Molecular Neurobiology

, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 321-329

First online:

Shedding Light on Class-Specific Wiring: Development of Intrinsically Photosensitive Retinal Ganglion Cell Circuitry

  • Michael A. FoxAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Virginia Commonwealth University Email author 
  • , William GuidoAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Virginia Commonwealth University

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Neural circuits associated with retinal ganglion cells have long been used as models for investigating the mechanisms that govern circuit development and function. Similar to neurons in the brain, retinal ganglion cells are subdivided into distinct classes based upon their morphology, physiology, and patterns of connectivity. Newly developed transgenic tools in which individual classes of retinal ganglion cells are labeled with reporter proteins have recently provided a method to study the development of their class-specific circuitry. Here, we examine a single class of intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells and discuss their class-specific circuitry, as well as the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern assembly of this circuitry.


Synaptic targeting Retina Synapse Axon guidance Melanopsin Olivary pretectal nucleus Suprachiasmatic nucleus Intergeniculate leaflet Ventral lateral geniculate nucleus