The post-illumination pupil response of melanopsin expressing retinal ganglion cells

Adhikari, Prakash, Zele, Andrew J., & Feigl, Beatrix (2015) The post-illumination pupil response of melanopsin expressing retinal ganglion cells. In ARVO 2015 : Powerful Connections: Vision Research and Online Networking, 3-7 May 2015, Denver, Colerado.

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The post-illumination pupil response (PIPR) has been quantified in the literature by four metrics. The spectral sensitivity of only one metric is known and this study quantifies the other three. To optimize the measurement of the PIPR in humans, we also determine the stimulus protocol producing the largest PIPR, the duration of the PIPR, and the metric(s) with the lowest coefficient of variation.


The consensual pupil light reflex (PLR) was measured with a Maxwellian view pupillometer (35.6° diameter stimulus).

  • Experiment 1: Spectral sensitivity of four PIPR metrics [plateau, 6 s, area under curve (AUC) early and late recovery] was determined from a criterion PIPR (n = 2 participants) to a 1 s pulse at five wavelengths (409-592nm) and fitted with Vitamin A nomogram (ƛmax = 482 nm).

  • Experiment 2: The PLR was measured in five healthy participants [29 to 42 years (mean = 32.6 years)] as a function of three stimulus durations (1 s, 10 s, 30 s), five irradiances spanning low to high melanopsin excitation levels (retinal irradiance: 9.8 to 14.8 log, and two wavelengths, one with high (465 nm) and one with low (637 nm) melanopsin excitation. Intra and inter-individual coefficients of variation (CV) were calculated.


The melanopsin (opn4) photopigment nomogram adequately described the spectral sensitivity derived from all four PIPR metrics. The largest PIPR amplitude was observed with 1 s short wavelength pulses (retinal irradiance ≥ 12.8 log Of the 4 PIPR metrics, the plateau and 6 s PIPR showed the least intra and inter-individual CV (≤ 0.2). The maximum duration of the sustained PIPR was 83.4 ± 48.0 s (mean ± SD) for 1 s pulses and 180.1 ± 106.2 s for 30 s pulses (465 nm; 14.8 log


All current PIPR metrics provide a direct measure of intrinsic melanopsin retinal ganglion cell function. To measure progressive changes in melanopsin function in disease, we recommend that the intrinsic melanopsin response should be measured using a 1 s pulse with high melanopsin excitation and the PIPR should be analyzed with the plateau and/or 6 s metrics. That the PIPR can have a sustained constriction for as long as 3 minutes, our PIPR duration data provide a baseline for the selection of inter-stimulus intervals between consecutive pupil testing sequences.

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ID Code: 90220
Item Type: Conference Item (Other)
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: melanopsin expressing intrinsically photosensitive ganglion cells, post-illumination pupil response, spectral sensitivity
ISSN: 1552-5783
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Deposited On: 16 Nov 2015 00:52
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2015 00:52

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