Synaptic connections of rod bipolar cells in the inner plexiform layer of the rabbit retina

J Comp Neurol. 1990 May 15;295(3):449-66. doi: 10.1002/cne.902950309.


We have reconstructed from electron micrographs of a continuous series of thin sections the synaptic connections of the axonal arborizations of all the rod bipolar cells contained in a small region of the retina of the rabbit. We observed that all rod bipolars share the same pattern of connectivity and are probably functionally equivalent. As a rule, they do not contact ganglion cells. Their prevalent synaptic output is on narrow-field, bistratified, and indoleamine-accumulating amacrine cells. Their dominant inputs are the reciprocal synapses from the indoleamine-accumulating amacrines, but they also receive a sizable number of synaptic contacts from other, non-reciprocal, amacrine cells. The lateral spread of scotopic signals at the synapse between rod bipolars and narrow-field, bistratified amacrines is small. Finally, in the rabbit, as in the cat, a narrow-field, bistratified amacrine is inserted in series along the rod pathway.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rabbits
  • Retina / ultrastructure*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure*