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23.03.2018 | Original Research Article | Ausgabe 2/2018

Documenta Ophthalmologica 2/2018

Comparison between albino and pigmented rabbit ERGs

Documenta Ophthalmologica > Ausgabe 2/2018
Gabriela Lourençon Ioshimoto, Amanda Alves Camargo, André Maurício Passos Liber, Balázs Vince Nagy, Francisco Max Damico, Dora Fix Ventura



Pigmented and albino rabbits are commonly used in visual research; however, the lack of pigment in the eyes may affect retinal responses. Here, we compare and describe the differences of retinal function between pigmented (English Butterfly) and albino (New Zealand) rabbits.


Electroretinograms were recorded in pigmented and albino rabbits in the dark-adapted eye, in the light-adapted eye and for four temporal frequencies in the light-adapted eye. The implicit time and amplitude of the a- and b-waves were analyzed, as well as the amplitude and phase of the first harmonic component of the photopic flicker response.


Albino rabbits presented significantly larger amplitudes for both a- and b-waves at all intensities and frequencies. The intensity–response function of the scotopic b-wave also showed that the albino retina is more sensitive than the pigmented retina and the larger flicker amplitudes found in the albino group also revealed post-receptoral changes specifically related to cone pathways.


The larger amplitude of albino receptoral and post-receptoral activities might be attributed to greater availability of light due to scatter and reflection at the retinal layer, and as the differences in response amplitudes between the groups increase with flicker frequency, we suggest that ON bipolar cells recover faster in the albino group, suggesting that this might be a mechanism to explain the higher temporal resolution for albinos compared to the pigmented group.

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