Mitochondrion. 2017 Sep;36:124-129. doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2017.07.003. Epub 2017 Jul 14.
In recent years, chromatic pupillometry is used in humans to evaluate the activity of melanopsin expressing intrinsic photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Blue light is used to stimulate the ipRGCs and red light activates the rod/cone photoreceptors. The late re-dilation phase of pupillary light reflex is primarily driven by the ipRGCs. Optic neuropathies i.e. Leber hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), autosomal dominant optic atrophy (ADOA), nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION), glaucoma, optic neuritis and idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) are among the diseases, which have been subject to pupillometric studies. The ipRGCs are differentially affected in these various optic neuropathies. In mitochondrial optic neuropathies, the ipRGCs are protected against degeneration, whereas in glaucoma, NAION, optic neuritis and IIH the ipRGCs are damaged. Here, we will review the results of pupillometric, histopathological and animal studies evaluating the ipRGCs in mitochondrial and non-mitochondrial optic neuropathies.