Gap Junctions Fine-tune Ganglion Cell Signals to Equalize Response Kinetics within a Given Electrically Coupled Array

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

Abstract

Retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) summate inputs and forward a spike train code to the brain in the form of either maintained spiking (sustained) or a quickly decaying brief spike burst (transient). We report diverse response transience values across the RGC population and, contrary to the conventional transient/sustained scheme, responses with intermediary characteristics are the most abundant. Pharmacological tests showed that besides GABAergic inhibition, GJ mediated excitation also plays a pivotal role in shaping response transience and thus visual coding. More precisely GJs connecting RGCs to nearby amacrine and RGCs play a defining role in the process. These GJs equalize kinetic features, including the response transience of transient OFF alpha (tOFFα) RGCs across a coupled array. We propose that GJs in other coupled neuron ensembles in the brain are also critical in the harmonization of response kinetics to enhance the population code and suit a corresponding task.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberISCI 110099
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournaliScience
Volume27
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2024

Keywords

  • Electrical synapse
  • Ganglion cell
  • Ganglion cell layer
  • Gap junction
  • Inner plexiform layer
  • Parallel signaling
  • Retina

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