Amacrine cell

Revision as of 04:04, 17 October 2007 by Jackbot (talk | contribs) (Robot: Automated text replacement (-(?ms)^(.*)$ +\1 {{WikiDoc Help Menu}}))
(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search
Amacrine cell
Xenopus retinal cells stained for cdk2/cyclin2 with red arrow indicating amacrine cell. IPL is shown in white.
Location INL of the retina
Function inhibitory or neuromodulatory interneurons
Neurotransmitter GABA, glycine, DA, or 5-HT
Morphology Varies
Presynaptic connections Bipolar cells
Postsynaptic connections Bipolar cells and Ganglion cells

Plan of retinal neurons.

Amacrine cells are interneurons in the retina which deliver 70% of the ganglion cells input, and also regulates the output of the cone bipolar cells which deliver the other 30%.


Amacrine cells operate at the inner plexiform layer (IPL), the second synaptic retinal layer where bipolar cells and ganglion cells synapse. There are about 40 different types of amacrine cells, most lacking axons. Like horizontal cells, amacrine cells work laterally affecting the output from bipolar cells, however, their tasks are often more specialized. Each type of amacrine cell connects with a particular type of bipolar cell, and generally has a particular type of neurotransmitter. One such population, AII, 'piggybacks' rod bipolar cells onto the cone bipolar circuitry. It connects rod bipolar cell output with cone bipolar cell input, and from there the signal can travel to the respective ganglion cells.

They are classified by the width of their field of connection, which layer(s) of the stratum in the IPL they are in, and by neurotransmitter type. Most are inhibitory using either GABA or glycine as neurotransmitters.


Functionally, they are responsible for complex processing of the retinal image, specifically adjusting image brightness and, by integrating sequential activation of neurons, detecting motion.

See also


  • Nicholls, John G. (2001). From Neuron to Brain. Boston, Massachusetts: Sinauer Associates, Inc. ISBN 0-87893-439-1. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help)

External links