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J Comp Neurol. 1996 Jul 15;371(1):164-78.

Connections of two types of flat cone bipolars in the rabbit retina.

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Department of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


The synaptic connections of two types of cone bipolar cells in the rabbit retina were studied with the electron microscope after labeling in vitro with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI), intracellular injection with Lucifer Yellow, and photooxidation (Mills and Massey [1992] J. Comp. Neurol. 321:133). Both types of bipolars belong to the flat variety, because they make basal junctions with a group of four to ten neighboring cone pedicles. One cell type has an axonal arborization that occupies strata 1 through 3 of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). At ribbon synaptic junctions, it is presynaptic to ganglion cell dendrites and to reciprocal dendrites belonging to narrow-field bistratified (AII) amacrine cells. In addition, it contacts and is contacted by other amacrine cell processes of unknown origin. The other cell type has an axonal arborization entirely confined to stratum 2 of the IPL; it is pre- or postsynaptic to a pleomorphic population of amacrine cell processes, and, in particular, it receives input from the lobular appendages of AII. Thus, these two bipolar types probably belong to the off-variety because they make basal junctions with cone photoreceptors and send their axon to sublamina a of the IPL, which is occupied by the dendrites of off-ganglion cells. They are also part of the rod pathway because they receive input from AII amacrine cells.

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