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An excitatory amacrine cell detects object motion and provides feature-selective input to ganglion cells in the mouse retina

  1. Tahnbee Kim
  2. Florentina Soto
  3. Daniel Kerschensteiner  Is a corresponding author
  1. Washington University School of Medicine, United States
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Cite this article as: eLife 2015;4:e08025 doi: 10.7554/eLife.08025

Abstract

Retinal circuits detect salient features of the visual world and report them to the brain through spike trains of retinal ganglion cells. The most abundant ganglion cell type in mice, the so called W3 ganglion cell, selectively responds to movements of small objects. Where and how object motion sensitivity arises in the retina is incompletely understood. Here, we use 2 photon guided patch clamp recordings to characterize responses of VGluT3 expressing amacrine cells to a broad set of visual stimuli. We find that VG3 ACs are object motion sensitive and analyze the synaptic mechanisms underlying this computation. Anatomical circuit reconstructions suggest that VGluT3 expressing amacrine cells form glutamatergic synapses with W3 ganglion cells and targeted recordings show that the tuning of W3 ganglion cells' excitatory input matches that of VGluT3 expressing amacrine cells' responses. Synaptic excitation of W3 ganglion cells is diminished and responses to object motion are suppressed in mice lacking VGluT3. Object motion thus is first detected by VGluT3 expressing amacrine cells, which provide feature selective excitatory input to W3 ganglion cells.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Tahnbee Kim

    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Florentina Soto

    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Daniel Kerschensteiner

    Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, United States
    For correspondence
    dkerschensteiner@wustl.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All procedures in this study were approved by the Animal Studies Committee of Washington University School of Medicine (Protocol #: 20140095) and performed in compliance with the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Alexander Borst, Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology, Germany

Publication history

  1. Received: April 10, 2015
  2. Accepted: May 18, 2015
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: May 19, 2015 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: June 16, 2015 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2015, Kim et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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