Vertebrate Photoreceptors

Functional Molecular Bases

  • Takahisa Furukawa
  • James B. Hurley
  • Satoru Kawamura

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Satoru Kawamura, Shuji Tachibanaki
    Pages 23-45
  3. Ala Morshedian, Gordon L. Fain
    Pages 73-90
  4. James B. Hurley, Andrei O. Chertov, Ken Lindsay, Michelle Giamarco, Whitney Cleghorn, Jianhai Du et al.
    Pages 91-137
  5. Dusanka Deretic
    Pages 139-165
  6. Matthew J. Van Hook, Wallace B. Thoreson
    Pages 167-198
  7. Yoshihiro Omori, Takahisa Furukawa
    Pages 199-215
  8. Constance Cepko
    Pages 217-244
  9. Valeria Marigo, Simona Casarosa
    Pages 309-325
  10. Daisuke Kojima, Yoshitaka Fukada
    Pages 327-341
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 343-349

About this book


This book provides a series of comprehensive views on various important aspects of vertebrate photoreceptors. The vertebrate retina is a tissue that provides unique experimental advantages to neuroscientists. Photoreceptor neurons are abundant in this tissue and they are readily identifiable and easily isolated. These features make them an outstanding model for studying neuronal mechanisms of signal transduction, adaptation, synaptic transmission, development, differentiation, diseases, and regeneration. Thanks to recent advances in genetic analysis, it also is possible to link biochemical and physiological investigations to understand the molecular mechanisms of vertebrate photoreceptors within a functioning retina in a living animal.

Photoreceptors are the most deeply studied sensory receptor cells, but readers will find that many important questions remain. We still do not know how photoreceptors, visual pigments, and their signaling pathways evolved, how they were generated, and how they are maintained. This book will make clear what is known and what is not known. The chapters are selected from fields of studies that have contributed to a broad understanding of the birth, development, structure, function, and death of photoreceptor neurons. The underlying common word in all of the chapters that is used to describe these mechanisms is “molecule”. Only with this word can we understand how these highly specific neurons function and survive. It is challenging for even the foremost researchers to cover all aspects of the subject. Understanding photoreceptors from several different points of view that share a molecular perspective will provide readers with a useful interdisciplinary perspective.


Light adaptation Phototransduction Pineal organs Retina Visual cycle Visual pigments

Editors and affiliations

  • Takahisa Furukawa
    • 1
  • James B. Hurley
    • 2
  • Satoru Kawamura
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Protein ResearchOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Graduate School of Frontier BiosciencesOsaka UniversitySuitaJapan

Bibliographic information