Visual Experience Influences Dendritic Orientation but Is Not Required for Asymmetric Wiring of the Retinal Direction Selective Circuit

Cell Rep. 2020 Jun 30;31(13):107844. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2020.107844.


Changes in dendritic morphology in response to activity have long been thought to be a critical component of how neural circuits develop to properly encode sensory information. Ventral-preferring direction-selective ganglion cells (vDSGCs) have asymmetric dendrites oriented along their preferred direction, and this has been hypothesized to play a critical role in their tuning. Here we report the surprising result that visual experience is critical for the alignment of vDSGC dendrites to their preferred direction. Interestingly, vDSGCs in dark-reared mice lose their inhibition-independent dendritic contribution to direction-selective tuning while maintaining asymmetric inhibitory input. These data indicate that different mechanisms of a cell's computational abilities can be constructed over development through divergent mechanisms.

Keywords: retina, asymmetric, dendrite, development, morphology, visual experience, direction selective, circuit computation, asymmetric inhibition.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Animals
  • Darkness
  • Dendrites / physiology*
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Motion
  • Retina / physiology*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*