Sensitivity and dynamics of rod signals in H1 horizontal cells of the macaque monkey retina

Vision Res. 1999 Nov;39(22):3662-72. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(99)00093-0.


We measured the sensitivity, temporal frequency response, latency, and receptive field diameter of rod input to the H1 horizontal cell type in an in vitro preparation of the macaque retina. The H1 cell has both a cone-connected dendritic tree and a long axon-like process that terminates in a rod-connected arbor. We recorded from the H1 cell body where rod signals were distinguished by sensitivity to short wavelength light after dark adaptation. Receptive fields of rod vs. cone mediated responses were coextensive, indicating that the rod signal is transmitted via rod-cone gap junctions. Sensitivity of the H1 cell rod signal was approximately 1 log unit higher than that of the cone signal. Below cone threshold rod signals were temporally low-pass, with a cutoff frequency below 10 Hz. Rod signals became faster and more transient with increasing light levels. We conclude that the H1 cell rod signal is not sensitive in the low scotopic range and, by comparison with the rod signal recorded directly in cones (Schneeweis & Schnapf (1995) Science, 268, 1053-1056), signal transmission across the cone-H1 synapse does not significantly filter the temporal properties of the rod signal.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Dark Adaptation / physiology*
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Retinal Rod Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Sensory Thresholds / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*