Amacrine cells are interneurons in the retina. Amacrine cells are responsible for 70% of input to retinal ganglion cells. Bipolar cells, which are responsible for the other 30% of input to retinal ganglia, are regulated by amacrine cells.
They are classified by the width of their field of connection, which layer(s) of the stratum in the IPL they are in, and by neurotransmitter type. Most are inhibitory using either GABA or glycine as neurotransmitters.
Relatively little is known of the functional roles of the Amacrine cells. Amacrine cells with extensive dendritic trees are thought to contribute to inhibitory surrounds by feedback at both the bipolar cell, and ganglion cell levels. In this role they are considered to supplement the action of the horizontal cells. Amacrine cells give much more input to M (Magnocellular) ganglion cells than to P (Parvocellular) ganglion cells.
Other forms of Amacrine cell are likely to play modulatory roles, allowing adjustment of sensitivity for photopic and scotopic vision. The AII Amacrine cell (also known as the Rod amacrine cell) is a mediator of signals from rod cells under scotopic conditions.