Optogenetics and vision

© 2015 M. A. Ostrovsky1, M. P. Kirpichnikov1,2

Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics RAS, 119934 Moscow, Kosygin str., 4
1Lomonosov Moscow State University, Faculty of Biology, 119991 Moscow, Leninskie gory, 12

Received 24 Jul 2015

Provides an overview of the current state of a new direction in the physiology of vision and ophthalmology, based on optogenetics techniques. Optogenetics is a new interdisciplinary technique that combines genetic engineering, optics and physiology. Optogenetics allows using light-activating protein, a gene which is delivered and is expressed in a particular cell of the retina, to regulate by light (activate or inhibit) the physiological activity of the cell. This new approach extremely promising both for fundamental researches of the retina, as is currently the case with regard to the brain, and for degenerative retinal prosthetics. Ontogenetics prosthetics is based on the fact that the loss of photoreceptors are usually not accompanied by loss of the nerve cells of the retina and visual pathways in the brain. Therefore giving by optogenetics methods to the preserved cells of the retina, namely bipolar or ganglion cells, light sensitivity, may allow to restore the visual functions of degenerative retina.

Key words: optogenetics, retina, retinal prosthesis, channelrhodopsin, degenerative diseases of the retina

Cite: Ostrovsky M. A., Kirpichnikov M. P.. Optogenetika i zrenie [Optogenetics and vision]. Sensornye sistemy [Sensory systems]. 2015. V. 29(4). P. 289-295 (in Russian).

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