Synaptic input to the on-off directionally selective ganglion cell in the rabbit retina

Academic Article


  • A physiologically identified on-off directionally selective (DS) ganglion cell with its preferred-null axis defined was stained with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) and prepared for electron microscopy. A continuous series of thin sections were used to examine the cell's synaptology. Although the DS cell dendrite received the majority of its synaptic input from a heterogeneous population of amacrine cell processes, a frequently observed synaptic profile consisted of a DS cell dendrite receiving synapses from a cluster of several amacrine cell processes. These clusters of processes were assumed to be from a fascicle of amacrine cells, most of which probably belonged to several different cholinergic starburst amacrine cells. The most frequently observed presynaptic profile within the clusters consisted of a synaptic couplet in which two processes synapsed with each other before one of them finally synapsed with the DS ganglion cell dendrite; occasionally, a chain of three serial synapses was seen. In addition, a specific microcircuit that has the potential to exert lateral feedforward inhibition was also observed. This microcircuit consisted of two cone bipolar cell terminal dyad synapses where one dyad contained an amacrine cell process making a reciprocal synapse and a DS ganglion cell dendrite receiving direct excitation; the other dyad synapse, found lateral to the first dyad, contained two amacrine cell processes that both made reciprocal synapses, but one fed forward to make a putative inhibitory synapse with the DS cell dendrite. © 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Dacheux RF; Chimento MF; Amthor FR
  • Start Page

  • 267
  • End Page

  • 278
  • Volume

  • 456
  • Issue

  • 3