Structural basis for on-and off-center responses in retinal bipolar cells

Science. 1977 Dec 23;198(4323):1269-71. doi: 10.1126/science.201028.


Electron microscopy of Golgi preparations of goldfish retina shows that dendrites of type a (hyperpolarizing, off-center) bipolar cells make wide cleft junctions unassociated with synaptic ribbons, while those of type b (depolarizing, on-center) bioplar cells make narrow cleft junctions and synaptic ribbon contacts, with rods and cones. This suggests that wide cleft junctions are the site of sign-conserving, and narrow cleft junctions or ribbon contacts (or both) are the site of sign-inverting synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to bipolars.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Ganglia / ultrastructure*
  • Goldfish / anatomy & histology
  • Photoreceptor Cells / ultrastructure
  • Retina / physiology
  • Retina / ultrastructure*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Visual Pathways / ultrastructure