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Brain Struct Funct. 2016 Jul;221(6):2963-84. doi: 10.1007/s00429-015-1082-z. Epub 2015 Jul 15.

Characterization of connexin36 gap junctions in the human outer retina.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, 1094, Hungary.
2
Department of Theory, Wigner Research Center for Physics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, 1121, Hungary.
3
Semmelweis University School of Ph.D. Studies, Budapest, 1085, Hungary.
4
Department of Ophthalmology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, 1085, Hungary.
5
Department of Human Morphology and Developmental Biology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, 1094, Hungary.
6
Life Imaging Center, Center for Biological Systems Analysis, Albert-Ludwigs University, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
7
BIOSS Centre for Biological Signalling Studies, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, 79104, Freiburg, Germany.
8
Department of Biophysics, University of Pécs, Pécs, 7624, Hungary.
9
János Szentágothai Research Center, University of Pécs, Ifjúság str. 6, 7624, Pécs, Hungary.
10
János Szentágothai Research Center, University of Pécs, Ifjúság str. 6, 7624, Pécs, Hungary. volgyi01@gamma.ttk.pte.hu.
11
MTA-PTE NAP B Retinal Electrical Synapses Research Group, Pécs, 7624, Hungary. volgyi01@gamma.ttk.pte.hu.
12
Department of Experimental Zoology and Neurobiology, University of Pécs, Pécs, 7624, Hungary. volgyi01@gamma.ttk.pte.hu.
13
Department of Ophthalmology, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY, 10016, USA. volgyi01@gamma.ttk.pte.hu.

Abstract

Retinal connexins (Cx) form gap junctions (GJ) in key circuits that transmit average or synchronize signals. Expression of Cx36, -45, -50 and -57 have been described in many species but there is still a disconcerting paucity of information regarding the Cx makeup of human retinal GJs. We used well-preserved human postmortem samples to characterize Cx36 GJ constituent circuits of the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Based on their location, morphometric characteristics and co-localizations with outer retinal neuronal markers, we distinguished four populations of Cx36 plaques in the human OPL. Three of these were comprised of loosely scattered Cx36 plaques; the distalmost population 1 formed cone-to-rod GJs, population 2 in the mid-OPL formed cone-to-cone GJs, whereas the proximalmost population 4 likely connected bipolar cell dendrites. The fourth population (population 3) of Cx36 plaques conglomerated beneath cone pedicles and connected dendritic tips of bipolar cells that shared a common presynaptic cone. Overall, we show that the human outer retina displays a diverse cohort of Cx36 GJ that follows the general mammalian scheme and display a great functional diversity.

KEYWORDS:

Bipolar cell; Cone; Electrical synapse; Gap junction; Photoreceptor; Rod

PMID:
26173976
DOI:
10.1007/s00429-015-1082-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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