Structural basis for on-and off-center responses in retinal bipolar cells

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Science  23 Dec 1977:
Vol. 198, Issue 4323, pp. 1269-1271
DOI: 10.1126/science.201028


Electron microscopy of Golgi preparations of goldfish retina shows that dendrites of type a (hyperpolarizing, off-center) bipolar cells make wide cleft junctions unassociated with synaptic ribbons, while those of type b (depolarizing, on-center) bioplar cells make narrow cleft junctions and synaptic ribbon contacts, with rods and cones. This suggests that wide cleft junctions are the site of sign-conserving, and narrow cleft junctions or ribbon contacts (or both) are the site of sign-inverting synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to bipolars.

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