An eyecup slice preparation for intracellular recording in vertebrate retinas

Dwight A. Burkhardt, Jon Gottesman, Wallace B. Thoreson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This report describes a new preparation for intracellular recording from the vertebrate retina, the eyecup slice preparation. It consists of a small (2 × 5 mm) strip cut from the posterior wall of the eye and thereby keeps the sclera, pigment epithelium and neural retina in place. Initial results are presented here for two vertebrates: the turtle, Pseudemys scripta elegans, and the toad, Bufo marinus. With conventional microscopy, the histological layers of the retina can be resolved, as well as individual photoreceptors, to provide landmarks for intracellular recording. When superfused, the eyecup slice remains in good condition for many hours and yields intracellular recordings of good quality and stability. Recordings of the light-evoked responses of cones and horizontal cells show that the slice is large enough to preserve the characteristic spatial interactions mediated by the laterally coursing neural networks of the distal retina. Recordings from rods show that full dark adaptation is achieved. Thus, photochemical dark adaptation as well as other normal cellular interactions between the neural retina and pigment epithelium can be preserved in this preparation, in contrast to isolated retinal slice preparations. The eyecup slice preparation might be particularly useful for work on mammalian retinas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1989
Externally publishedYes


  • Cone
  • Eyecup slice
  • Horizontal cell
  • Isolated retina
  • Photoreceptor
  • Retina
  • Rod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'An eyecup slice preparation for intracellular recording in vertebrate retinas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this