Asymmetry of on- and off-pathways of blue-sensitive cones of the retina of macaques

De Monasterio, F.M.

Brain Research 166(1): 39-48


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-8993
PMID: 217501
DOI: 10.1016/0006-8993(79)90647-4
Accession: 068524439

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Macaque retinal ganglion cells whose receptive-field center receives input from blue-sensitive cones show an overt asymmetry of the frequency of ON-center and OFF-center varieties, an asymmetry not present in ganglion cells whose center receives input from the other 2 cone types. A similar asymmetry of ON/OFF responses is found in the local electroretinogram (d-wave) mediated by signals from blue-sensitive cones. Blue-ON-center ganglion cells have larger receptive-field centers and shorter conduction latencies than other opponent-color varieties, suggesting an appreciable degree of receptor convergence and presumably large cell bodies. Intracellular stainings of these neurons with Procion Yellow show that they correspond to diffuse stratified (Parasol) ganglion cells whose flat-topped dendritic arborization stratifies in the sclerad half of the inner plexiform layer. In view of the known characteristics of macaque bipolar cells and of the ON/OFF asymmetry, it is proposed that these ganglion cells are postsynaptic to cone-specific flat bipolars possibly mediating sign-inverting synaptic contacts. Also indicated is a reversal for the blue-cone pathway, of the ON/OFF lamination of the inner plexiform layer that has recently been described in other species.