Intra-retinal visual cycle required for rapid and complete cone dark adaptation

Jin Shan Wang, Maureen E. Estevez, M. Carter Cornwall, Vladimir J. Kefalov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


Daytime vision is mediated by retinal cones, which, unlike rods, remain functional even in bright light and dark-adapt rapidly. These cone properties are enabled by rapid regeneration of their pigment. This in turn requires rapid chromophore recycling that may not be achieved by the canonical retinal pigment epithelium visual cycle. Recent biochemical studies have suggested the presence of a second, cone-specific visual cycle, although its physiological function remains to be established. We found that the Müller cells in the salamander neural retina promote cone-specific pigment regeneration and dark adaptation that are independent of the pigment epithelium. Without this pathway, dark adaptation of cones was slow and incomplete. Notably, the rates of cone pigment regeneration by the retina and pigment epithelium visual cycles were essentially identical, suggesting a possible common rate-limiting step. Finally, we also observed cone dark adaptation in the isolated mouse retina.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)295-302
Number of pages8
JournalNature neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009


Dive into the research topics of 'Intra-retinal visual cycle required for rapid and complete cone dark adaptation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this