Original Research Article

Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 128, Issue 3, pp 155-168

First online:

Contribution of retinal ganglion cells to the mouse electroretinogram

  • Benjamin J. SmithAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Dalhousie University
  • , Xu WangAffiliated withRetina and Optic Nerve Research Laboratory, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie UniversityUnit on Neuron-Glia Interactions in Retinal Disease, National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
  • , Balwantray C. ChauhanAffiliated withRetina and Optic Nerve Research Laboratory, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Dalhousie University
  • , Patrice D. CôtéAffiliated withDepartment of Biology, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Dalhousie University Email author 
  • , François TremblayAffiliated withRetina and Optic Nerve Research Laboratory, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Physiology and Biophysics, Dalhousie UniversityDepartment of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Dalhousie University

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Abstract

Purpose

To quantify the direct contribution of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) on individual components of the mouse electroretinogram (ERG).

Methods

Dark- and light-adapted ERGs from mice 8 to 12 weeks after optic nerve transection (ONTx, n = 14) were analyzed through stimulus response curves for a- and b-waves, oscillatory potentials (OPs), positive and negative scotopic threshold response (p/n STR), and the photopic negative response (PhNR) and compared with unoperated and sham-operated controls, as well as to eyes treated with 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dion (CNQX).

Results

We confirmed in mice that CNQX intravitreal injection reduced the scotopic a-wave amplitude at high flash strength, confirming a post-receptoral contribution to the a-wave. We found that ONTx, which is more specific to RGCs, did not affect the a-wave amplitude and implicit time in either photopic or scotopic conditions while the b-wave was reduced. Both the pSTR and nSTR components were reduced in amplitude, with the balance between the two components resulting in a shortening of the nSTR peak implicit time. On the other hand, amplitude of the PhNR was increased while the OPs were minimally affected.

Conclusion

With an intact a-wave demonstrated following ONTx, we find that the most robust indicators of RGC function in the mouse full-field ERG were the STR components.

Keywords

Retinal ganglion cells Optic nerve Axotomy Electroretinogram Mouse Scotopic threshold response Photopic negative response