TTX attenuates surround inhibition in rabbit retinal ganglion cells

Vis Neurosci. Mar-Apr 1999;16(2):285-90. doi: 10.1017/s0952523899162096.


Patch-clamp recordings were made from ganglion cells in an in vitro dark-adapted rabbit retina preparation. Cells were stimulated by images generated on a computer monitor and focussed onto the photoreceptors. Excitatory inward currents were recorded in response to spot stimuli centered on the somas of the recorded cells. Center illumination of on-brisk-transient cells produced large transient excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) which were invariably followed by a small steady-state inward component. Illumination of a centered annulus failed to elicit the transient EPSC. Simultaneous illumination of the annulus and the center spot blocked the large transient EPSC, consistent with activation of an inhibitory surround. Application of tetrodotoxin (TTX), which blocks sodium-dependent action potentials, also blocked the surround inhibition in ON-brisk transient cells as well as some other classes of ganglion cells. It is concluded that, in some ganglion cell classes, the surround is generated largely through the activity of spiking neurons, and it is suggested that the amacrine cells in the inner plexiform layer are involved.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / drug effects
  • Animals
  • Dark Adaptation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / physiology
  • Rabbits
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / drug effects
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Sodium Channels / drug effects
  • Tetrodotoxin / pharmacology*


  • Sodium Channels
  • Tetrodotoxin