Visual response properties of Y cells in the detached feline retina

Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2010 Feb;51(2):1208-15. doi: 10.1167/iovs.09-4179. Epub 2009 Sep 24.


Purpose: To evaluate early changes in the visual response properties of Y cells in the detached feline retina.

Methods: The retinas of young adult cats were detached by injection, with a glass micropipette, of a solution of 0.004% sodium hyaluronate in a balanced salt solution between the neural retina and the retinal pigment epithelium. At 1, 3, and 7 days after detachment, the eyes were removed. The eyecup was prepared as a flat mount in a recording chamber and superfused with medium. Extracellular single-unit responses from Y cells in the retinas were recorded.

Results: One, 3, and 7 days after retinal detachment surgery, Y cells showed clear signs of functional deterioration. At each time point, more ON center cells than OFF cells were encountered. Y cells in the detached retinas showed a statistically significant elevation in the average threshold irradiance after 1-, 3-, and 7-day detachment, respectively. The average contrast threshold recorded from cells in the normal retina was 3.6%, but it increased to 14.5%, 21.8%, and 47.5% after 1-, 3-, and 7-day detachment, respectively. Furthermore, at each time point, the capability of Y cells to process contrast information decreased significantly more because of detachment than because of luminance task performance.

Conclusions: Retinal detachment induced rapid functional remodeling that resulted in degenerated Y-cell function, including an elevated luminance threshold and a deteriorated contrast threshold. Detachment had a greater impact on the latter. These physiological changes after retinal detachment could be used as objective indicators of early deterioration of visual function in future studies of retinal remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Cats
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Isoquinolines / metabolism
  • Male
  • Perceptual Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Retina / physiopathology*
  • Retina / radiation effects
  • Retinal Detachment / physiopathology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology*
  • Sensory Thresholds
  • Visual Perception / physiology*


  • Isoquinolines
  • neurobiotin
  • Biotin
  • lucifer yellow