3 years ago

Dendro-dendritic cholinergic excitation controls dendritic spike initiation in retinal ganglion cells

Dendro-dendritic cholinergic excitation controls dendritic spike initiation in retinal ganglion cells
S. Kalita-de Croft, S. R. Williams, E. J. Cooper-Williams, A. Brombas
The retina processes visual images to compute features such as the direction of image motion. Starburst amacrine cells (SACs), axonless feed-forward interneurons, are essential components of the retinal direction-selective circuitry. Recent work has highlighted that SAC-mediated dendro-dendritic inhibition controls the action potential output of direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) by vetoing dendritic spike initiation. However, SACs co-release GABA and the excitatory neurotransmitter acetylcholine at dendritic sites. Here we use direct dendritic recordings to show that preferred direction light stimuli evoke SAC-mediated acetylcholine release, which powerfully controls the stimulus sensitivity, receptive field size and action potential output of ON-DSGCs by acting as an excitatory drive for the initiation of dendritic spikes. Consistent with this, paired recordings reveal that the activation of single ON-SACs drove dendritic spike generation, because of predominate cholinergic excitation received on the preferred side of ON-DSGCs. Thus, dendro-dendritic release of neurotransmitters from SACs bi-directionally gate dendritic spike initiation to control the directionally selective action potential output of retinal ganglion cells.

Publisher URL: http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms15683

DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15683

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