Optometry and Vision Sciences - Research Publications

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    Epiretinal Electrical Stimulation and the Inner Limiting Membrane in Rat Retina
    Cloherty, SL ; Wong, RCS ; Hadjinicolaou, AE ; Meffin, H ; Ibbotson, MR ; O'Brien, BJ (IEEE, 2012)
    In this paper we aim to quantify the effect of the inner limiting membrane (ILM) of the retina on the thresholds for epiretinal electrical stimulation of retinal ganglion cells by a microelectronic retinal prosthesis. A pair of bipolar stimulating electrodes was placed either above (on the epiretinal surface) or below the ILM while we made whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from retinal ganglion cells in an isolated rat retinal whole-mount preparation. Across our cell population we found no significant difference in the median threshold stimulus amplitudes when the stimulating electrodes were placed below as opposed to above the ILM (p = 0.08). However, threshold stimulus amplitudes did tend to be lower when the stimulating electrodes were placed below the ILM (30 µA vs 56 µA).
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    Intrinsic physiological properties of rat retinal ganglion cells with a comparative analysis
    Wong, RCS ; Cloherty, SL ; Ibbotson, MR ; O'Brien, BJ (AMER PHYSIOLOGICAL SOC, 2012-10)
    Mammalian retina contains 15-20 different retinal ganglion cell (RGC) types, each of which is responsible for encoding different aspects of the visual scene. The encoding is defined by a combination of RGC synaptic inputs, the neurotransmitter systems used, and their intrinsic physiological properties. Each cell's intrinsic properties are defined by its morphology and membrane characteristics, including the complement and localization of the ion channels expressed. In this study, we examined the hypothesis that the intrinsic properties of individual RGC types are conserved among mammalian species. To do so, we measured the intrinsic properties of 16 morphologically defined rat RGC types and compared these data with cat RGC types. Our data demonstrate that in the rat different morphologically defined RGC types have distinct patterns of intrinsic properties. Variation in these properties across cell types was comparable to that found for cat RGC types. When presumed morphological homologs in rat and cat retina were compared directly, some RGC types had very similar properties. The rat A2 cell exhibited patterns of intrinsic properties nearly identical to the cat alpha cell. In contrast, rat D2 cells (ON-OFF directionally selective) had a very different pattern of intrinsic properties than the cat iota cell. Our data suggest that the intrinsic properties of RGCs with similar morphology and suspected visual function may be subject to variation due to the behavioral needs of the species.