Visual responses in the lateral geniculate evoked by Cx36-independent rod pathways

Vision Res. 2011 Jan 28;51(2):280-7. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2010.08.010. Epub 2010 Aug 13.


Emerging evidence indicates rods can communicate with retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) via pathways that do not involve gap-junctions. Here we investigated the significance of such pathways for central visual responses, using mice lacking a key gap junction protein (Cx36(-/-)) and carrying a mutation that disrupts cone phototransduction (Gnat2(cpfl3)). Electrophysiological recordings spanning the lateral geniculate revealed rod-mediated ON and OFF visual responses in virtually every cell from all major anatomical sub-compartments of this nucleus. Hence, we demonstrate that one or more classes of RGC receive input from Cx36-independent rod pathways and drive extensive ON and OFF responses across the visual thalamus.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Connexins / deficiency*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Geniculate Bodies / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Synaptic Transmission*
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*


  • Connexins