Melanopsin mediates retrograde visual signaling in the retina

Dao Qi Zhang, Michael A. Belenky, Patricia J. Sollars, Gary E. Pickard, Douglas G. McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The canonical flow of visual signals proceeds from outer to inner retina (photoreceptors→bipolar cells→ganglion cells). However, melanopsin-expressing ganglion cells are photosensitive and functional sustained light signaling to retinal dopaminergic interneurons persists in the absence of rods and cones. Here we show that the sustained-type light response of retinal dopamine neurons requires melanopsin and that the response is mediated by AMPA-type glutamate receptors, defining a retrograde retinal visual signaling pathway that fully reverses the usual flow of light signals in retinal circuits.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere42647
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8
StatePublished - 3 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


FundersFunder number
National Eye InstituteR01EY009256


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