An Amacrine Cell Circuit for Signaling Steady Illumination in the Retina

Jason Jacoby, Yongling Zhu, Steven H. DeVries, Gregory W. Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

Decades of research have focused on the circuit connectivity between retinal neurons, but only a handful of amacrine cells have been described functionally and placed in the context of a specific retinal circuit. Here, we identify a circuit where inhibition from a specific amacrine cell plays a vital role in shaping the feature selectivity of a postsynaptic ganglion cell. We record from transgenically labeled CRH-1 amacrine cells and identify a postsynaptic target for CRH-1 amacrine cell inhibition in an atypical retinal ganglion cell (RGC) in mouse retina, the Suppressed-by-Contrast (SbC) RGC. Unlike other RGC types, SbC RGCs spike tonically in steady illumination and are suppressed by both increases and decreases in illumination. Inhibition from GABAergic CRH-1 amacrine cells shapes this unique contrast response profile to positive contrast. We show the existence and impact of this circuit, with both paired recordings and cell-type-specific ablation. Identifying specific neural circuits is a fundamental endeavor in neuroscience. Jacoby et al. use paired recordings and cell-specific ablation to establish a circuit in the mouse retina where CRH-1 amacrine cell inhibition plays a central role in the characteristic contrast response function of Suppressed-by-Contrast retinal ganglion cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2663-2670
Number of pages8
JournalCell reports
Volume13
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 29 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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