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Dissecting a Role for Melanopsin in Behavioural Light Aversion Reveals a Response Independent of Conventional Photoreception

Semo, M; Gias, C; Ahmado, A; Sugano, E; Allen, AE; Lawrence, JM; Tomita, H; ... Vugler, AA; + view all (2010) Dissecting a Role for Melanopsin in Behavioural Light Aversion Reveals a Response Independent of Conventional Photoreception. PLOS ONE , 5 (11) , Article e15009. 10.1371/journal.pone.0015009. Green open access

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Abstract

Melanopsin photoreception plays a vital role in irradiance detection for non-image forming responses to light. However, little is known about the involvement of melanopsin in emotional processing of luminance. When confronted with a gradient in light, organisms exhibit spatial movements relative to this stimulus. In rodents, behavioural light aversion (BLA) is a well-documented but poorly understood phenomenon during which animals attribute salience to light and remove themselves from it. Here, using genetically modified mice and an open field behavioural paradigm, we investigate the role of melanopsin in BLA. While wildtype (WT), melanopsin knockout (Opn4(-/-)) and rd/rd cl (melanopsin only (MO)) mice all exhibit BLA, our novel methodology reveals that isolated melanopsin photoreception produces a slow, potentiating response to light. In order to control for the involvement of pupillary constriction in BLA we eliminated this variable with topical atropine application. This manipulation enhanced BLA in WT and MO mice, but most remarkably, revealed light aversion in triple knockout (TKO) mice, lacking three elements deemed essential for conventional photoreception (Opn4(-/-) Gnat1(-/-) Cnga3(-/-)). Using a number of complementary strategies, we determined this response to be generated at the level of the retina. Our findings have significant implications for the understanding of how melanopsin signalling may modulate aversive responses to light in mice and humans. In addition, we also reveal a clear potential for light perception in TKO mice.

Type: Article
Title: Dissecting a Role for Melanopsin in Behavioural Light Aversion Reveals a Response Independent of Conventional Photoreception
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0015009
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0015009
Language: English
Additional information: © 2010 Semo et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This work was funded by the London Project to Cure Blindness (www.thelondonproject.org/) and the Lincy Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Keywords: RETINAL GANGLION-CELLS, SUPERIOR COLLICULUS, MICE LACKING, PUPILLARY CONSTRICTION, OCULAR PHOTORECEPTORS, RETROSPLENIAL CORTEX, VISUAL-CORTEX, MOUSE MODEL, NON-CONE, NON-ROD
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Institute of Ophthalmology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/467250
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