Axons and dendrites originate from neuroepithelial-like processes of retinal bipolar cells

Nat Neurosci. 2006 Jan;9(1):85-92. doi: 10.1038/nn1615. Epub 2005 Dec 11.


The cellular mechanisms underlying axogenesis and dendritogenesis are not completely understood. The axons and dendrites of retinal bipolar cells, which contact their synaptic partners within specific laminae in the inner and outer retina, provide a good system for exploring these issues. Using transgenic mice expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein (GFP) in a subset of bipolar cells, we determined that axonal and dendritic arbors of these interneurons develop directly from apical and basal processes attached to the outer and inner limiting membranes, respectively. Selective stabilization of processes contributed to stratification of axonal and dendritic arbors within the appropriate synaptic layer. This unusual mode of axogenesis and dendritogenesis from neuroepithelial-like processes may act to preserve neighbor-neighbor relationships in synaptic wiring between the outer and inner retina.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / physiology*
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Epithelial Cells / physiology*
  • Female
  • Genes, Reporter / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / genetics
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate / genetics
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / growth & development*


  • Receptors, Metabotropic Glutamate
  • metabotropic glutamate receptor 6
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins