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A structural basis for omnidirectional connections between starburst amacrine cells and directionally selective ganglion cells in rabbit retina, with associated bipolar cells

  • E.V. FAMIGLIETTI (a1) (a2)

Abstract

Directionally selective (DS) ganglion cells of rabbit retina are of two principal types. ON DS ganglion cells prefer low velocity in one of three directions of movement and project axons to the accessory optic system (AOS), whereas ON–OFF DS ganglion cells prefer higher velocity in one of four directions and project to tectum and thalamus. Each has a distinct, recognizable dendritic morphology, based upon the correlation of form, physiology, and central projections. In previous Golgi studies, ON and ON–OFF DS cells were found to be partly co-stratified, and ON–OFF DS cells were found to co-stratify with starburst amacrine (SA) cells, the cholinergic amacrine cells of the retina, which also contain elevated levels of GABA. SA cells are radially symmetrical, have synaptic boutons in a distal annular zone of its dendritic tree, are presynaptic primarily to ganglion cell dendrites, co-stratify with ON–OFF DS ganglion cells, and contain the neurotransmitters shown pharmacologically to be involved in DS responses. For these reasons, SA cells are thought to play a role in the DS mechanism. Several models of this mechanism have utilized SA cell dendritic geometry in a centrifugal, radial format to impose directional inputs on DS ganglion cells.

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Address correspondence to: E.V. Famiglietti, 235 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906, USA. E-mail: Edward_Famiglietti@brown.edu

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A structural basis for omnidirectional connections between starburst amacrine cells and directionally selective ganglion cells in rabbit retina, with associated bipolar cells

  • E.V. FAMIGLIETTI (a1) (a2)

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