Rod photoreceptors were recently shown to contact 'Off' cone bipolar cells, providing an alternative pathway for rod signal flow in the mammalian retina. By recording from pairs of rods and Off cone bipolar cells in the ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), we measured the synaptic responses of mammalian rods unfiltered by the slow kinetics of the rod bipolar cell response. We show that vesicle fusion and turnover in mammalian rods is fast, and that this new pathway can mediate rapid signaling.
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