Physiology of photoreceptor synapses and other ribbon synapses

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Synaptic release from a number of different sensory neurons in the eye, ear and other organs involves proteinaceous structures known as ribbons. This review focuses primarily on ribbon synapses in rod and cone photoreceptor cells of the vertebrate retina, with comparisons to retinal bipolar cells and hair cells of the cochlea and vestibular apparatus. We consider the following topics: ribbon structure, functional roles of the ribbon, participation of synaptic vesicle pools in release, differences between conventional and ribbon synapses in their synaptic proteins, properties of L-type calcium channels mediating release at ribbon synapses, regulation of intracellular calcium in photoreceptor terminals, physiology of release from photoreceptor and bipolar cells, and disease-related mutations of presynaptic proteins in photoreceptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Curated Reference Collection in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Psychology
PublisherElsevier Science Ltd.
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9780128093245
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Bipolar cell
  • Calcium
  • Cone
  • L-type calcium channel
  • Photoreceptor
  • Retina
  • Ribbon synapse
  • Ribeye
  • Rod

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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