June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
Free
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Adaptation to background light permits contrast coding at rod bipolar cell synapses
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jiangbin Ke
    Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Yanbin Wang
    Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Mark Cembrowski
    Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Farm Research Campus, Ashburn, VA
  • Hermann Riecke
    Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • William Kath
    Department of Engineering Sciences and Applied Mathematics, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
    Department of Neurobiology and Physiology, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
  • Jonathan Demb
    Department of Cellular and Molecular Physiology, Yale University, New Haven, CT
    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Yale University, New Haven, CT
  • Joshua Singer
    Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Jiangbin Ke, None; Yanbin Wang, None; Mark Cembrowski, None; Hermann Riecke, None; William Kath, None; Jonathan Demb, None; Joshua Singer, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 6154. doi:https://doi.org/
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      Jiangbin Ke, Yanbin Wang, Mark Cembrowski, Hermann Riecke, William Kath, Jonathan Demb, Joshua Singer; Adaptation to background light permits contrast coding at rod bipolar cell synapses. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):6154. doi: https://doi.org/.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Abstract

Purpose: Rod photoreceptors contribute to vision across ~6 log units of light intensity. This wide dynamic range is postulated to depend on light-dependent switching between two parallel pathways linking rods to ganglion cells: rods signal through the rod bipolar (RB) pathway at dim backgrounds, whereas rods signal through cones and cone bipolar cell pathways at brighter backgrounds. We evaluated this conventional model of the retinal circuitry by assessing RB output at circuit and synaptic levels.

Methods: Retinas were isolated from c57bl/6 mice, and retinal slices and whole-mount preparatons were prepared as described in published work (Jarsky et al. 2011; Wang et al. 2011). RB-mediated light responses were recorded in ganglion cells and RB-mediated synaptic currents in AII amacrine cells in the mouse retina. Experimental observations were probed using a phenomenological model of the RB-AII synapse (Jarsky et al. 2011) in which transmission is described as a function of vesicle cycling.

Results: 1) Background light eliminates event detection in the rod bipolar pathway; 2) Signal-to-noise ratio at the rod bipolar synapse depends on presynaptic VM; 3) The rod bipolar circuit encodes contrast in the presence of background light; 4) The rod bipolar’s contrast response is enabled by temporary suppression of ongoing synaptic release; 5) In the presence of background light the rod bipolar circuit shows high contrast sensitivity and band-pass temporal filtering; 6) Vesicle pool dynamics limit the frequency response.

Conclusions: As background luminance increases, the RB’s role transitions from event detection to contrast coding. This transition is predicted by the intrinsic properties of the synapse: specifically, by the effect that sustained depolarization of presynaptic VM has on the cycling of the readily-releasable vesicle pool.

Keywords: 693 retinal connections, networks, circuitry • 691 retina: proximal (bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cells) • 478 contrast sensitivity  
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