photoreceptor cells


Summary: Specialized cells that detect and transduce light. They are classified into two types based on their light reception structure, the ciliary photoreceptors and the rhabdomeric photoreceptors with MICROVILLI. Ciliary photoreceptor cells use OPSINS that activate a PHOSPHODIESTERASE phosphodiesterase cascade. Rhabdomeric photoreceptor cells use opsins that activate a PHOSPHOLIPASE C cascade.

Top Publications

  1. Franceschini N, Kirschfeld K, Minke B. Fluorescence of photoreceptor cells observed in vivo. Science. 1981;213:1264-7 pubmed
    ..These phenomena provide not only a means of spectrally mapping the retina but also a new spectroscopic tool for analyzing the primary visual processes in vivo. ..
  2. Błaszczak Z, Kreysing M, Guck J. Direct observation of light focusing by single photoreceptor cell nuclei. Opt Express. 2014;22:11043-60 pubmed publisher
    ..Optical characterisation of these nuclei is an important first step towards an improved understanding of how light transmission through the retina is influenced by its constituents. ..
  3. Curcio C, Allen K. Topography of ganglion cells in human retina. J Comp Neurol. 1990;300:5-25 pubmed
    ..Comparison of ganglion cell topography with the visual field representation in V1 reveals similarities consistent with the idea that cortical magnification is proportional to ganglion cell density throughout the visual field. ..
  4. Lam R, Beattie C, Buchanan A, Remick R, Zis A. Low electrooculographic ratios in patients with seasonal affective disorder. Am J Psychiatry. 1991;148:1526-9 pubmed
    ..A limitation of this study is that the retinal origins of the EOG response are nonspecific and still not completely elucidated. ..
  5. Dong K, Han L, Liu J, Wang F, Sun X. RNA Interference Reveals the Coregulatory Effects of Cylindromatosis on Apoptosis and Necroptosis of Photoreceptor Cells in Experimental Retinal Detachment. Am J Pathol. 2017;187:1763-1771 pubmed publisher
    Inhibiting only cell apoptosis or necroptosis in photoreceptor cells does not protect them against death after traumatic retinal detachment...
  6. Wassle H, Boycott B. Functional architecture of the mammalian retina. Physiol Rev. 1991;71:447-80 pubmed
  7. Reme C, Terman M, Wirz Justice A. Are deficient retinal photoreceptor renewal mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of winter depression?. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47:878-9 pubmed
  8. Donner K, Hemila S, Koskelainen A. Temperature-dependence of rod photoresponses from the aspartate-treated retina of the frog (Rana temporaria). Acta Physiol Scand. 1988;134:535-41 pubmed
    ..The kinetics (reciprocal time-to-peak) showed Arrhenius-type temperature-dependence with apparent activation energy 12.4 kcal mol-1 and Q10 = 2.1...
  9. Mammadova N, Ghaisas S, Zenitsky G, Sakaguchi D, Kanthasamy A, Greenlee J, et al. Lasting Retinal Injury in a Mouse Model of Blast-Induced Trauma. Am J Pathol. 2017;187:1459-1472 pubmed publisher
    ..Primary blast wave pressure resulted in activation of Müller glia, loss of photoreceptor cells, and an increase in phosphorylated tau in retinal neurons and glia...

More Information


  1. He F, Zheng L, Dong F. [Comparative study of the effects of sterilized air and perfluoropropane gas tamponades on recovery after idiopathic full-thickness macular hole surgery]. Zhonghua Yan Ke Za Zhi. 2017;53:327-331 pubmed publisher
    ..019???????bcva?t=-1.689???????t=-0.837??????????????t=0.338????????????p>0.05?? ??? ??????????????????????????????????c(3)f(8)?????????????????????????????2017?53?327-331?. ..
  2. Nagelhus E, Veruki M, Torp R, Haug F, Laake J, Nielsen S, et al. Aquaporin-4 water channel protein in the rat retina and optic nerve: polarized expression in Müller cells and fibrous astrocytes. J Neurosci. 1998;18:2506-19 pubmed
    ..This arrangement may allow transcellular water redistribution to occur without inducing inappropriate volume changes in the perinodal extracellular space. ..
  3. Chen W, Joos T, Defoe D. Evidence for beta 1-integrins on both apical and basal surfaces of Xenopus retinal pigment epithelium. Exp Eye Res. 1997;64:73-84 pubmed
    ..Molecules present in the apical membrane may represent components of adhesion receptors responsible for retina-epithelium interactions. ..
  4. Young R. Cell differentiation in the retina of the mouse. Anat Rec. 1985;212:199-205 pubmed
    ..At all stages of embryogenesis, the differentiation of at least three and as many as six distinct types of specialized cells is initiated simultaneously within the ventricular cell population. ..
  5. Gao H, Hollyfield J. Aging of the human retina. Differential loss of neurons and retinal pigment epithelial cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1992;33:1-17 pubmed
  6. Pfeffer B, Fliesler S. Streamlined duplex live-dead microplate assay for cultured cells. Exp Eye Res. 2017;161:17-29 pubmed publisher
    ..Two examples of the application of this method are provided, using cytotoxic compounds having different mechanisms of action. ..
  7. Hsu Y, Garrison J, Kim G, Schmitz A, Searby C, Zhang Q, et al. BBSome function is required for both the morphogenesis and maintenance of the photoreceptor outer segment. PLoS Genet. 2017;13:e1007057 pubmed publisher
    ..Over time, the retinas of the rescued mice become morphologically and functionally normal, indicating that there is a window of plasticity when initial retinal outer segment morphogenesis defects can be ameliorated. ..
  8. Robinson D, Ratto G, Lagnado L, McNaughton P. Temperature dependence of the light response in rat rods. J Physiol. 1993;462:465-81 pubmed
    ..The speed of the falling phase of the dim-flash response was accelerated more by warming than the rising phase, and it was therefore not possible to superimpose light responses at different temperatures by a simple change in time scale. ..
  9. Penn J, Thum L, Naash M. Photoreceptor physiology in the rat is governed by the light environment. Exp Eye Res. 1989;49:205-15 pubmed
    ..Retinas of these rats sustained 50% loss of photoreceptors from this exposure. Comparisons are made to previous studies concerning the effect of cyclic light environments on the retinas of albino rats. ..
  10. Oren D, Brainard G, Johnston S, Joseph Vanderpool J, Sorek E, Rosenthal N. Treatment of seasonal affective disorder with green light and red light. Am J Psychiatry. 1991;148:509-11 pubmed
    ..Identifying optimal wavelengths for light treatment is important in optimizing phototherapy efficacy. ..
  11. Bowmaker J, Astell S, Hunt D, Mollon J. Photosensitive and photostable pigments in the retinae of Old World monkeys. J Exp Biol. 1991;156:1-19 pubmed
    ..The latter pigment has a peak sensitivity close to 420 nm and an absorbance spectrum that is narrower than that of a photosensitive visual pigment. ..
  12. Murray T, Burton T, Rajani C, Lewandowski M, Burke J, Eells J. Methanol poisoning. A rodent model with structural and functional evidence for retinal involvement. Arch Ophthalmol. 1991;109:1012-6 pubmed
    ..These studies document direct retinal involvement in this nonprimate model of methanol toxicity. ..
  13. Rose K, Walston S, Chen J. Separation of photoreceptor cell compartments in mouse retina for protein analysis. Mol Neurodegener. 2017;12:28 pubmed publisher
  14. Silver P. A grey squirrel spectral sensitivity by heterochromatic flicker and its implications. Vision Res. 1976;16:1235-9 pubmed
  15. Lu C, Lee B, Schottenhamml J, Maier A, Pugh E, Fujimoto J. Photoreceptor Layer Thickness Changes During Dark Adaptation Observed With Ultrahigh-Resolution Optical Coherence Tomography. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017;58:4632-4643 pubmed publisher
    ..With noninvasive, near-infrared UHR-OCT, we characterized three distinct, spatially localized photoresponses in the outer retinal bands. These photoresponses have potential value as physical correlates of photoreceptor function. ..
  16. Lajko M, Cardona H, Taylor J, Farrow K, Fawzi A. Photoreceptor oxidative stress in hyperoxia-induced proliferative retinopathy accelerates rd8 degeneration. PLoS ONE. 2017;12:e0180384 pubmed publisher
  17. Molday R, Goldberg A. Peripherin diverts ciliary ectosome release to photoreceptor disc morphogenesis. J Cell Biol. 2017;216:1227-1229 pubmed publisher
    Formation of membrane discs in photoreceptor cells requires evagination of its ciliary plasma membrane by an unknown molecular mechanism. Salinas et al. (2017. J. Cell Biol.
  18. Ovchinnikov YuA -. Rhodopsin and bacteriorhodopsin: structure-function relationships. FEBS Lett. 1982;148:179-91 pubmed
  19. Salinas R, Pearring J, Ding J, Spencer W, Hao Y, Arshavsky V. Photoreceptor discs form through peripherin-dependent suppression of ciliary ectosome release. J Cell Biol. 2017;216:1489-1499 pubmed publisher
    ..Our findings explain how the outer segment structure evolved from the primary cilium to provide photoreceptor cells with vast membrane surfaces for efficient light capture.
  20. Pfister C, Chabre M, Plouet J, Tuyen V, De Kozak Y, Faure J, et al. Retinal S antigen identified as the 48K protein regulating light-dependent phosphodiesterase in rods. Science. 1985;228:891-3 pubmed
    ..Biochemical, immunological, functional, and pathological tests showed that retinal S antigen and the 48K protein are identical. ..
  21. Bowmaker J, Dartnall H. Visual pigments of rods and cones in a human retina. J Physiol. 1980;298:501-11 pubmed
    ..S. Stiles. 5. If assumptions are made about the length of rods and about pre-receptoral absorption, however, the psychophysical sensitivity derived for the rods is considerably broader than the C.I.E. scotopic sensitivity function. ..
  22. Lamb T. Effects of temperature changes on toad rod photocurrents. J Physiol. 1984;346:557-78 pubmed
    ..225 log10 units (1.68 times) upon a temperature increase from 11.5 to 29.3 degrees C (from approximately -5.0 log10 units to approximately -4.8 log10 units). This change appears to be approximately what would be expected theoretically. ..
  23. Hamon A, Masson C, Bitard J, Gieser L, Roger J, Perron M. Retinal Degeneration Triggers the Activation of YAP/TEAD in Reactive Müller Cells. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2017;58:1941-1953 pubmed publisher
    ..We also uncovered a deregulation of the expression and activity of Hippo/YAP pathway components in reactive Müller cells under pathologic conditions. ..
  24. Vent Schmidt R, Wen R, Zong Z, Chiu C, Tam B, May C, et al. Opposing Effects of Valproic Acid Treatment Mediated by Histone Deacetylase Inhibitor Activity in Four Transgenic X. laevis Models of Retinitis Pigmentosa. J Neurosci. 2017;37:1039-1054 pubmed publisher
    ..Our study suggests that, unless genotype is accounted for, clinical trials for RP treatments may give negative results due to multiple disease mechanisms with differential responses to therapeutic interventions. ..
  25. Hood D, Birch D. The A-wave of the human electroretinogram and rod receptor function. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 1990;31:2070-81 pubmed
    ..Both the linear and nonlinear components of the model were needed to fit the ERGs recorded with this system. This suggests that changes in different receptor parameters can be distinguished with higher intensity flashes. ..
  26. Vorobyev M, Osorio D. Receptor noise as a determinant of colour thresholds. Proc Biol Sci. 1998;265:351-8 pubmed
    ..The model, therefore, is widely applicable to comparative studies of eye design and visual ecology. ..
  27. Kooijman A, Houtman A, Damhof A, van Engelen J. Prolonged electro-retinal response suppression (PERRS) in patients with stationary subnormal visual acuity and photophobia. Doc Ophthalmol. 1991;78:245-54 pubmed
  28. Fletcher E. 2016 Glenn A. Fry Award Lecture: Mechanisms and Potential Treatments of Early Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Optom Vis Sci. 2017;94:939-945 pubmed publisher
    ..By understanding the fundamental cell biological changes that occur in patients and animal models of disease, we have uncovered mechanisms that may help us manage and treat patients in the future. ..
  29. Curcio C, Sloan K, Kalina R, Hendrickson A. Human photoreceptor topography. J Comp Neurol. 1990;292:497-523 pubmed
    ..Two fellow eyes had cone and rod numbers within 8% and similar but not identical photoreceptor topography. ..