Amacrine-to-amacrine cell inhibition in the rabbit retina

J Neurophysiol. 2008 Oct;100(4):2077-88. doi: 10.1152/jn.90417.2008. Epub 2008 Jul 30.


We studied the interactions between excitation and inhibition in morphologically identified amacrine cells in the light-adapted rabbit retinal slice under patch clamp. The majority of on amacrine cells received glycinergic off inhibition. About half of the off amacrine cells received glycinergic on inhibition. Neither class received any GABAergic inhibition. A minority of on, off, and on-off amacrine cells received both glycinergic on and GABAergic off inhibition. These interactions were found in cells with diverse morphologies having both wide and narrow processes that stratify in single or multiple layers of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Most on-off amacrine cells received no inhibition and have monostratified processes confined to the middle of the IPL. The most common interaction between amacrine cells that we measured was "crossover inhibition," where off inhibits on and on inhibits off. Although the morphology of amacrine cells is diverse, the interactions between excitation and inhibition appear to be relatively limited and specific.

MeSH terms

  • Amacrine Cells / drug effects
  • Amacrine Cells / physiology*
  • Amacrine Cells / ultrastructure
  • Aminobutyrates / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Anticonvulsants / pharmacology
  • Electrophysiology
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Rabbits
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / drug effects


  • Aminobutyrates
  • Anticonvulsants
  • 2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid