Goldfish bipolar cells and axon terminal patterns: a Golgi study

J Comp Neurol. 1993 Mar 8;329(2):188-200. doi: 10.1002/cne.903290204.


The morphology and axon terminal arrangement of Golgi stained goldfish bipolar cells were examined to understand better the organization of bipolar cells in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) of the retina. Fifteen morphological bipolar cell types were identified, representing two major cell classes: mixed input cells that receive input from rod and cone photoreceptors, and cone bipolar cells that receive input from cones only. Mixed input bipolar cells comprised six types, including two new types, characterized by large somas and terminals. The terminals of mixed input bipolar cells terminated strictly within sublamina a or b of the IPL. Cone bipolar cells comprised nine subtypes, including seven new types, characterized by small somas and from one to four small terminal bulbs along the length of the axon, each having a characteristic termination depth in the IPL. The cone bipolar cell system had a complex multilaminar organization of terminals in the IPL, but maintained a high degree of anatomical symmetry about sublamina a and b. Cone bipolar cells could be divided into three groups: cells terminating within sublamina a and having an anatomically symmetrical counterpart terminating in sublamina b; cells with anatomically similar terminals in both sublamina a and b; and cells having no anatomically symmetrical counterpart or having anatomically dissimilar terminals in sublamina a and b. Based on bipolar cell terminal arrangement, we suggest that each bipolar cell type probably has a unique set of synaptic targets in the IPL, and that several bipolar cell types may be involved in functionally equivalent circuits at more than one level in the IPL.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure*
  • Cell Size
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Goldfish / anatomy & histology*
  • Nerve Endings / ultrastructure*
  • Neurons / ultrastructure
  • Photoreceptor Cells / ultrastructure
  • Potassium Dichromate
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Silver Staining


  • Potassium Dichromate