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Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2008;32(4):611-56. Epub 2007 Oct 10.

The possible role of retinal dopaminergic system in visual performance.

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Department of Pharmacology, Israel Institute for Biological Research, P.O. Box 19, Ness Ziona 74100, Israel.


It is a well-known fact that the retina is one of the tissues in the body, which is richest in dopamine (DA), yet the role of this system in various visual functions remains unclear. We have identified 13 types of DA retinal pathologies, and 15 visual functions. The pathologies were arranged in this review on a net grid, where one axis was "age" (i.e., from infancy to old age) and the other axis the level of retinal DA (i.e., from DA deficiency to DA excess, from Parkinson disorder to Schizophrenia). The available data on visual dysfunction(s) is critically presented for each of the DA pathologies. Special effort was made to evaluate whether the site of DA malfunction in the different DA pathologies and visual function is at retinal level or in higher brain centers. The mapping of DA and visual pathologies demonstrate the pivot role of retinal DA in mediating visual functions and also indicate the "missing links" in our understanding of the mechanisms underlying these relationships.

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