Organizational motifs for ground squirrel cone bipolar cells

Adam C. Light, Yongling Zhu, Jun Shi, Shannon Saszik, Sarah Lindstrom, Laura Davidson, Xiaoyu Li, Vince A. Chiodo, William W. Hauswirth, Wei Li, Steven H. Devries*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


In daylight vision, parallel processing starts at the cone synapse. Cone signals flow to On and Off bipolar cells, which are further divided into types according to morphology, immunocytochemistry, and function. The axons of the bipolar cell types stratify at different levels in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) and can interact with costratifying amacrine and ganglion cells. These interactions endow the ganglion cell types with unique functional properties. The wiring that underlies the interactions among bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cells is poorly understood. It may be easier to elucidate this wiring if organizational rules can be established. We identify 13 types of cone bipolar cells in the ground squirrel, 11 of which contact contiguous cones, with the possible exception of short-wavelength-sensitive cones. Cells were identified by antibody labeling, tracer filling, and Golgi-like filling following transduction with an adeno-associated virus encoding for green fluorescent protein. The 11 bipolar cell types displayed two organizational patterns. In the first pattern, eight to 10 of the 11 types came in pairs with partially overlapping axonal stratification. Pairs shared morphological, immunocytochemical, and functional properties. The existence of similar pairs is a new motif that might have implications for how signals first diverge from a cone to bipolar cells and then reconverge onto a costratifying ganglion cell. The second pattern is a mirror symmetric organization about the middle of the IPL involving at least seven bipolar cell types. This anatomical symmetry may be associated with a functional symmetry in On and Off ganglion cell responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2864-2887
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 1 2012


  • Adeno-associated virus
  • Ground squirrel
  • Inner plexiform layer
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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