The cone synapses of cone bipolar cells of primate retina

J Neurocytol. 1997 May;26(5):313-25. doi: 10.1023/a:1018504718282.


One each of bipolar cell types DB2 and DB4, together with a flat and an invaginating midget bipolar cell, were taken from a Golgi-stained rhesus macaque retina; then serially sectioned for EM examination of their synapses with cone pedicles. The cone input to the dendrites of the DB2 cell was exclusively at basal junctions; it had a characteristic distribution. Fifty per cent of the basal synapses were with cone pedicle membrane immediately adjacent to the dendrite of a bipolar cell invaginating to end opposite the ribbon of a cone triad (this, therefore, is called triad-associated). The remainder were one or more synapses distant from the triad-associated position (and, therefore, non-triad associated). The DB4 cell had both basal (predominantly in the triad-associated position) and ribbon-related synaptic input. But the basal to invaginating ratio differed from that of our previously published cell; 56% basal, 43% invaginating, as compared with 31% basal and 69% invaginating. Like foveal IMB cells the synapses of the mid-peripheral invaginating midget bipolar cell were exclusively invaginating; but were about 25% more numerous. The flat midget bipolar cell made exclusively basal synapses. These were 2.5 times more numerous than those of foveal flat midget bipolar cells, and 3.5 times the number of invaginating midget bipolar synapses at equivalent eccentricity. The synapses between cones and diffuse and midget bipolar cells are characteristic for each particular bipolar cell type, but the details depend on a cell's distance from the fovea (eccentricity). A rather constant number of cone pedicle synaptic ribbons 38.6 +/- 2.5 (n = 60) was found across mid-peripheral macaque and vervet monkey retinae. The smaller mean number for vervet monkey, 27.4 +/- 3.5 (n = 23), suggests there can also be generic differences in synaptic detail at cone bipolar cell synapses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / ultrastructure
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Dendrites / ultrastructure
  • Golgi Apparatus / ultrastructure
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Photoreceptor Cells / ultrastructure
  • Retina / ultrastructure*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / ultrastructure*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure*