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REVIEW: Prospects of Optogenetic Prosthesis of the Degenerative Retina of the Eye

M. A. Ostrovsky1,2,a* and M. P. Kirpichnikov3,4,b

1Emanuel Institute of Biochemical Physics, Russian Academy of Sciences, 119334 Moscow, Russia

2Lomonosov Moscow State University, Biological Faculty, Department of Molecular Physiology, 119991 Moscow, Russia

3Shemyakin–Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences, 117997 Moscow, Russia

4Lomonosov Moscow State University, Biological Faculty, Department of Bioengineering, 119991 Moscow, Russia

* To whom correspondence should be addressed.

Received September 26, 2018; Revised December 22, 2018; Accepted December 24, 2018
The review discusses the prospects of using rhodopsin as an optogenetic tool for prosthetics of degenerative (blind) eye retina and the principles of optogenetic techniques. Retinal-containing proteins that depolarize/hyperpolarize the plasma membrane of nerve cells and, accordingly, excite/inhibit physiological activity of neurons, are described. The problem of what cells of the degenerative retina can be treated with what particular rhodopsins is discussed in detail. Viruses and promoters required for the rhodopsin gene delivery into the degenerative retina cells are described. In conclusion, main concepts and tasks associated with the optogenetic prosthetic treatment of degenerative retina employing rhodopsins are presented.
KEY WORDS: optogenetics, channelrhodopsins, melanopsin, visual rhodopsin, degenerative retina, photoreceptors, bipolar cells, ganglion cells

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297919050031