Chlorophyll derivatives as visual pigments for super vision in the red

Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2007 Jul;6(7):775-9. doi: 10.1039/b618104j. Epub 2007 May 1.


The primary event in vision is light-initiated activation of visual pigments. All visual pigments consist of the protein opsin bound to 11-cis-retinal and are responsible for initiating the transformation of light into an electrical signal. In a mouse model, we show that derivatives of chlorophyll can act as visual pigments initiating the transformation of light into an electrical signal and thus change the primary event in vision to initial activation of a chlorophyll derivative. Electroretinographic b-wave amplitudes recorded in response to red and blue light were two-fold greater in mice administered chlorin e(6), which accumulated in photoreceptor outer segments.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chlorophyll / analogs & derivatives*
  • Chlorophyll / chemistry
  • Chlorophyll / metabolism*
  • Chlorophyll / pharmacology
  • Color Perception
  • Light
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Molecular Structure
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Porphyrins / chemistry
  • Porphyrins / metabolism
  • Porphyrins / pharmacology
  • Retina / drug effects
  • Retinal Pigments / chemistry
  • Retinal Pigments / metabolism*
  • Retinal Pigments / pharmacology
  • Vision, Ocular / drug effects
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*


  • Porphyrins
  • Retinal Pigments
  • Chlorophyll
  • phytochlorin