Phototransduction in mouse rods and cones

Pflugers Arch. 2007 Aug;454(5):805-19. doi: 10.1007/s00424-006-0194-y. Epub 2007 Jan 17.


Phototransduction is the process by which light triggers an electrical signal in a photoreceptor cell. Image-forming vision in vertebrates is mediated by two types of photoreceptors: the rods and the cones. In this review, we provide a summary of the success in which the mouse has served as a vertebrate model for studying rod phototransduction, with respect to both the activation and termination steps. Cones are still not as well-understood as rods partly because it is difficult to work with mouse cones due to their scarcity and fragility. The situation may change, however.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular / physiology
  • Animals
  • Differential Threshold
  • Light
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / embryology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Refractory Period, Electrophysiological
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / embryology
  • Retina / physiology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / embryology
  • Retinal Pigments / metabolism
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / embryology
  • Rhodopsin / metabolism
  • Second Messenger Systems / physiology
  • Transducin / metabolism
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*


  • Retinal Pigments
  • Rhodopsin
  • Transducin