An isolated retinal preparation to record light response from genetically labeled retinal ganglion cells

Tiffany M. Schmid, Paulo Kofuji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The first steps in vertebrate vision take place when light stimulates the rod and cone photoreceptors of the retina. This information is then segregated into what are known as the ON and OFF pathways. The photoreceptors signal light information to the bipolar cells (BCs), which depolarize in response to increases (On BCs) or decreases (Off BCs) in light intensity. This segregation of light information is maintained at the level of the retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), which have dendrites stratifying in either the Off sublamina of the inner plexiform layer (IPL), where they receive direct excitatory input from Off BCs, or stratifying in the On sublamina of the IPL, where they receive direct excitatory input from On BCs. This segregation of information regarding increases or decreases in illumination (the On and Off pathways) is conserved and signaled to the brain in parallel. The RGCs are the output cells of the retina, and are thus an important cell to study in order to understand how light information is signaled to visual nuclei in the brain. Advances in mouse genetics over recent decades have resulted in a variety of fluorescent reporter mouse lines where specific RGC populations are labeled with a fluorescent protein to allow for identification of RGC subtypes and specific targeting for electrophysiological recording. Here, we present a method for recording light responses from fluorescently labeled ganglion cells in an intact, isolated retinal preparation. This isolated retinal preparation allows for recordings from RGCs where the dendritic arbor is intact and the inputs across the entire RGC dendritic arbor are preserved. This method is applicable across a variety of ganglion cell subtypes and is amenable to a wide variety of single-cell physiological techniques.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2367
JournalJournal of visualized experiments : JoVE
Issue number47
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Electrophysiology
  • Fluorescent
  • Ganglion cell
  • Isolated
  • Mouse
  • Patch clamp
  • Retina
  • Transgenic

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Video-Audio Media

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