Expression of opsin genes early in ocular development of humans and mice

Exp Eye Res. 2003 Mar;76(3):393-6. doi: 10.1016/s0014-4835(02)00300-7.


We have compared the onsets of expression of the classical visual opsins with those of the non-rod, non-cone opsins in foetal and post-natal eye tissue from mice and humans. Mouse Rgr-opsin, peropsin, encephalopsin and melanopsin are all expressed in foetal development by E11.5, unlike the murine rod and cone opsins that exhibit post-natal expression, e.g. P1 for ultraviolet cone opsin and P5 for rod opsin. Human non-rod, non-cone opsins are also all expressed early, by 8.6 weeks post-conception. The implications of these observations are discussed with regard to the possible functions of these opsins at early stages of ocular development.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development
  • Eye / embryology
  • Eye / growth & development
  • Eye / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Rod Opsins / genetics*


  • Rod Opsins
  • melanopsin