Prof. Dr. Leo Peichl

Dr. Senckenbergische Anatomie, Institute of Anatomy III
Cellular and Molecular Anatomy
Theodor-Stern-Kai 7
D-60590 Frankfurt/Main

Tel +49 (0) 6301 - 83088
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peichl.retinagmail.com

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Scientific Focus

The basic blueprint of the retina is similar in all mammals (as in all vertebrates). However, in the course of evolution detailed but significant species-specific adaptations have occured in response to specific lifestyles and visual environments. Our comparative studies on mammals belonging to different orders are aimed at showing how flexible the retinal 'bauplan' is. The current focus is on the photoreceptor arrangements across mammals. We study the retinal distributions and proportions of cone and rod photoreceptors, e. g., in diurnal, nocturnal, subterranean and marine species. The assessment of spectral cone types allows predictions about colour vision.

Methods

● Classical staining methods on retinal sections and whole retinae
● Immunocytochemistry (antibody labeling) on retinal sections and whole retinae to reveal functionally characterized types and populations of neurons
● Cone opsin gene analysis to estimate spectral tuning
● Intracellular dye injections by micropipettes to visualize the detailed morphology of individual neurons
● The combination of these methods also provides information about the functional contacts between defined cell types

Selected Publications

Peichl L, Kaiser A, Rakotondraparany F, Dubielzig RR, Goodman SM, Kappeler PM (2017) Diversity of photoreceptor arrangements in nocturnal, cathemeral and diurnal Malagasy lemurs. J Comp Neurol: early view (DOI 10.1002/cne.24167).

Nießner C, Denzau S, Malkemper EP, Gross JC, Burda H, Winklhofer M, Peichl L (2016) Cryptochrome 1 in retinal cone photoreceptors suggests a novel functional role in mammals. Scientific Reports 6: 21848 (doi: 10.1038/srep21848).

Hunt DM, Peichl L (2014) S cones: Evolution, retinal distribution, development, and spectral sensitivity. Visual Neuroscience 31: 115-138.

Glaschke A, Weiland J, Del Turco D, Steiner M, Peichl L, Glösmann M (2011) Thyroid hormone controls cone opsin expression in the retina of adult rodents. Journal of Neuroscience 31(13): 4844-4851.

Solovei I, Kreysing M, Lanctot C, Kösem S, Peichl L, Cremer T, Guck J, Joffe B (2009) Nuclear architecture of rod photoreceptor cells adapts to vision in mammalian evolution. Cell 137: 356-368.

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