Skip to content

Research at St Andrews

Deep-brain photoreception links luminance detection to motor output in Xenopus frog tadpoles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Non-visual photoreceptors are widely distributed in the retina and brain but their roles in animal behaviour remain poorly understood. Here we document a novel form of deep-brain photoreception in Xenopus laevis frog tadpoles. The isolated nervous system retains sensitivity to light even when devoid of input from classical eye and pineal photoreceptors. These preparations produce regular bouts of rhythmic swimming activity in ambient light but fall silent in the dark. This sensitivity is tuned to short wavelength UV light; illumination at 400nm initiates motor activity over a broad range of intensities while longer wavelengths do not cause a response. The photosensitive tissue is located in a small region of caudal diencephalon - this region is necessary to retainresponses to illumination while its focal illumination is sufficient to drive them. We present evidence for photoreception via the lightsensitive proteins OPN5 and/or cryptochrome 1, since populations of OPN5-positive and cryptochrome-positive cells reside within the caudal diencephalon. This represents a hitherto undescribed vertebrate pathway that links luminance detection to motor output. The pathway provides a simple mechanism for light avoidance and/or it may reinforce classical circadian systems.
Close

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6053-6058
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume113
Issue number21
Early online date10 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2016

    Research areas

  • Photoreception, Locomotion, CPG, opsin5, Cytochrome

Discover related content
Find related publications, people, projects and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations

Related by author

  1. Control of Xenopus tadpole locomotion via selective expression of Ih in excitatory interneurons

    Picton, L. D., Sillar, K. T. & Zhang, H-Y., 17 Dec 2018, In : Current Biology. 28, 24, p. 3911-3923 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. A leptin fragment mirrors the cognitive enhancing and neuroprotective actions of leptin

    Malekizadeh, Y., Holiday, A., Redfearn, D., Ainge, J. A., Doherty, G. & Harvey, J., 1 Oct 2017, In : Cerebral Cortex. 27, 10, p. 4769–4782

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Sodium pump regulation of locomotor control circuits

    Picton, L. D., Zhang, H. & Sillar, K. T., 4 Aug 2017, In : Journal of Neurophysiology. 118, 2, p. 1070-1081

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related by journal

  1. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Michael Martin Nevels (Guest editor)
    Jul 2016 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesEditor of research journal

  2. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Oscar Eduardo Gaggiotti (Member of editorial board)
    1 Jan 2013 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  3. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)
    2012 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  4. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Terry K Smith (Member of editorial board)
    2008 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

  5. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (Journal)

    Gareth Brian Miles (Reviewer)
    2006 → …

    Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial work typesPeer review of manuscripts

Related by journal

  1. Asymmetries between achromatic and chromatic extraction of 3D motion signals

    Kaestner, M., Maloney, R., Wailes-Newson, K., Bloj, M., Harris, J., Morland, A. & Wade, A., 17 Jun 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Latest Articles, 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  2. Limited oxygen production in the Mesoarchean ocean

    Ossa Ossa, F., Hofmann, A., Spangenberg, J. E., Poulton, S. W., Stüeken, E. E., Schoenberg, R., Eickmann, B., Wille, M., Butler, M. & Bekker, A., 2 Apr 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116, 14, p. 6647-6652 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  3. Titanium isotopes as a tracer for the plume or island arc affinity of felsic rocks

    Deng, Z., Chaussidon, M., Savage, P., Robert, F., Pik, R. & Moynier, F., 22 Jan 2019, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116, 4, p. 1132-1135

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

ID: 242039229