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Nat Commun. 2014 Jul 8;5:4319. doi: 10.1038/ncomms5319.

Müller cells separate between wavelengths to improve day vision with minimal effect upon night vision.

Author information

1
1] Department of Physics, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel [2] Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Rappaport Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 31096, Israel [3].
2
1] Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Rappaport Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 31096, Israel [2].
3
Department of Physics, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.
4
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Rappaport Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 31096, Israel.

Abstract

Vision starts with the absorption of light by the retinal photoreceptors-cones and rods. However, due to the 'inverted' structure of the retina, the incident light must propagate through reflecting and scattering cellular layers before reaching the photoreceptors. It has been recently suggested that Müller cells function as optical fibres in the retina, transferring light illuminating the retinal surface onto the cone photoreceptors. Here we show that Müller cells are wavelength-dependent wave-guides, concentrating the green-red part of the visible spectrum onto cones and allowing the blue-purple part to leak onto nearby rods. This phenomenon is observed in the isolated retina and explained by a computational model, for the guinea pig and the human parafoveal retina. Therefore, light propagation by Müller cells through the retina can be considered as an integral part of the first step in the visual process, increasing photon absorption by cones while minimally affecting rod-mediated vision.

PMID:
25003477
DOI:
10.1038/ncomms5319
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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