Imaging light responses of targeted neuron populations in the rodent retina

Bart G. Borghuis, Lin Tian, Ying Xu, Sergei S. Nikonov, Noga Vardi, Boris V. Zemelman, Loren L. Looger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Decoding the wiring diagram of the retina requires simultaneous observation of activity in identified neuron populations. Available recording methods are limited in their scope: electrodes can access only a small fraction of neurons at once, whereas synthetic fluorescent indicator dyes label tissue indiscriminately. Here, we describe a method for studying retinal circuitry at cellular and subcellular levels combining two-photon microscopy and a genetically encoded calcium indicator. Using specific viral and promoter constructs to drive expression of GCaMP3, we labeled all five major neuron classes in the adult mouse retina. Stimulus-evoked GCaMP3 responses as imaged by two-photon microscopy permitted functional cell type annotation. Fluorescence responses were similar to those measured with the small molecule dye OGB-1. Fluorescence intensity correlated linearly with spike rates >10 spikes/s, and a significant change in fluorescence always reflected a significant change in spike firing rate. GCaMP3 expression had no apparent effect on neuronal function. Imaging at subcellular resolution showed compartment-specific calcium dynamics in multiple identified cell types.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2855-2867
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 23 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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