Flash visual evoked potentials in the hypomyelinated mutant mouse shiverer

Donna M. Lehman, Joseph M. Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Myelin basic protein (MBP) is an essential component of central nervous system (CNS) myelin, as demonstrated by shiverer mutant mice that have deletions of most of the Mbp structural gene. These mutants do not produce detectable MBP protein, and their CNS is hypomyelinated. Although the function of the visual pathway is presumed to be adversely affected by hypomyelination of the optic nerve, it has never been studied. We compared flash visual evoked potentials (FVEPs) of shiverer homozygotes with those of their wild-type littermates in order to characterize any dysfunction. There was a statistically significant delay in the implicit times of a negative component peaking at 85 ms and a large positive component peaking at 170 ms in the FVEPs of the shiverer mice. The amplitudes of the two components did not differ significantly in the shiverers and wild-type controls. Barring a retinal pathology, which cannot be excluded by these data, the delayed FVEP of the shiverer can likely be attributed to effects of hypomyelination of the optic nerve, optic tract and visual radiations on conduction time in the visual pathway and subsequent further post-synaptic delays.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-95
Number of pages13
JournalDocumenta Ophthalmologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2002


  • Flash visual evoked response
  • Hypomyelination
  • Myelin basic protein
  • Shiverer mice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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