Ectopic synaptogenesis in the mammalian retina caused by rod photoreceptor-specific mutations

You Wei Peng, Ying Hao, Robert M. Petters, Fulton Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

118 Scopus citations


In addition to rod photoreceptor loss, many mutations in rod photoreceptor-specific genes cause degeneration of other neuronal types. Identifying mechanisms of cell-cell interactions initiated by rod-specific mutations and affecting other retinal cells is important for understanding the pathogenesis and progression of retinal degeneration. Here we show in animals with rod and cone degeneration due to mutations in the genes encoding rhodopsin and cGMP phosphodiesterase β-subunit (PDE-β) respectively, that rod bipolar cells received ectopic synapses from cones in the absence of rods. Thus, synaptic plasticity links certain rod-specific mutations to retina-wide structural alterations that involve different types of neurons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1121-1127
Number of pages7
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 22 2000


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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