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In mammals, ocular photoreceptors mediate an acute inhibition of pineal melatonin by light. The effect of rod and cone loss on this response was assessed by combining the rd mutation with a transgenic ablation of cones (cl) to produce mice lacking both photoreceptor classes. Despite the loss of all known retinal photoreceptors, rd/rd cl mice showed normal suppression of pineal melatonin in response to monochromatic light of wavelength 509 nanometers. These data indicate that mammals have additional ocular photoreceptors that they use in the regulation of temporal physiology.


Journal article



Publication Date





505 - 507


Animals, Biological Clocks, Circadian Rhythm, Cryptochromes, Darkness, Drosophila Proteins, Eye Proteins, Flavoproteins, Light, Light Signal Transduction, Melatonin, Mice, Mice, Inbred C3H, Mice, Transgenic, Photoreceptor Cells, Invertebrate, Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate, Pineal Gland, Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled, Retina, Retinal Ganglion Cells, Retinal Pigments