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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Apr 15;88(8):3310-3.

Feedforward lateral inhibition in retinal bipolar cells: input-output relation of the horizontal cell-depolarizing bipolar cell synapse.

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  • 1Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


Lateral inhibition is the ubiquitous strategy used by visual neurons for spatial resolution throughout the animal kingdom. It has been a puzzle whether lateral inputs in retinal bipolar cells are mediated by the horizontal cell (HC)-cone feedback synapse, by the HC-bipolar cell feedforward synapse, or by both. By blocking the central inputs of the depolarizing bipolar cells (DBCs) with L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyrate, we were able to eliminate the contribution of the feedback synapse and to demonstrate the postsynaptic light response in DBCs mediated by the HC-DBC feedforward synapse. The HC-DBC feedforward synapse contributes roughly one-third of the surround response whereas the HC-cone-DBC feedback synapse probably contributes the rest.

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