SEP 07, 2016 9:25 AM PDT

GluMI Cells are Newly Described Part of Retinal Circuits

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Scientists have found a new type of cell in the mouse retina, Glutamatergic Monopolar Interneurons (GluMI). They share similarities but have other features that are different from neighboring cell types. They are monopolar, meaning they have a single arm extending from their cell body, but are not inhibitory like other monopolar cells nearby.

Instead, they have an excitatory influence; they seem to increase the activity of local cells that might be aiding vision. The research team, led by Luca Della Santina of the University of Washington in Seattle, determined that GluMI cells apparently don't function to detect light, but they are responsive to it. These researchers highlighted in their work that although this area of the organism has been thoroughly studied, this cell type is a novel part of retinal circuitry.
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