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J Comp Neurol. 1990 May 15;295(3):449-66.

Synaptic connections of rod bipolar cells in the inner plexiform layer of the rabbit retina.

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Department of Anatomy and Cellular Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.


We have reconstructed from electron micrographs of a continuous series of thin sections the synaptic connections of the axonal arborizations of all the rod bipolar cells contained in a small region of the retina of the rabbit. We observed that all rod bipolars share the same pattern of connectivity and are probably functionally equivalent. As a rule, they do not contact ganglion cells. Their prevalent synaptic output is on narrow-field, bistratified, and indoleamine-accumulating amacrine cells. Their dominant inputs are the reciprocal synapses from the indoleamine-accumulating amacrines, but they also receive a sizable number of synaptic contacts from other, non-reciprocal, amacrine cells. The lateral spread of scotopic signals at the synapse between rod bipolars and narrow-field, bistratified amacrines is small. Finally, in the rabbit, as in the cat, a narrow-field, bistratified amacrine is inserted in series along the rod pathway.

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