Stimulus-dependent recruitment of lateral inhibition underlies retinal direction selectivity

  1. Qiang Chen
  2. Zhe Pei
  3. David Koren
  4. Wei Wei  Is a corresponding author
  1. The University of Chicago, United States
  2. The City College of New York, United States

Abstract

The dendrites of starburst amacrine cells (SACs) in the mammalian retina are preferentially activated by motion in the centrifugal direction, a property that is important for generating direction selectivity in direction selective ganglion cells (DSGCs). A candidate mechanism underlying the centrifugal direction selectivity of SAC dendrites is synaptic inhibition onto SACs. Here we disrupted this inhibition by perturbing distinct sets of GABAergic inputs onto SACs - removing either GABA release or GABA receptors from SACs. We found that lateral inhibition onto Off SACs from non-SAC amacrine cells is required for optimal direction selectivity of the Off pathway. In contrast, lateral inhibition onto On SACs is not necessary for direction selectivity of the On pathway when the moving object is on a homogenous background, but is required when the background is noisy. These results demonstrate that distinct sets of inhibitory mechanisms are recruited to generate direction selectivity under different visual conditions.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Qiang Chen

    Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  2. Zhe Pei

    Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education, The City College of New York, New York, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. David Koren

    Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, United States
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Wei Wei

    Department of Neurobiology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, United States
    For correspondence
    weiw@uchicago.edu
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-7771-5974

Funding

National Eye Institute

  • David Koren
  • Wei Wei

Whitehall Foundation

  • Wei Wei

E. Matilda Ziegler Foundation for the Blind

  • Wei Wei

Karl Kirchgessner Foundation

  • Wei Wei

Sloan Foundation

  • Wei Wei

The funders provide financial support to this manuscript in study design, data collection and interpretation, and the decision to submit the work for publication.

Ethics

Animal experimentation: All procedures to maintain and use mice were in accordance with the University of Chicago Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (Protocol number ACUP 72247) and in conformance with the NIH Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and the Public Health Service Policy.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Marla B Feller, University of California, Berkeley, United States

Publication history

  1. Received: August 28, 2016
  2. Accepted: December 7, 2016
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: December 8, 2016 (version 1)
  4. Version of Record published: December 21, 2016 (version 2)

Copyright

© 2016, Chen 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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  1. Qiang Chen
  2. Zhe Pei
  3. David Koren
  4. Wei Wei
(2016)
Stimulus-dependent recruitment of lateral inhibition underlies retinal direction selectivity
eLife 5:e21053.
https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21053
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