Author(s): Nagy J, Ebbinghaus B, Hoon M, Sinha R. GABA(A) presynaptic inhibition regulates the gain and kinetics of retinal output neurons. Elife. 2021 Apr 27;10. pii: e60994. doi: 10.7554/eLife.60994. PMID 33904401
Journal: E Life, Volume 10, Apr 2021
Output signals of neural circuits, including the retina, are shaped by a combination of excitatory and inhibitory signals. Inhibitory signals can act presynaptically on axon terminals to control neurotransmitter release and regulate circuit function. However, it has been difficult to study the role of presynaptic inhibition in most neural circuits due to lack of cell type-specific and receptor type-specific perturbations. In this study, we used a transgenic approach to selectively eliminate GABAA inhibitory receptors from select types of second-order neurons – bipolar cells – in mouse retina and examined how this affects the light response properties of the well-characterized ON alpha ganglion cell retinal circuit. Selective loss of GABAA receptor-mediated presynaptic inhibition causes an enhanced sensitivity and slower kinetics of light-evoked responses from ON alpha ganglion cells thus highlighting the role of presynaptic inhibition in gain control and temporal filtering of sensory signals in a key neural circuit in the mammalian retina.