wavelengths consistent with melanopsin maximal absorption, and evaluated the time course expression of per1b, cry1b, per2 and cry1a. Using quantitative PCR, we showed that blue light is capable of slightly modulating per1b and cry1b genes, and drastically increasing per2 and cry1a expression. Pharmacological assays indicated that per2 and cry1a responses to blue light are evoked through the activation of the phosphoinositide pathway, which crosstalks with nitric oxide (NO) and mitogen activated protein MAP kinase (MAPK) to activate the clock genes. Our results suggest that melanopsin may be important in mediating the photoresponse in Danio rerio ZEM-2S cells, and provide new insights about the modulation of clock genes in peripheral clocks.PLoS ONE 09/2014; 9(9):e106252. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0106252 · 3.53 Impact FactorThis article is viewable in ResearchGate's enriched formatRG Format enables you to read in context with side-by-side figures, citations, and feedback from experts in your field.
- SourceAvailable from: Silvia Gatti[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Melanopsin expressing photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGCs) represent a third class of ocular photoreceptors and mediate a range of non-image forming responses to light. Melanopsin is a G protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and existing data suggest that it employs a membrane bound signalling cascade involving Gnaq/11 type G proteins. However, to date the precise identity of the Gα subunits involved in melanopsin phototransduction remains poorly defined. Here we show that Gnaq, Gna11 and Gna14 are highly co-expressed in pRGCs of the mouse retina. Furthermore, using RNAi based gene silencing we show that melanopsin can signal via Gnaq, Gna11 or Gna14 in vitro, and demonstrate that multiple members of the Gnaq/11 subfamily, including Gna14 and at least Gnaq or Gna11, can participate in melanopsin phototransduction in vivo and contribute to the pupillary light responses of mice lacking rod and cone photoreceptors. This diversity of G protein interactions suggests additional complexity in the melanopsin phototransduction cascade and may provide a basis for generating the diversity of light responses observed from pRGC subtypes.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 06/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00018-014-1664-6 · 5.86 Impact Factor