Postnatal development of flicker sensitivity in guinea pigs

James Armitage, Bang V Bui, Riki Gibson, Algis Vingrys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND: The retinal response to flickering stimuli (steady state ERG) recruits many retinal elements and is a sensitive indicator of early retinal dysfunction. This study reports the post-natal maturation of the steady state ERG response in guinea pigs. METHODS: The steady state ERG response to flickering stimuli (0.6 to 20 Hz) was recorded from dark adapted (more than 12 hrs) English Shorthair guinea pigs (n = 7) using flashes that produced rod and cone dominated responses. Temporal sensitivity functions and critical fusion frequencies (CFF) were derived over a range of ages from postnatal day (PND) 1 to 45. RESULTS: Guinea pig rod and cone temporal sensitivity functions show shape characteristics and CFF similar to humans. Furthermore, the post-natal development of the guinea pig temporal characteristics is also similar to that of humans - they are present at birth and mature rapidly post-natally. The time-course of CFF maturation is similar for rod and cone mediated responses. CONCLUSIONS: These data show that the temporal response and its maturation in the guinea pig retina is similar to that in humans. Therefore, we propose that the guinea pig is a particularly useful animal model to study retinal disease in early childhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270 - 275
Number of pages6
JournalClinical and Experimental Optometry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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