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Scientific Reports


Ganglion cells are the projection neurons of the retina. Intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) express the photopigment melanopsin and also receive input from rods and cones via bipolar cells and amacrine cells. In primates, multiple types of ipRGCs have been identified. The ipRGCs with somas in the ganglion cell layer have been studied extensively, but less is known about those with somas in the inner nuclear layer, the "displaced" cells. To investigate their synaptic inputs, three sets of horizontal, ultrathin sections through central macaque retina were collected using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy. One displaced ipRGC received nearly all of its excitatory inputs from ON bipolar cells and would therefore be expected to have ON responses to light. In each of the three volumes, there was also at least one cell that had a large soma in the inner nuclear layer, varicose axons and dendrites with a large diameter that formed large, extremely sparse arbor in the outermost stratum of the inner plexiform layer. They were identified as the displaced M1 type of ipRGCs based on this morphology and on the high density of granules in their somas. They received extensive input from amacrine cells, including the dopaminergic type. The vast majority of their excitatory inputs were from OFF bipolar cells, including two subtypes with extensive input from the primary rod pathway. They would be expected to have OFF responses to light stimuli below the threshold for melanopsin or soon after the offset of a light stimulus.


Amacrine Cells, Animals, Ganglia, Macaca, Retina, Retinal Ganglion Cells



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