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Caiping Hu, Peng Chen, Xuemin Jin, Malcolm M Slaughter; Characteristic morphology of T-dominant ganglion cells in rat retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2014;55(13):2382.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To explore the special morphology of retinal ganglion cells with dominant T-type Ca2+ currents, which include some intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs).
The whole cell patch clamp and confocal imaging were used to show the characteristic morphology of retinal ganglion cells with dominant T-type Ca2+ currents. Their light responses and dendritic stratification in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) were analyzed. The melanopsin-expressed ganglion photoreceptors with dominant T-type Ca2+ currents were compared with the conventional T-dominant ganglion cells in morphology and electrophysiology.
The 3D structure of T-dominant ganglion cells in the inner plexiform layer(IPL) have strictly stratification, including ON, OFF, ON-OFF type and non-ON/OFF types. Their dendritic system had fewer branches in the largest distribution area. Their dendritic system morphologically occupied the specific sublayers which were perpendicular to the conventional photoreceptor-bipolar complex. As a special example, T-dominant ganglion photoreceptors exemplified the common characteristic morphology of T-dominant ganglion cells. The morphology-function relationship suggested T-burst signals could sense such temporal dimension as circadian cycle in visual system.
The morphology of T-dominant ganglion cells fitted their physiological functions. The holistic integrity of spatial information can be carried out by T-burst signals and Na+ spike signals in these large retinal ganglion cells. With specific anatomic design, the conventional photoreceptor-bipolar complex and melanopsin-dependent photoreceptors can exploit common signaling tools for encoding the space-time coordinates.
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