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Journal Article

Functional stability of retinal ganglion cells after degeneration-induced changes in synaptic input


Euler,  Thomas
Department of Biomedical Optics, Max Planck Institute for Medical Research, Max Planck Society;

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Margolis, D. J., Newkirk, G., Euler, T., & Detwiler, P. B. (2008). Functional stability of retinal ganglion cells after degeneration-induced changes in synaptic input. The Journal of Neuroscience: the Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 28(25), 6526-6536. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1533-08.2008.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002C-07BE-A
Glutamate released from photoreceptors controls the activity and output of parallel pathways in the retina. When photoreceptors die because of degenerative diseases, surviving retinal networks are left without their major source of input, but little is known about how photoreceptor loss affects ongoing synaptic activity and retinal output. Here, we use patch-clamp recording and two-photon microscopy to investigate morphological and physiological properties of identified types of ON and OFF retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) in the adult (36-210 d old) retinal degeneration rd-1/rd-1 mouse. We find that strong rhythmic synaptic input drives ongoing oscillatory spike activity in both ON and OFF RGCs at a fundamental "beating" frequency of approximately 10 Hz. Despite this aberrant activity, ON and OFF cells maintain their characteristic dendritic stratification, intrinsic firing properties, including rebound firing in OFF cells, balance of synaptic excitation and inhibition, and dendritic calcium signaling. Thus, RGCs are inherently stable during degeneration-induced retinal activity.