Functional heterogeneity of retinal dopaminergic neurons underlying their multiple roles in vision.

Zhang DQ, Zhou TR, McMahon DG
J Neurosci. 2007 27 (3): 692-9

PMID: 17234601 · PMCID: PMC6672798 · DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.4478-06.2007

Dopaminergic neurons play key roles in the CNS, mediating basic mechanisms of vision, movement, motivation, and mood. The most accessible dopaminergic neurons of the vertebrate CNS are the dopaminergic amacrine cells of the retina. Here, we have characterized the intrinsic neural activity, synaptic input, and light responses of retinal dopaminergic neurons in situ, using targeted electrophysiological recordings of fluorescent neurons in TH::RFP (tyrosine hydroxylase gene promoter::red fluorescent protein) transgenic mice. Dopaminergic amacrine cells exhibit two classes of intrinsic bursting in the dark, shaped by inhibitory synaptic inputs, and two classes of light responses, ON-transient and ON-sustained, as well as light-independent activity, tuned to mediate specific dopaminergic functions in vision. The functional heterogeneity revealed in dopaminergic amacrine cells provides a cellular basis for the multiple roles of dopaminergic amacrine neurons in vision and is likely a general property of dopaminergic neurons throughout the CNS.

MeSH Terms (11)

Action Potentials Animals Dopamine Mice Mice, Inbred C57BL Mice, Transgenic Neurons Photic Stimulation Retina Vision, Ocular Visual Pathways

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