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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The scotopic threshold response of the dark-adapted electroretinogram of the mouse.

The most sensitive response in the dark-adapted electroretinogram (ERG), the scotopic threshold response (STR) which originates from the proximal retina, has been identified in several mammals including humans, but previously not in the mouse. The current study established the presence and assessed the nature of the mouse STR. ERGs were recorded from adult wild-type C57/BL6 mice anaesthetized with ketamine (70 mg kg(-1)) and xylazine (7 mg kg(-1)). Recordings were between DTL fibres placed under contact lenses on the two eyes. Monocular test stimuli were brief flashes (lambda(max) 462 nm; -6.1 to +1.8 log scotopic Troland seconds(sc td s)) under fully dark-adapted conditions and in the presence of steady adapting backgrounds (-3.2 to -1.7 log sc td). For the weakest test stimuli, ERGs consisted of a slow negative potential maximal approximately 200 ms after the flash, with a small positive potential preceding it. The negative wave resembled the STR of other species. As intensity was increased, the negative potential saturated but the positive potential (maximal approximately 110 ms) continued to grow as the b-wave. For stimuli that saturated the b-wave, the a-wave emerged. For stimulus strengths up to those at which the a-wave emerged, ERG amplitudes measured at fixed times after the flash (110 and 200 ms) were fitted with a model assuming an initially linear rise of response amplitude with intensity, followed by saturation of five components of declining sensitivity: a negative STR (nSTR), a positive STR (pSTR), a positive scotopic response (pSR), PII (the bipolar cell component) and PIII (the photoreceptor component). The nSTR and pSTR were approximately 3 times more sensitive than the pSR, which was approximately 7 times more sensitive than PII. The sensitive positive components dominated the b-wave up to > 5 % of its saturated amplitude. Pharmacological agents that suppress proximal retinal activity (e.g. GABA) minimized the pSTR, nSTR and pSR, essentially isolating PII which rose linearly with intensity before showing hyperbolic saturation. The nSTR, pSTR and pSR were desensitized by weaker backgrounds than those desensitizing PII. In conclusion, ERG components of proximal retinal origin that are more sensitive to test flashes and adapting backgrounds than PII provide the 'threshold' negative and positive (b-wave) responses of the mouse dark-adapted ERG. These results support the use of the mouse ERG in studies of proximal retinal function.[1]


  1. The scotopic threshold response of the dark-adapted electroretinogram of the mouse. Saszik, S.M., Robson, J.G., Frishman, L.J. J. Physiol. (Lond.) (2002) [Pubmed]
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