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Researchers Discover New Type of Nerve Cell in the Retina

The newly identified Campana cell could play a role in visual signal processing.
October 28, 2021
Green fluorescent neuronal cell passing through several layers of retina.

An image of an isolated Campana cell (green) in the mouse retina. The cell spans several layers of the retina from the photoreceptor to the retinal ganglion cells. Image credit: University of Utah Health

Scientists at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah have discovered a new type of nerve cell, or neuron, in the retina.

In the central nervous system a complex circuitry of neurons communicate with each other to relay sensory and motor information; so-called interneurons serve as intermediaries in the chain of communication. Publishing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, a research team led by Ning Tian, PhD, identifies a previously unknown type of interneuron in the mammalian retina.

The discovery marks a notable development for the field as scientists work toward a better understanding of the central nervous system by identifying all classes of neurons and their connections.