The electroretinogram (ERG) of a diurnal cone-rich laboratory rodent, the Nile grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus)

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The most widespread models to study blindness, rats and mice, have retinas containing less than 3% cones. The diurnal rodent Arvicanthis niloticus retina has around 35% cones. Using ERG recordings, we studied retina function in this species. Several features differed from that reported in rats and mice: (a) fivefold larger photopic a-wave amplitudes; (b) photopic hill effect in Nile grass rats only; and (c) flicker amplitude plateau between 5 to 35 Hz with fusion beyond 60 Hz in Nile grass rats only. We conclude that A. niloticus might complement rats and mice for studying retinal function and pathologies involving cones.

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