Visual pigment coexpression in all cones of two rodents, the Siberian hamster, and the pouched mouse

Ákos Lukáts, Ouria Dkhissi-Benyahya, Zsuzsanna Szepessy, Pál Röhlich, Béla Vígh, Nigel C. Bennett, Howard M. Cooper, Ágoston Szél

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


PURPOSE. To decide whether the identical topography of short and middle-wavelength cone photoreceptors in two species of rodents reflects the presence of both opsins in all cone cells. METHODS. Double-label immunocytochemistry using antibodies directed against short-wavelength (S)- and middle- to long-wavelength (M/L)-sensitive opsin were used to determine the presence of visual pigments in cones of two species of rodents, the Siberian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) and the pouched mouse (Saccostomus campestris) from South Africa. Topographical distribution was determined from retinal whole-mounts, and the colocalization of visual pigments was examined using confocal laser scanning microscopy. Opsin colocalization was also confirmed in consecutive semithin tangential sections. RESULTS. The immunocytochemical results demonstrate that in both the Siberian hamster and the pouched mouse all retinal cones contain two visual pigments. No dorsoventral gradient in the differential expression of the two opsins is observed. CONCLUSIONS. The retina of the Siberian hamster and the pouched mouse is the first example to show a uniform coexpression of M and S cone opsins in all cones, without any topographical gradient in opsin expression. This finding makes these two species good models for the study of molecular control mechanisms in opsin coexpression in rodents, and renders them suitable as sources of dual cones for future investigations on the role and neural connections of this cone type.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2468-2473
Number of pages6
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 9 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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