Spatial Relationships between GABAergic and Glutamatergic Synapses on the Dendrites of Distinct Types of Mouse Retinal Ganglion Cells across Development

Adam Bleckert, Edward D. Parker, Yun Hee Kang, Raika Pancaroglu, Florentina Soto, Renate Lewis, Ann Marie Craig, Rachel O.L. Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Neuronal output requires a concerted balance between excitatory and inhibitory (I/E) input. Like other circuits, inhibitory synaptogenesis in the retina precedes excitatory synaptogenesis. How then do neurons attain their mature balance of I/E ratios despite temporal offset in synaptogenesis? To directly compare the development of glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses onto the same cell, we biolistically transfected retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) with PSD95CFP, a marker of glutamatergic postsynaptic sites, in transgenic Thy1-YFPγ2 mice in which GABAA receptors are fluorescently tagged. We mapped YFPγ2 and PSD95CFP puncta distributions on three RGC types at postnatal day P12, shortly before eye opening, and at P21 when robust light responses in RGCs are present. The mature IGABA/E ratios varied among ON-Sustained (S) A-type, OFF-S A-type, and bistratified direction selective (DS) RGCs. These ratios were attained at different rates, before eye-opening for ON-S and OFF-S A-type, and after eye-opening for DS RGCs. At both ages examined, the IGABA/E ratio was uniform across the arbors of the three RGC types. Furthermore, measurements of the distances between neighboring PSD95CFP and YFPγ2 puncta on RGC dendrites indicate that their local relationship is established early in development, and cannot be predicted by random organization. These close spatial associations between glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic sites appear to represent local synaptic arrangements revealed by correlative light and EM reconstructions of a single RGC's dendrites. Thus, although RGC types have different IGABA/E ratios and establish these ratios at separate rates, the local relationship between excitatory and inhibitory inputs appear similarly constrained across the RGC types studied.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere69612
JournalPloS one
Volume8
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 26 2013

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