Correlated spontaneous activity persists in adult retina and is suppressed by inhibitory inputs.
Spontaneous rhythmic activity is a hallmark feature of the developing retina, where propagating retinal waves instruct axonal targeting and synapse formation. Retinal waves cease around the time of eye-opening; however, the fate of the underlying synaptic circuitry is unknown. Whether retinal waves are unique to the developing retina or if they can be induced in adulthood is not known. Combining patch-clamp techniques with calcium imaging, we demonstrate that propagative events persist in adult mouse retina when it is deprived of inhibitory input. This activity originates in bipolar cells, resembling glutamatergic stage III retinal waves. We find that, as it develops, the network interactions progressively curtail this activity. Together, this provides evidence that the correlated propagative neuronal activity can be induced in adult retina following the blockade of inhibitory interactions.