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In mammalian retina, each diffuse bipolar type stratifies in a distinct layer of the inner plexiform layer. Thus, different types of bipolar cells provide output to distinct visual pathways. Here, the question of whether diffuse bipolar cell types differ with respect to their contacts with short wavelength-sensitive (S-) cones was investigated in the retinas of a New World monkey, Callithrix jacchus, and an Old World monkey, Macaca fascicularis. Subpopulations of OFF bipolar cells were labeled with antibodies to the glutamate transporter Glt-1 and ON bipolar cells were labeled with antibodies to the alpha subunit of the Go protein (Goalpha). Two types of diffuse ON bipolar cells, DB4 and DB6, were identified with antibodies to protein kinase Calpha and CD15, respectively. Cone pedicles were labeled either with peanut agglutinin coupled to fluorescein or with antibodies to the ribbon protein, C-terminus binding protein 2. We found that immunoreactivity for Glt-1 (OFF bipolar cells) is reduced at S-cones in comparison to medium/long wavelength-sensitive (M/L-) cones. Immunoreactivity for Goalpha (ON bipolar cells) is comparable at all cone types. Nearly all M/L-cone pedicles contact the diffuse ON bipolar types DB4 and DB6, but only between 60% and 75% of the S-cone pedicles make contact. Furthermore, the number of dendritic tips of DB4 and DB6 cells at S-cone pedicles is lower than that at M/L-cone pedicles. These results suggest that there is a bias in the S-cone connectivity of diffuse bipolar cells.


Sammy C S Lee, Ulrike GrĂ¼nert. Connections of diffuse bipolar cells in primate retina are biased against S-cones. The Journal of comparative neurology. 2007 May 1;502(1):126-40

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PMID: 17335043

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