Convergence and segregation of the multiple rod pathways in mammalian retina

Béla Völgyi, Michael R. Deans, David L. Paul, Stewart A. Bloomfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

133 Scopus citations


Using a multidisciplinary approach, we demonstrate that three different pathways are responsible for the transmission of rod signals across the mouse retina. Each pathway serves a primarily nonoverlapping range of stimulus intensities, with ganglion cells receiving either segregated or convergent inputs. For both on-center (ON) and off-center (OFF) ganglion cells, the primary rod pathway carries signals with the lowest threshold, whereas the secondary rod pathway is less sensitive by ∼1 log unit. In addition, OFF signaling uses a tertiary rod pathway that is ∼1 log unit less sensitive than the secondary. Although some ganglion cells received rod inputs exclusively from one of the pathways, others showed convergent inputs. Using pharmacological and genetic approaches, we defined classes of ON and OFF ganglion cells for which the scotopic inputs derive only from the primary pathway or from both primary and secondary pathways. In addition, we observed a class of OFF ganglion cell receiving mixed input from primary and tertiary pathways. Interestingly, OFF ganglion cells receiving convergent inputs from all three rod pathways or from the secondary and tertiary pathways together were never observed. Overall, our data show a complex arrangement of convergence and segregation of rod inputs to ganglion cells in the mammalian retina.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11182-11192
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number49
StatePublished - Dec 8 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Convergence
  • Gap junction
  • Retina
  • Retinal ganglion cell
  • Rod
  • Vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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