A presynaptic source drives differing levels of surround suppression in two mouse retinal ganglion cell types

David Swygart, Wan Qing Yu, Shunsuke Takeuchi, Rachel O.L. Wong, Gregory W. Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In early sensory systems, cell-type diversity generally increases from the periphery into the brain, resulting in a greater heterogeneity of responses to the same stimuli. Surround suppression is a canonical visual computation that begins within the retina and is found at varying levels across retinal ganglion cell types. Our results show that heterogeneity in the level of surround suppression occurs subcellularly at bipolar cell synapses. Using single-cell electrophysiology and serial block-face scanning electron microscopy, we show that two retinal ganglion cell types exhibit very different levels of surround suppression even though they receive input from the same bipolar cell types. This divergence of the bipolar cell signal occurs through synapse-specific regulation by amacrine cells at the scale of tens of microns. These findings indicate that each synapse of a single bipolar cell can carry a unique visual signal, expanding the number of possible functional channels at the earliest stages of visual processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number599
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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