Differences in spike generation instead of synaptic inputs determine the feature selectivity of two retinal cell types

Sophia Wienbar, Gregory William Schwartz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are the spiking projection neurons of the eye that encode different features of the visual environment. The circuits providing synaptic input to different RGC types to drive feature selectivity have been studied extensively, but there has been less research aimed at understanding the intrinsic properties and how they impact feature selectivity. We introduce an RGC type in the mouse, the Bursty Suppressed-by-Contrast (bSbC) RGC, and compared it to the OFF sustained alpha (OFFsA). Differences in their contrast response functions arose from differences not in synaptic inputs but in their intrinsic properties. Spike generation was the key intrinsic property behind this functional difference; the bSbC RGC undergoes depolarization block while the OFFsA RGC maintains a high spike rate. Our results demonstrate that differences in intrinsic properties allow these two RGC types to detect and relay distinct features of an identical visual stimulus to the brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2110-2123.e4
JournalNeuron
Volume110
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 6 2022

Keywords

  • contrast
  • depolarization block
  • intrinsic properties
  • NaV1.2
  • NaV1.6
  • retina
  • retinal ganglion cell
  • sodium channels
  • spike generation
  • suppressed-by-contrast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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