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Brain Res. 2011 Sep 15;1412:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2011.07.033. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Distribution of voltage gated calcium channel β subunits in the mouse retina.

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  • 1Louis Stokes Cleveland Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA. sherry.ball@case.edu


Voltage gated calcium channels (VGCCs) are essential to neuronal excitation and signal transduction. They are multimeric in structure and comprised of an alpha subunit that functions as a calcium pore and two additional subunits: an alpha2delta subunit and a cytoplasmic beta subunit. To better understand the role of VGCCs in the retina we used immunohistochemical methods to determine the distribution of VGCC β subunits in normal and mutant mice. To verify the specificity of each antibody and to examine the potential for subunit redistribution when beta subunit expression is perturbed, we used 4 mutant mouse lines that each lack a specific β subunit isoform (β(1)-β(4)). We found the β(1) subunit distributed on cell bodies in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and on processes within both the inner and outer limiting membrane; the β(2) subunit localized to the outer plexiform layer (OPL) and inner plexiform layer (IPL); the β(3) subunit was localized to three narrow and distinct bands within the IPL; the β(4) subunit was localized to three diffuse bands within the IPL. Loss of one β subunit affected labeling intensity but not general distribution patterns of other β subunits. It is likely that VGCCs critical for retinal signal transmission are comprised of the β(2) subunit in the OPL and any of the 4 β subunits in the IPL. Our results suggest that within the OPL the α(1F) subunit pairs predominantly with the β(2) subunit while within the IPL it may pair with either any β subunit.

Published by Elsevier B.V.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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