Bicistronic Construct for Optogenetic Prosthesis of Ganglion Cell Receptive Field of Degenerative Retina
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To perform optogenetic prosthetics of the retinal ganglion cell receptive field, a bicistronic genetic construct carrying the genes encoding the excitatory (channelrhodopsin-2) and inhibitory (Guillardia theta anion channelrhodopsin GtACR2) rhodopsins was created. A characteristic feature of this construct was the combination of these two genes with a mutant IRES insertion between them, which ensures the exact ratio of expression levels of the first and second genes in each transfected cell. Illumination of the central part of the neuron with light with a wavelength of 470 nm induced the action potential generation in the cell. Stimulation of the peripheral neuronal region with light induced the inhibition of action potential generation. Thus, using optogenetics methods, we simulated the ON–OFF interaction in the retinal ganglion cell receptive field. Theoretically, this construct can be used for optogenetic prosthetics of degenerative retina in the case of its delivery to the ganglion cells with lentiviral vectors.