Retinal patterns and the cellular repertoire of neuropsin (Opn5) retinal ganglion cells

J Comp Neurol. 2022 Jun;530(8):1247-1262. doi: 10.1002/cne.25272. Epub 2021 Dec 15.


Obtaining a parts list of the sensory components of the retina is vital to understand the effects of light in behavior, health, and disease. Rods, cones, and intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) are the best described photoreceptors in the mammalian retina, but recent functional roles have been proposed for retinal neuropsin (Opn5)-an atypical opsin. However, little is known about the pattern of Opn5 expression in the retina. Using cre (Opn5cre ) and cre-dependent reporters, we uncover patterns of Opn5 expression and find that Opn5 is restricted to retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Opn5-RGCs are nonhomogenously distributed through the retina, with greater densities of cells located in the dorsotemporal quadrant. In addition to the local topology of these cells, using cre-dependent AAV viral tracing, we surveyed their central targets and found that they are biased towards image-forming and image-stabilizing regions. Finally, molecular and electrophysiological profiling reveal that Opn5-RGCs comprise previously defined RGC types that respond optimally to edges and object-motion (F-mini-ONs, HD2, HD1, LEDs, ooDSRGCs, etc.). Together, these data describe the second collection of RGCs that express atypical opsins in the mouse, and expand the roles of image-forming cells in retinal physiology and function.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Mammals
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Opsins / genetics
  • Opsins / metabolism
  • Retina* / physiology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / metabolism
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells* / physiology
  • Rod Opsins / metabolism


  • Membrane Proteins
  • OPN5 protein, mouse
  • Opsins
  • Rod Opsins