Wide-field cone bipolar cells and the blue-ON pathway to color-coded ganglion cells in rabbit retina.Vis Neurosci. 2008 Jan-Feb; 25(1):53-66.VN
Wide-field cone bipolar cells with sparse dendritic branching and proposed connectivity to blue cones were first identified in rabbit and cat. In rabbit, these were subdivided into type a (wa) and type b (wb), with axonal branching in sublamina a, and sublamina b, respectively, of the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Recent studies in rabbit support the earlier hypothesis of exclusive blue/short wavelength cone connectivity for both types. The homologues of wb cells (but not wa cells) have been identified in other mammals. The axonal branching of wa cone bipolar cells is shown to co-stratify with the dendrites of the "fiducial," type a starburst amacrine cell, although a few branches extend into sublamina b. The axon terminal of wb cone bipolar cells is shown to be narrowly stratified in stratum 5alpha, deep to the dendrites of the type b starburst amacrine cell. Rabbit ganglion cells postsynaptic to wa cells are unknown, but may include class III.2a cells, similarly stratified in the IPL. The wb axon terminal is shown here to co-stratify with and to make close, likely synaptic, contacts with the dendrites of a recently described morphological subtype of class II ganglion cell in rabbit retina, IIb2. Recent morpho-physiological correlation indicates that class IIb2 cells correspond to the blue-ON-center-X or ON-brisk-sustained ganglion cells, defined physiologically in rabbit. In contrast, the wb cell in cat retina must innervate the physiologically identified blue-ON-center-sluggish-sustained ganglion cell. In monkey retina, the wb-like bipolar cells apparently innervate a small, partly bi-stratified ganglion cell. Mammals share a common pathway from short-wavelength-sensitive (S/blue) cone photoreceptors to ON-center ganglion cells in sublamina b of the IPL, in the form of wb or wb-like cone bipolar cells, but the type of ganglion cell innervated appears to be particular, and may serve different functional roles in different mammalian orders.