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A comparative perspective on extra-retinal photoreception

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-53
JournalTrends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume30
Issue number1
Early online date4 Dec 2018
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2019

Abstract

Ubiquitous in non-mammalian vertebrates extra-retinal photoreceptors (ERP) have been linked to an array of physiologic, metabolic, behavioural and morphological changes. However, the mechanisms and functional roles of ERPs remain one of the enduring questions of modern biology. In this review we will utilize a comparative framework to identify conserved roles and distributions of ERPs, highlighting knowledge gaps. We conclude that ERP research can be divided into two largely unconnected categories 1.) identification and localization of photoreceptors and 2.) linkage of non-retinal light reception to behavioural and physiological processes, particularly endocrine systems. The emergence of novel gene editing and silencing techniques will enable the unification of ERP research by allowing the bridging of this divide.

    Research areas

  • extra-retinal photoreceptor, OPN5, OPN4, VA-opsin, brain

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