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Vis Neurosci. 1991 Oct;7(4):363-76.

Physiological and morphological properties of off- and on-center bipolar cells in the Xenopus retina: effects of glycine and GABA.

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Department of Ophthalmology, New York University Medical Center, New York 10016.


We studied the morphology and center-surround organization of Lucifer Yellow injected OFF- and ON-center bipolar cells in the light-adapted Xenopus retina and the effects of glycine and GABA on their cone-mediated light responses. In both classes of cell, prominent antagonistic surround responses up to 20 mV in amplitude could be evoked without first suppressing the center responses with steady illumination. An additional feature of the light-evoked bipolar cell response was a pronounced (up to -24 mV) delayed hyperpolarizing after potential (DHAP) which followed the depolarizing responses of both classes of bipolar cell. The morphological features of dye-injected bipolar cells conformed to the general idea of segregation of ON and OFF pathways in the inner and outer interplexiform layer, however, the morphology of axonal arborizations was different for both classes. OFF-center cells ramified symmetrically around the primary branchpoint, whereas ON-center cells had a strongly asymmetrical arrangement of their axonal tree. The center and surround responses were differentially sensitive to glycine and GABA. Glycine eliminated the antagonistic surround responses in both OFF and ON cells; the center responses were reduced to some extent but were not eliminated. In contrast, GABA affected the hyperpolarizing responses much more strongly than the depolarizing response components. That is, the amplitude of the center response in the OFF cell and the surround response in the ON cell was reduced 80-90% during exposure to GABA, whereas the surround and center depolarizations of OFF and ON cells, respectively, were reduced only 0-10%. Our findings implicate a role for GABAergic and glycinergic pathways in the center-surround organization of bipolar cells in Xenopus retina. In addition, the results suggest that the pathways mediating center-surround antagonism may be different in OFF-bipolar cells vs. ON-bipolar cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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