Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs), also called photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (pRGC), or melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells, are a type of neuron in the retina of the mammalian eye. The presence of ipRGCs were first noted in 1923 when rodless, coneless mice still responded to a light stimulus through pupil constriction, suggesting that rods and cones are not the only light sensitive neurons in the retina. It wasn't until the 1980s that advancements in research on these cells began. Recent research has shown that these retinal ganglion cells, which, unlike other retinal ganglion cells, are intrinsically photosensitive due to the presence of melanopsin, a light sensitive protein. Therefore they constitute a third class of photoreceptors, in addition to rod and cone cells.
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