The ERG of guinea pig (Cavis porcellus): comparison with I-type monkey and E-type rat

Doc Ophthalmol. 2003 May;106(3):243-9. doi: 10.1023/a:1022940517793.


We have been in search of an alternate species for the monkey to study the effects of drugs on the I-type photopic electroretinogram (ERG) response that is typically seen in the cone-rich retina of the primate. The guinea pig has two types of cones, one of which contains a middle-wavelength sensitive pigment otherwise found only in Old World primates. We studied the Ganzfeld electroretinogram (ERG) of the guinea pig in relation to monkey and rat ERGs to learn whether the guinea pig might be a good animal model to study the 'primate-like' cone ERG. The guinea pig scotopic ERG was similar to other mammal ERGs and was not electronegative when fully dark-adapted. We saw no evidence of a negative-going scotopic threshold response (STR). The guinea pig photopic ERG a-wave is larger than that of the rat but much smaller than the primate a-wave, and it lacked a phasic d-wave. PDA eliminated guinea pig photopic a-wave and caused the OFF-response to long stimuli to invert polarity, as seen in monkey but not in rat. The guinea pig overall shows a weak I-type response and may be a useful substitute for primate in some studies of the photopic ERG.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dark Adaptation
  • Electroretinography*
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Injections
  • Interneurons / physiology*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Models, Animal
  • Pipecolic Acids / pharmacology
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / drug effects
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Vitreous Body / drug effects


  • Pipecolic Acids
  • 2,3-piperidinedicarboxylic acid