Bachelor of Science, University of California San Diego (2008)
Doctor of Philosophy, University of California Davis (2017)
Neurotransmitter release varies between neurons due to differences in presynaptic mechanisms such as Ca(2+) sensitivity and timing. Retinal rod bipolar cells respond to brief dim illumination with prolonged glutamate release that is tuned by the differential release of GABA and glycine from amacrine cells in the inner retina. To test if differences among types of GABA and glycine release are due to inherent amacrine cell release properties, we directly activated amacrine cell neurotransmitter release by electrical stimulation. We found that the timing of electrically evoked inhibitory currents was inherently slow and that the timecourse of inhibition from slowest to fastest was GABAC receptors > glycine receptors > GABAA receptors. Deconvolution analysis showed that the distinct timing was due to differences in prolonged GABA and glycine release from amacrine cells. The timecourses of slow glycine release and GABA release onto GABAC receptors were reduced by Ca(2+) buffering with EGTA-AM and BAPTA-AM, but faster GABA release on GABAA receptors was not, suggesting that release onto GABAA receptors is tightly coupled to Ca(2+). The differential timing of GABA release was detected from spiking amacrine cells and not nonspiking A17 amacrine cells that form a reciprocal synapse with rod bipolar cells. Our results indicate that release from amacrine cells is inherently asynchronous and that the source of nonreciprocal rod bipolar cell inhibition differs between GABA receptors. The slow, differential timecourse of inhibition may be a mechanism to match the prolonged rod bipolar cell glutamate release and provide a way to temporally tune information across retinal pathways.
View details for DOI 10.1152/jn.00447.2014
View details for Web of Science ID 000355000900010
View details for PubMedID 25568157
The timing of neurotransmitter release from neurons can be modulated by many presynaptic mechanisms. The retina uses synaptic ribbons to mediate slow graded glutamate release from bipolar cells that carry photoreceptor inputs. However, many inhibitory amacrine cells, which modulate bipolar cell output, spike and do not have ribbons for graded release. Despite this, slow glutamate release from bipolar cells is modulated by slow GABAergic inputs that shorten the output of bipolar cells, changing the timing of visual signaling. The time course of light-evoked inhibition is slow due to a combination of receptor properties and prolonged neurotransmitter release. However, the light-evoked release of GABA requires activation of neurons upstream from the amacrine cells, so it is possible that prolonged release is due to slow amacrine cell activation, rather than slow inherent release properties of the amacrine cells. To test this idea, we directly activated primarily action potential-dependent amacrine cell inputs to bipolar cells with electrical stimulation. We found that the decay of GABAC receptor-mediated electrically evoked inhibitory currents was significantly longer than would be predicted by GABAC receptor kinetics, and GABA release, estimated by deconvolution analysis, was inherently slow. Release became more transient after increasing slow Ca(2+) buffering or blocking prolonged L-type Ca(2+) channels and Ca(2+) release from intracellular stores. Our results suggest that GABAergic amacrine cells have a prolonged buildup of Ca(2+) in their terminals that causes slow, asynchronous release. This could be a mechanism of matching the time course of amacrine cell inhibition to bipolar cell glutamate release.
View details for DOI 10.1152/jn.00913.2012
View details for Web of Science ID 000322715500013
View details for PubMedID 23657284
The retina responds to a wide range of light stimuli by adaptation of retinal signaling to background light intensity and the use of two different photoreceptors: rods that sense dim light and cones that sense bright light. Rods signal to rod bipolar cells that receive significant inhibition from amacrine cells in the dark, especially from a rod bipolar cell-activated GABAergic amacrine cell. This inhibition modulates the output of rod bipolar cells onto downstream neurons. However, it was not clear how the inhibition of rod bipolar cells changes when rod signaling is limited by an adapting background light and cone signaling becomes dominant. We found that both light-evoked and spontaneous rod bipolar cell inhibition significantly decrease with light adaptation. This suggests a global decrease in the activity of amacrine cells that provide input to rod bipolar cells with light adaptation. However, inhibition to rod bipolar cells is also limited by GABAergic connections between amacrine cells, which decrease GABAergic input to rod bipolar cells. When we removed this serial inhibition, the light-evoked inhibition to rod bipolar cells remained after light adaptation. These results suggest that decreased inhibition to rod bipolar cells after light adaptation is due to decreased rod pathway activity as well as an active increase in inhibition between amacrine cells. Together these serve to limit rod bipolar cell inhibition after light adaptation, when the rod pathway is inactive and modulation of the signal is not required. This suggests an efficiency mechanism in the retina to limit unnecessary signaling.
View details for DOI 10.1152/jn.00872.2012
View details for Web of Science ID 000321197400016
View details for PubMedID 23596335
We report the construction and characterization of an all-reflective optical coherence tomography (OCT) system using a newly developed compact fiber-based broadband supercontinuum source. The use of only reflective optical components has enabled us to avoid chromatic dispersion effects and to obtain ultrahigh resolution OCT images of biological samples. We achieved an axial resolution of 2 μm in air with 87 dB dynamic range at a center wavelength around 1300 nm.
View details for DOI 10.1117/1.3633340
View details for Web of Science ID 000297465200011
View details for PubMedID 22029351