Synaptic inputs onto small bistratified (blue-ON/yellow-OFF) ganglion cells in marmoset retina

Kumiko A Percival, Patricia Regina Jusuf, Paul R Martin, Ulrike Grunert

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The inner plexiform layer of the retina contains functional subdivisions, which segregate ON and OFF type light responses. Here, we studied quantitatively the ON and OFF synaptic input to small bistratified (blue-ON/yellow-OFF) ganglion cells in marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). Small bistratified cells display an extensive inner dendritic tier that receives blue-ON input from short-wavelength-sensitive (S) cones via blue cone bipolar cells. The outer dendritic tier is sparse and is thought to receive yellow-OFF input from medium (M)- and long (L)-wavelength-sensitive cones via OFF diffuse bipolar cells. In total, 14 small bistratified cells from different eccentricities were analyzed. The cells were retrogradely labeled from the koniocellular layers of the lateral geniculate nucleus and subsequently photofilled. Retinal preparations were processed with antibodies against the C-terminal binding protein 2, the AMPA receptor subunit GluR4, and/or gephyrin to identify bipolar and/or amacrine input. The results show that the synaptic input is evenly distributed across the dendritic tree, with a density similar to that reported previously for other ganglion cell types. The population of cells showed a consistent pattern, where bipolar input to the inner tier is about fourfold greater than bipolar input to the outer tier. This structural asymmetry of bipolar input may help to balance the weight of cone signals from the sparse S cone array against inputs from the much denser M/L cone array.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)655 - 669
Number of pages15
JournalThe Journal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

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