Physiology of the eye

Khorrami Ph.D.

Cajal (1880)

Retina layers
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

Bruch s membrane(between RETINA & CHOROID) Retinal pigment epithelium(RPE) Photoreceptors, outer segment Outer limiting membrane( process of M ller cells) Outer nuclear layer(cell body of rod,cone) Outer plexiform layer( ph.R.-neuron synapse) Inner nuclear layer( cell body of M ller) Inner plexiform layer( synapse with ganglion cells) Ganglion cell layer Nerve fiber layer( axon of ganglion) Inner limiting membrane ( process of M ller cells)

Muller cells
‡ Supplying end products of anaerobic metabolism (breakdown of glycogen) to fuel aerobic metabolism in the nerve cells. ‡ Mop up neural waste products such as carbon dioxide and ammonia and recycle spent amino acid transmitters. ‡ Protect neurons from exposure to excess neurotransmitters such as glutamate, using well developed uptake mechanisms to recycle this transmitter, by the presence of high concentrations of glutamine synthase. ‡ Phagocytosis of neuronal debris and release of neuroactive substances such as GABA, taurine and dopamine. ‡ Synthesize retinoic acid from retinol (retinoic acid is important in the development of the eye and the nervous system) ‡ Control homeostasis and protect neurons from deleterious changes in their ionic environment by taking up extracellular K+ and redistributing it. ‡ Contribute to the generation of the electroretinogram (ERG) b-wave

Retinal layers



Blind spot

RPE: functions
‡ A part of blood-retinal barrier ‡ Takes up nutrients(glucose, retinol & fatty acids) from blood ‡ All trans to 11-cis retinal isomerization(visual cycle of retinal) ‡ Stabilize ion composition in the subretinal space ‡ Phagocytosis of shed photoreceptor outer segments ‡ Essential for proper development of the RETINA ± Survival & differentiation of photoreceptors ± Secrete a variety of growth factors

PEDF: pigment epithelium-derived growth factor VEGF: vascular epithelium growth factor

IP3 as initiator of phagocytosis of outer segment

Alpha-lambda angle

ONA: alpha angle OCA: gamma angle OPA: kappa angle OXA: kappa angle

Optic nerve

Ophthalmoscopic view

Ophthalmoscopic view

Disk in black subjects

Disk in poor pigmentation

Photoreceptors; distribution

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ 1% of retina 110-115K cone cells Yellow; Xanthophyl, Lutein & carotenoids Takes up over 50% of visual cortex Sees only 2o of central visual field(2 thumbnail) Fovea: 1mm, 12/100 m Foveola: 0.2mm, no rod cells, 50/100 m Oxygen supply:
± Choroidal vessels ± More demands under conditions of bright light

‡ Rods: apprx. 125mil,
± For night vision

‡ Cones: apprx. 6mil,
± For central vision

Size constancy

Discs of rod cells

Photoreceptor disks
‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ 1000 disks in rods Every 30 minutes from base About 3 weeks life Cones for dinner Rods for breakfast

Outer segment of cone

Disc shedding


‡ A protein covalently linked to 11-cis retinal ‡ 11-cis retinal is an aldehyde derivative of carotenoid alcohol ‡ Opsin in rods contains 348AA, span the membrane 7 times


11-cis retinal

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Absorption of a photon by photopigment ( rhodopsin) Prelumirhodopsin Lumirhodopsin Metarhodopsin I-------- Metarhodopsin II/10-3 (active form) Activation of a G-protein(transducin) Activation of phosphodiesterase(PDE) Hydrolyze of cGMP Closing Ca-Na+ channels(300) Hyperpolarization Metarhodopsin II-------- Metarhodopsin III/ several minutes Splits into All-trans retinal and opsin Some converts to all-trans retinol Isomerase from RPE Conversion of all-trans retinal and retinol to 11-cis retinal Attachment of 11-cis retinal to opsin


Potential in photoreceptores
Cones ‡ 20ms ‡ Stimulation rate: 50Hz Rods ‡ 50ms ‡ Stimulation rate: 20Hz
± In cinema: 24frame/sec

Bipolar cell types

Horizontal cells
‡ Ph.R NT depolarize them ‡ Hyperpolarize with light ‡ C type
± Sensitive to color

‡ L type
± Sensitive to luminosity or intensity

Inner half of IPL

Outer half of IPL

Center-surround All photoreceptors are depolarized in dark All photoreceptors hyperpolarized with light Depolarized cells release NT Depolarized bipolar cell stimulate ganglion cell Invaginated BP-cell hyperpolrized with NT of Ph.R. Flat BP-cell depolarized with NT of Ph.R. Depolarized horizontal cell hyperpolarise target Ph.R. Individual Ph.R. synapse with both invag. & flat bipolar ‡ Invaginating bipolar just receive one type of synapse ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡

Cell organization of retina

Ganglion cell

Children of the light

Ganglion cells
Types X (P) Y(M) 80%, sustained response 10%, transient response 10%, transient response Importance Visual acuity, color, fine details Shape of objects, contrast, low resolutionrsg Luminosity, head & neck movements Receptive field Smallrsg Largesg Projection LGN LGN, sup. coll



Sup. coll

Amsler grid test

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