July 2019
Volume 60, Issue 9
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   July 2019
Developing a comprehensive retinal ganglion cell typology using FuncSeq
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jillian Goetz
    Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Greg Schwartz
    Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Jillian Goetz, None; Greg Schwartz, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  CBC Catalyst
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2019, Vol.60, 5275. doi:
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      Jillian Goetz, Greg Schwartz; Developing a comprehensive retinal ganglion cell typology using FuncSeq. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):5275.

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

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Purpose : Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) are a diverse population of neurons that provide a critical role in the visual system, serving as the sole sensory communication between the retina and brain. Previous studies have estimated that more than 40 RGC types act as feature detectors to transmit discrete information about critical parts of the visual field to image-forming and non-image-forming targets in the brain, but a comprehensive classification of these RGC populations has not yet been achieved. We introduce FuncSeq, a novel combination of techniques, to provide unprecedented insight into the combined physiological responses, full transcriptome, and stereotypical morphological information of 250 individual RGCs and to provide a clearer scope of RGC diversity.

Methods : Cell-attached recordings of individual RGCs were performed on dark-adapted tissue and a battery of light stimuli were used to determine phsyiological subtype. Once functional recordings established a clear subtype, a newly fire-polished glass electrode was used to isolate the soma of the targeted cell and to place it into an RNAse-free PCR tube for reverse-transcription of mRNA and amplification of cDNA prior to RNAseq.

Results : For the first time, we are able to map full RGC transcriptomes according to their individual functional responses in a technique we call FuncSeq. As representative members of each functional class have been corroborated against the EyeWire museum, we are confident in our typological classifications and have confirmed previously-published genetic markers and identified multiple novel markers of RGC subtypes.

Conclusions : Our results indicate that a comprehensive strategy to investigating neural diversity, such as FuncSeq, may be critical in understanding neural diversity and moving forward with the generation of tools based on genetic markers, such as Cre-lines and viral targeting, to elucidate where and how these RGC types affect downstream processing in specific regions of the brain.

This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.


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