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J Neurosci. 1988 Sep;8(9):3383-94.

Dopaminergic and indoleamine-accumulating amacrine cells express GABA-like immunoreactivity in the cat retina.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung, Frankfurt, West Germany.


Colocalization of indoleamine uptake and GABA-like immunoreactivity was studied in the cat retina. Consecutive, semithin sections were incubated in antisera to either 5-HT (5-hydroxytryptamine) or GABA. More than 90% of all 5-HT-accumulating amacrine cells expressed GABA-like antigens. With the same approach, the colocalization of 5-HT uptake and GABA-like immunoreactivity was studied in rabbit and 75-80% of the 5-HT-accumulating amacrine cells expressed GABA-like immunoreactivity, thus confirming a previous study (Osborne and Beaton, 1986). Since, in both cat and rabbit, endogenous 5-HT could not be found by immunocytochemistry, one must consider the possibility that some GABAergic amacrine cells take up indoleamines. In the cat retina, antibodies against tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) label dopaminergic amacrine cells (Oyster et al., 1985). By incubating consecutive, semithin sections in antisera to either TH or GABA, it was found that 84% of the dopaminergic amacrine cells also expressed GABA-like immunoreactivity. GABA-like immunoreactivity and 3H-muscimol uptake were found to be colocalized in more than 90% of the amacrine cells labeled. However, dopaminergic amacrine cells did not accumulate 3H-muscimol. Evidence is presented from colocalization studies for 2 types of interplexiform cell in the cat retina. One is stained by GABA-like immunocytochemistry and by 3H-muscimol uptake. The other is the dopaminergic amacrine cell, which also expresses GABA-like immunoreactivity, but does not accumulate 3H-muscimol.

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