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Exp Eye Res. 2003 Mar;76(3):393-6.

Expression of opsin genes early in ocular development of humans and mice.

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Department of Integrative and Molecular Neuroscience, Division of Neuroscience and Psychological Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Charing Cross Hospital, St Dunstan's Road, London W6 8RP, UK.


We have compared the onsets of expression of the classical visual opsins with those of the non-rod, non-cone opsins in foetal and post-natal eye tissue from mice and humans. Mouse Rgr-opsin, peropsin, encephalopsin and melanopsin are all expressed in foetal development by E11.5, unlike the murine rod and cone opsins that exhibit post-natal expression, e.g. P1 for ultraviolet cone opsin and P5 for rod opsin. Human non-rod, non-cone opsins are also all expressed early, by 8.6 weeks post-conception. The implications of these observations are discussed with regard to the possible functions of these opsins at early stages of ocular development.

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