Retinal receptors in rodents maximally sensitive to ultraviolet light

Nature. 1991 Oct 17;353(6345):655-6. doi: 10.1038/353655a0.


High sensitivity to near-ultraviolet light is a fundamental feature of vision in many invertebrates. Among vertebrates there are some amphibians, birds and fishes that are also sensitive to near-ultraviolet wavelengths. This sensitivity can be achieved through a class of cone photoreceptor containing an ultraviolet-sensitive pigment. Although these receptors were thought not to exist in the eyes of mammals, we now report that some rodents have a retinal mechanism that is maximally sensitive to ultraviolet light.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrophysiology
  • Electroretinography
  • Gerbillinae
  • Mice
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Rodentia / physiology*
  • Ultraviolet Rays*