Connections of indoleamine-accumulating cells in the rabbit retina

J Comp Neurol. 1989 May 8;283(2):303-13. doi: 10.1002/cne.902830210.


To study the connections of the neurons of the rabbit retina that accumulate indoleamines, we injected 5,7-dihydroxytryptamine into the vitreous body. It accumulated within a subset of amacrine cells and could be visualized there by aldehyde-induced fluorescence. The fluorescent labeling was photo-converted to an insoluble, osmiophilic product by irradiation in the presence of diaminobenzidine, and the tissue was examined by electron microscopy. Preservation of the structure of the tissue after photoconversion was satisfactory and the dendrites of the indoleamine-accumulating cells could easily be identified. They form a dense plexus near the junction of the inner plexiform and ganglion cell layers, where they exhibit large synaptic endings that occupy a substantial fraction of the surface of rod bipolar terminals. The dendrites of the indoleamine-accumulating cells receive input from rod bipolars at dyad synapses, where the other postsynaptic partner is a dendrite of a narrow-field, bistratified amacrine cell; in addition, they receive amacrine cell input throughout the inner plexiform layer. The only outputs we observed are reciprocal synapses onto the rod bipolar endings. Thus, these amacrine cells appear to exert an important effect on the transmission of scotopic information through the retina.

MeSH terms

  • 5,7-Dihydroxytryptamine / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Dendrites / metabolism
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Dihydroxytryptamines / metabolism*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Nerve Endings / metabolism
  • Nerve Endings / ultrastructure
  • Rabbits
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Serotonin / metabolism*


  • Dihydroxytryptamines
  • 5,7-Dihydroxytryptamine
  • Serotonin