Physiology of L- and M-cone inputs to H1 horizontal cells in the primate retina

J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2000 Mar;17(3):589-96. doi: 10.1364/josaa.17.000589.


In the primate retina, H1 horizontal cells form an electrically coupled network and receive convergent input from long- (L-) and middle- (M-) wavelength-sensitive cones. Using an in vitro preparation of the intact retina to record the light-evoked voltage responses of H1 cells, we systematically varied the L- and M-cone stimulus contrast and measured the relative L- and M-cone input strength for 137 cells across 33 retinas from three Old World species (Macaca nemestrina, M. fascicularis, and Papio anubis). We found that the L- and the M-cone inputs were summed by the H1 cell in proportion to the stimulus cone contrast, which yielded a measure of what we term L- and M-cone contrast gain. The proportion of L-cone contrast gain was highly variable, ranging from 25% to 90% [mean +/- standard deviation, (60 +/- 14)%]. This variability was accounted for by retinal location within an individual, with the temporal retina showing a consistently higher percentage of L-cone gain, and by large overall variation across individuals, with the mean percentage of L-cone gain ranging from 32% to 80%. We hypothesize that the relative L- and M-cone contrast gain is determined simply by the relative number of L and M cones in the H1 cell's receptive field and that the variability in L- and M-cone contrast gain reflects a corresponding variability in the mosaic of L and M cones.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Light
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Macaca nemestrina
  • Papio
  • Primates / physiology*
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / radiation effects