Melanopsin and inner retinal photoreception

Helena J. Bailes, Robert J. Lucas

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Over the last ten years there has been growing acceptance that retinal photoreception among mammals extends beyond rods and cones to include a small number of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). These ipRGCs are capable of responding to light in the absence of rod/cone input thanks to expression of an opsin photopigment called melanopsin. They are specialised for measuring ambient levels of light (irradiance) for a wide variety of so-called non-image-forming light responses. These include synchronisation of circadian clocks to light:dark cycles and the regulation of pupil size, sleep propensity and pineal melatonin production. Here, we provide a review of some of the landmark discoveries in this fast developing field, paying particular emphasis to recent findings and key areas for future investigation. © 2009 Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel/Switzerland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)99-111
    Number of pages12
    JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jan 2010


    • Circadian rhythms
    • Ganglion cells
    • Opsin
    • Photoreception
    • Photosensitivity
    • Retina


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