Light adaptation alters the source of inhibition to the mouse retinal OFF pathway

Reece E. Mazade, Erika D. Eggers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Sensory systems must avoid saturation to encode a wide range of stimulus intensities. One way the retina accomplishes this is by using both dim-light-sensing rod and bright-light-sensing cone photoreceptor circuits. OFF cone bipolar cells are a key point in this process, as they receive both excitatory input from cones and inhibitory input from AII amacrine cells via the rod pathway. However, in addition to AII amacrine cell input, other inhibitory inputs from cone pathways also modulate OFF cone bipolar cell light signals. It is unknown how these inhibitory inputs to OFF cone bipolar cells change when switching between rod and cone pathways or whether all OFF cone bipolar cells receive rod pathway input. We found that one group of OFF cone bipolar cells (types 1, 2, and 4) receive rod-mediated inhibitory inputs that likely come from the rod-AII amacrine cell pathway, while another group of OFF cone bipolar cells (type 3) do not. In both cases, dark-adapted rod-dominant light responses showed a significant contribution of glycinergic inhibition, which decreased with light adaptation and was, surprisingly, compensated by an increase in GABAergic inhibition. As GABAergic input has distinct timing and spatial spread from glycinergic input, a shift from glycinergic to GABAergic inhibition could significantly alter OFF cone bipolar cell signaling to downstream OFF ganglion cells. Larger GABAergic input could reflect an adjustment of OFF bipolar cell spatial inhibition, which may be one mechanism that contributes to retinal spatial sensitivity in the light.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2113-2128
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of neurophysiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013


  • Amacrine cell
  • Bipolar cell
  • Glycine
  • γ-aminobutyric acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Physiology


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