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Local processing of visual information in neurites of VGluT3-expressing amacrine cells

By Jen-Chun Hsiang, Keith Johnson, Linda Madisen, Hongkui Zeng, Daniel Kerschensteiner

Posted 13 Apr 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/127159 (published DOI: 10.7554/eLife.31307)

Synaptic inputs to neurons are distributed across extensive neurite arborizations. To what extent arbors process inputs locally or integrate them globally is, for most neurons, unknown. This question is particularly relevant for amacrine cells, a diverse class of retinal interneurons, which receive input and provide output through the same neurites. Here, we used two-photon Ca2+ imaging to analyze visual processing in VGluT3-expressing amacrine cells (VG3-ACs), an important component of object motion sensitive circuits in the retina. VG3-AC neurites differed in their preferred stimulus contrast (ON vs. OFF); and ON and OFF responses varied in transience and preferred stimulus size. Contrast preference changed predictably with the laminar position of neurites in the inner plexiform layer. Yet, neurites at all depths were strongly activated by local but not by global image motion. Thus, VG3-AC neurites process visual information locally, exhibiting diverse responses to contrast steps, but uniform object motion selectivity.

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