Title

Stratification of alpha ganglion cells and ON/OFF directionally selective ganglion cells in the rabbit retina.

Publication Date

7-1-2005

Journal

Vis Neurosci. 2005; 22(4): 535–549.

Abstract

The correlation between cholinergic sensitivity and the level of stratification for ganglion cells was examined in the rabbit retina. As examples, we have used ON or OFF alpha ganglion cells and ON/OFF directionally selective (DS) ganglion cells. Nicotine, a cholinergic agonist, depolarized ON/OFF DS ganglion cells and greatly enhanced their firing rates but it had modest excitatory effects on ON or OFF alpha ganglion cells. As previously reported, we conclude that DS ganglion cells are the most sensitive to cholinergic drugs. Confocal imaging showed that ON/OFF DS ganglion cells ramify precisely at the level of the cholinergic amacrine cell dendrites, and co-fasciculate with the cholinergic matrix of starburst amacrine cells. However, neither ON or OFF alpha ganglion cells have more than a chance association with the cholinergic matrix. Z -axis reconstruction showed that OFF alpha ganglion cells stratify just below the cholinergic band in sublamina a while ON alpha ganglion cells stratify just below cholinergic b . The latter is at the same level as the terminals of calbindin bipolar cells. Thus, the calbindin bipolar cell appears to be a prime candidate to provide the bipolar cell input to ON alpha ganglion cells in the rabbit retina. We conclude that the precise level of stratification is correlated with the strength of cholinergic input. Alpha ganglion cells receive a weak cholinergic input and they are narrowly stratified just below the cholinergic bands.

Keywords

Action Potentials, Animals, Biotin, Calcium-Binding Protein, Vitamin D-Dependent, Cell Count, Cell Size, Choline O-Acetyltransferase, Dendrites, Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists, Female, Immunohistochemistry, Isoquinolines, Kainic Acid, Male, Nicotine, Nicotinic Agonists, Photic Stimulation, Protein Kinase C, Rabbits, Retina, Retinal Ganglion Cells, Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase, Visual Pathways