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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
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"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Government Grants Promoting Cruelty to Animals

University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL

PAUL D. GAMLIN - Primate Testing - 2006

Grant Number: 5R01EY009380-12
Project Title: Subcortical Luminance Pathways

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant):
Visual input to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) serves to entrain the circadian pacemaker while input to the pretectal olivary nucleus (PON) mediates the pupillary light reflex. In rodents, a population of intrinsically photoreceptive retinal ganglion cells projects to the PON and SCN, and are important to pupillary responses and entrainment of circadian rhythms. There is now compelling evidence that similar ganglion cells exist in primate retina, project to the ON and lateral geniculate nucleus, and contribute significantly to pupillary responses. The goals of the proposed studies in primates are therefore to: 1) further characterize these intrinsically-photoreceptive ganglion cells; 2) investigate their influence on the visual physiology of PON neurons; 3) examine their hypothesized projections to the SCN; 4) determine their influence on the visual physiology of SCN neurons; and 5) determine their contribution to pupillary responses in the primate. These are important research questions, since the circadian system regulates such physiologically important behaviors as activity, body temperature, and sleep/wake cycles, and the pupillary light reflex is a clinically important diagnostic tool. These studies have important implications for our understanding of the visual, circadian, and pupillary systems in primates. If, as preliminary data indicates, pupillary responses are influenced throughout much of the photopic range by inputs from intrinsically photoreceptive ganglion cells, this has important consequences for our understanding the pupillary light reflex and for its clinical evaluation. Also, if the same retinal ganglion cells project to both SCN and PON, then it will be possible to extrapolate from information that is readily derived in the pupillary system to the circadian system, where entrainment experiments take longer. Finally, beside their roles in pupil control and circadian rhythms, these ganglion cells project to the lateral geniculate nucleus and are likely to have very broad-reaching effect on other human visual behaviors.

Thesaurus Terms:
neuroregulation, pupillary reflex, retinal ganglion, suprachiasmatic nucleus, visual pathway cell morphology, electrophysiology, light adaptation, motor neuron, neurophysiology, oculomotor nuclei, olivary body, visual field, visual photoreceptor Macaca mulatta, immunocytochemistry, magnetic resonance imaging, pupillography, single cell analysis

1530 3rd Avenue South, BIRMINGHAM, AL 35294
Fiscal Year: 2006
Project Start: 01-JAN-1992
Project End: 30-APR-2008

J Neurophysiol 89: 3168-3178, 2003

Primate Pupillary Light Reflex: Receptive Field Characteristics of Pretectal Luminance Neurons

Robert J. Clarke, Hongyu Zhang and Paul D. R. Gamlin

Vision Science Research Center, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama 35294
Submitted 16 December 2002; accepted in final form 7 January 2003

Preparation of animals
Five adult monkeys (Macaca mulatta; 4 male, one female, aged 38 yr) were used in this study. All experimental procedures were approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and complied with the U.S. Public Health Service Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals. Surgical procedures that have been reported previously are only briefly described (Gamlin et al. 1994 ). Animals underwent three sterile surgical procedures under pentobarbital sodium anesthesia. Postsurgically they received analgesics to minimize pain. Animals were first implanted with a stainless steel head-holder in the first surgery. Then, to measure eye position, 410 wk later a search coil was implanted under the conjunctiva of one eye in the second surgery (Fuchs and Robinson 1966 ; Judge et al. 1980 ). Once animals reached a satisfactory level of training, a second eye coil was implanted on the other eye. In this final surgery, two chambers, one on each side of the head, were implanted stereotaxically over the pretectum at an 18o angle to the sagittal plane over 15-mm holes trephined in the skull. Methods for behavioral training, stimulus presentation, and eye movement recording are described in the accompanying paper (Clarke et al. 2003 ).

Please email:  PAUL D. GAMLIN, [email protected] to protest the inhumane use of animals in this experiment. We would also love to know about your efforts with this cause: [email protected]

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Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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