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Intrinsically photosensitive melanopsin-containing retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs) control important physiological processes, including the circadian rhythm, the pupillary reflex, and the suppression of locomotor behavior (reviewed in [1]). ipRGCs are also activated by classical photoreceptors, the rods and cones, through local retinal circuits [2, 3]. ipRGCs can be transsynaptically labeled through the pupillary-reflex circuit with the derivatives of the Bartha strain of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus(PRV) [4, 5] that express GFP [6-12]. Bartha-strain derivatives spread only in the retrograde direction [13]. There is evidence that infected cells function normally for a while during GFP expression [7]. Here we combine transsynaptic PRV labeling, two-photon laser microscopy, and electrophysiological techniques to trace the local circuit of different ipRGC subtypes in the mouse retina and record light-evoked activity from the transsynaptically labeled ganglion cells. First, we show that ipRGCs are connected by monostratified amacrine cells that provide strong inhibition from classical-photoreceptor-driven circuits. Second, we show evidence that dopaminergic interplexiform cells are synaptically connected to ipRGCs. The latter finding provides a circuitry link between light-dark adaptation and ipRGC function.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.cub.2007.04.058

Type

Journal article

Journal

Curr biol

Publication Date

05/06/2007

Volume

17

Pages

981 - 988

Keywords

Amacrine Cells, Animals, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Herpesvirus 1, Suid, Mice, Retinal Ganglion Cells, Rod Opsins, Synaptic Transmission, Visual Pathways