Robert G. Smith

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Photoreceptors connect to the on-beta ganglion cell through parallel circuits involving rod bipolar (RB) and cone bipolar (CB) neurons. We estimated for a small patch in the area centralis of one retina the 3-dimensional architecture of both circuits. This was accomplished by reconstructing neurons and synapses from electron micrographs of 189 serial(More)
In the retina, presynaptic inhibitory mechanisms that shape directionally selective (DS) responses in output ganglion cells are well established. However, the nature of inhibition-independent forms of directional selectivity remains poorly defined. Here, we describe a genetically specified set of ON-OFF DS ganglion cells (DSGCs) that code anterior motion.(More)
The factors contributing to selective motoneuron loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain undefined. To investigate whether calcium-binding proteins contribute to selective motoneuron vulnerability in ALS, we compared calbindin-D28K and parvalbumin immunoreactivity in motoneuron populations in human ALS, and in a ventral spinal cord hybrid cell(More)
Antibodies to Ca channels in ALS patients IgG can be demonstrated to enhance Ca current and cause cell injury and death in a motoneuron cell line in vitro. To determine whether these antibodies can alter neuronal calcium homeostasis in vivo IgG fractions from six ALS patients were injected intraperitoneally into mice, and neurons assayed by ultrastructural(More)
In guinea pig retina, immunostaining reveals a dual gradient of opsins: cones expressing opsin sensitive to medium wavelengths (M) predominate in the upper retina, whereas cones expressing opsin sensitive to shorter wavelengths (S) predominate in the lower retina. Whether these gradients correspond to functional gradients in postreceptoral neurons is(More)
The starburst amacrine cell (SBAC), found in all mammalian retinas, is thought to provide the directional inhibitory input recorded in On-Off direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs). While voltage recordings from the somas of SBACs have not shown robust direction selectivity (DS), the dendritic tips of these cells display direction-selective calcium(More)
BACKGROUND Markers of oxidative stress and immune activation are significantly elevated in postmortem ALS CNS tissue, although the relevance to pathogenesis is unclear. OBJECTIVE To determine the degree and distribution of oxidative stress and immune activation in living ALS patients and whether these levels correlate with the rate of progression or(More)
A dopaminergic neuroblastoma was derived using somatic cell fusion of rat embryonic mesencephalon cells and the murine neuroblastoma-glioma cell line N18TG2. The resulting interspecies hybrid, named MES23.5, has retained a stable phenotype and karyotype for a continuous culture period of 1 year. The hybrid exhibits several properties that suggest that the(More)
Mammalian rods respond to single photons with a hyperpolarization of about 1 mV which is accompanied by continuous noise. Since the mammalian rod bipolar cell collects signals from 20-100 rods, the noise from the converging rods would overwhelm the single-photon signal from one rod at scotopic intensities (starlight) if the bipolar cell summed signals(More)
Information in a spike train is limited by variability in the spike timing. This variability is caused by noise from several sources including synapses and membrane channels; but how deleterious each noise source is and how they affect spike train coding is unknown. Combining physiology and a multicompartment model, we studied the effect of synaptic input(More)