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J Comp Neurol. 2004 Jan 19;468(4):496-508.

Expression of axonin-1 in developing amacrine cells in the chick retina.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Anatomy, University of Fribourg, CH-1700 Fribourg, Switzerland.


This study focused on the temporal and spatial pattern of expression of the cell adhesion molecule axonin-1 in amacrine cells and the identification of these cells in the developing chick retina. We analyzed 5-20-day-old chick embryos. The antigen was localized and visualized by the indirect immunogold and the immunofluorescence technique. Colocalization studies with antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase, acetylcholinesterase, choline acetyltransferase, parvalbumin, calbindin, and calretinin served to characterize these cells further and to explore whether they have other properties in common. Axonin-1 was expressed in amacrine cells from E8 onward in the inner nuclear, in the inner plexiform, and in the ganglion cell layer. Their maturation showed a gradient similar to that found for amacrinogenesis. Expression was closely correlated with the period when the cells develop and shape their processes. The interneurons were classified with reference to Cajal, and most of the morphological types described by him were found. In addition, some cells were considered as axon-bearing amacrine cells. However, the total number of labeled cells was rather small. At least two morphologically different types terminated in each of the inner plexiform sublayers. Narrow- and wide-field arbors indicated the existence of a diversified network. The colocalization studies revealed that the neurotransmitters and neuropeptides overlapped partially with axonin-1 expression. This indicated that axonin-1-immunoreactive amacrine cells were also functionally diverse.

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