Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Zhang D-Q, Belenky MA, Sollars PJ, Pickard GE, McMahon DG (2012) Melanopsin Mediates Retrograde Visual Signaling in the Retina. PLoS ONE 7(8): e42647. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042647


Copyright 2012 Zhang 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.


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.