Comparison of visual function in pigmented and albino rats by electroretinography and visual evoked potentials.

Graefe's archive for clinical and experimental ophthalmology = Albrecht von Graefes Archiv fur klinische und experimentelle Ophthalmologie

PubMedID: 18654793

Heiduschka P, Schraermeyer U. Comparison of visual function in pigmented and albino rats by electroretinography and visual evoked potentials. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2008;246(11):1559-73.
PURPOSE
To check differences in visual function between Wistar (albino) and Long-Evans (pigmented) rats.

METHODS
The animals were born in our facilities and reared under identical light conditions avoiding bright light. Visual electrophysiology was performed at the ages of 1.5, 4, 7 and 10 months (electroretinography, ERG) and at 1.5 and 7 months (visual evoked potentials, VEP).

RESULTS
ERG measurements showed that: 1) The amplitudes of both scotopic and photopic b-waves were markedly larger in Long-Evans rats than in Wistar rats, and also the amplitudes of scotopic oscillatory potentials and photopic 30 Hz Flicker amplitudes, 2) scotopic a-wave amplitudes were larger in Wistar rats at low light intensities, whereas they were smaller in bright light, 3) both a-wave and b-wave latencies were shorter in Wistar rats, 4) the maximum response Rm(P3) was larger in Long-Evans rats, 5) the sensitivity parameter S was larger in Wistar rats, and 6) the post-receptoral response of cones was smaller in Wistar rats. In the VEP measurements, amplitudes of both photopic and scotopic visual evoked potentials of Long-Evans rats were only slightly larger than those of Wistar rats.

CONCLUSIONS
ERG b-wave amplitudes are markedly decreased in Wistar rats, which requires further investigation. As the b/a and OP/a ratios were also decreased in Wistar rats, it can be suggested that post-receptoral processing, in particular, is impaired in albino animals.