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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1996 Dec 10;93(25):14598-601.

Phospholipase C beta 4 is involved in modulating the visual response in mice.

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Department of Pharmacology and Physiology, University of Rochester, NY 14642, USA.


Expression of G protein-regulated phospholipase C (PLC) beta 4 in the retina, lateral geniculate nucleus, and superior colliculus implies that PLC beta 4 may play a role in the mammalian visual process. A mouse line that lacks PLC beta 4 was generated and the physiological significance of PLC beta 4 in murine visual function was investigated. Behavioral tests using a shuttle box demonstrated that the mice lacking PLC beta 4 were impaired in their visual processing abilities, whereas they showed no deficit in their auditory abilities. In addition, the PLC beta 4-null mice showed 4-fold reduction in the maximal amplitude of the rod a- and b-wave components of their electroretinograms relative to their littermate controls. However, recording from single rod photoreceptors did not reveal any significant differences between the PLC beta 4-null and wild-type littermates, nor were there any apparent differences in retinas examined with light microscopy. While the behavioral and electroretinographic results indicate that PLC beta 4 plays a significant role in mammalian visual signal processing, isolated rod recording shows little or no apparent deficit, suggesting that the effect of PLC beta 4 deficiency on the rod signaling pathway occurs at some stage after the initial phototransduction cascade and may require cell-cell interactions between rods and other retinal cells.

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