Synaptic input to an ON parasol ganglion cell in the macaque retina: a serial section analysis

Vis Neurosci. 2002 May-Jun;19(3):299-305. doi: 10.1017/s0952523802192078.


A labeled ON parasol ganglion cell from a macaque retina was analyzed in serial, ultrathin sections. It received 13% of its input from diffuse bipolar cells. These directed a large proportion of their output to amacrine cells but received a relatively small proportion of their amacrine cell input via feedback synapses. In these respects, they were similar to the DB3 bipolar cells that make synapses onto OFF parasol cells. Bipolar cell axons that contacted the ON parasol cell in stratum 4 of the inner plexiform layer always made synapses onto the dendrite, and therefore, the number of bipolar cell synapses onto these ganglion cells could be estimated reliably by light microscopy in the future. Amacrine cells provided the majority of inputs to the ON parasol cell. Only a few of the presynaptic amacrine cell processes received inputs from the same bipolar cells as the parasol cells, and most of the presynaptic amacrine cell processes did not receive any inputs at all within the series. These findings suggest that most of the inhibitory input to the ON parasol cell originates from other areas of the retina. Amacrine cells presynaptic to the parasol ganglion cell interacted very infrequently with other neurons in the circuit, and therefore, they would be expected to act independently, for the most part.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Female
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / ultrastructure
  • Synapses / physiology*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure


  • neurobiotin
  • Biotin