Crossover Inhibition Generates Sustained Visual Responses in the Inner Retina

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Abstract

In daylight, the input to the retinal circuit is provided primarily by cone photoreceptors acting as band-pass filters, but the retinal output also contains neuronal populations transmitting sustained signals. Using in vivo imaging of genetically encoded calcium reporters, we investigated the circuits that generate these sustained channels within the inner retina of zebrafish. In OFF bipolar cells, sustained transmission was found to depend on crossover inhibition from the ON pathway through GABAergic amacrine cells. In ON bipolar cells, the amplitude of low-frequency signals was regulated by glycinergic amacrine cells, while GABAergic inhibition regulated the gain of band-pass signals. We also provide the first functional description of a subset of sustained ON bipolar cells in which synaptic activity was suppressed by fluctuations at frequencies above ~0.2 Hz. These results map out the basic circuitry by which the inner retina generates sustained visual signals and describes a new function of crossover inhibition. By imaging synaptic activity in vivo, Rosa et al. determined the basic circuitry by which the sustained channel is generated in the inner retina. The authors show that amacrine cells tune the bipolar cell output to lower frequencies and define a new function of crossover inhibition: the generation of sustained OFF signals.

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Rosa, J. M., Ruehle, S., Ding, H., & Lagnado, L. (2016). Crossover Inhibition Generates Sustained Visual Responses in the Inner Retina. Neuron, 90(2), 308–319. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2016.03.015

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