Cell Rep. 2023 Nov 16;42(11):113440. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.113440. Online ahead of print.
Retinal ribbon synapses undergo functional changes after eye opening that remain uncharacterized. Using light-flash stimulation and paired patch-clamp recordings, we examined the maturation of the ribbon synapse between rod bipolar cells (RBCs) and AII-amacrine cells (AII-ACs) after eye opening (postnatal day 14) in the mouse retina at near physiological temperatures. We find that light-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) in AII-ACs exhibit a slow sustained component that increases in magnitude with advancing age, whereas a fast transient component remains unchanged. Similarly, paired recordings reveal a dual-component EPSC with a slower sustained component that increases during development, even though the miniature EPSC (mEPSC) amplitude and kinetics do not change significantly. We thus propose that the readily releasable pool of vesicles from RBCs increases after eye opening, and we estimate that a short light flash can evoke the release of ∼4,000 vesicles onto a single mature AII-AC.