In the mammalian retina, AII amacrine cells play a crucial role in scotopic vision. They transfer rod signals from rod bipolar cells to the cone circuit, and divide these signals into the ON and OFF pathways at the discrete synaptic layers. AII amacrine cells have been reported to generate tetrodotoxin (TTX)-sensitive repetitive spikes of small amplitude. To investigate the properties of the spikes, we performed whole-cell patch-clamping of AII amacrine cells in mouse retinal slices. The spike frequency increased in proportion to the concentration of glutamate puffer-applied to the arboreal dendrite and to the intensity of the depolarizing current injection. The spike activity was suppressed by L-2-amino-4-phosphonobutyric acid, a glutamate analogue that hyperpolarizes rod bipolar cells, puffer-applied to the outer plexiform layer. Therefore, it is most likely that the spike frequency generated by AII amacrine cells is dependent on the excitatory glutamatergic input from rod bipolar cells. Gap junction blockers reduced the range of intensity of input with which spike frequency varies. Application of TTX to the soma and the proximal dendrite of AII amacrine cells blocked the voltage-gated Na+ current significantly more than application to the arboreal dendrite, indicating that the Na+ channels are mainly localized in these regions. Our results suggest that the intensity of the glutamatergic input from rod bipolar cells is coded by the spike frequency at the soma and the proximal dendrite of AII amacrine cells, raising the possibility that the spikes could contribute to the OFF pathway to enhance release of neurotransmitter.