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Development of retinal ganglion cell structure and function

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Evelyne SernagorORCiD


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In this review, we summarize the main stages of structural and functional development of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). We first consider the various mechanisms that are involved in restructuring of dendritic trees. To date, many mechanisms have been implicated including target-dependent factors, interactions from neighboring RGCs, and afferent signaling. We also review recent evidence showing how rapidly such dendritic remodeling might occur, along with the intracellular signaling pathways underlying these rearrangements. Concurrent with such structural changes, the functional responses of RGCs also alter during maturation, from sub-threshold firing to reliable spiking patterns. Here we consider the development of intrinsic membrane properties and how they might contribute to the spontaneous firing patterns observed before the onset of vision. We then review the mechanisms by which this spontaneous activity becomes correlated across neighboring RGCs to form waves of activity. Finally, the relative importance of spontaneous versus light-evoked activity is discussed in relation to the emergence of mature receptive field properties. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Sernagor E; Eglen SJ; Wong ROL

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Progress in Retinal and Eye Research

Year: 2001

Volume: 20

Issue: 2

Pages: 139-174

Print publication date: 01/01/2001

ISSN (print): 1350-9462

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1635


DOI: 10.1016/S1350-9462(00)00024-0

PubMed id: 11173250