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J Comp Neurol. 1993 Sep 22;335(4):523-37.

Immunocytochemical localization of glycine receptors in the mammalian retina.

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Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


The distribution of glycinergic synapses in the mammalian retina was studied with monoclonal antibodies against glycine receptors and a glycine receptor-related protein (gephyrin). Monoclonal antibody 2b is specific for the alpha 1 subunit of the glycine receptor; monoclonal antibody 4a is specific for all known alpha subunits and the beta subunit, and monoclonal antibody 7a is specific for gephyrin. The three antibodies were applied to the retina of cat, macaque monkey, rat, and rabbit. The general staining pattern is comparable in all these species and it is similar but distinct with all of the three antibodies. Labeling is characterized by a punctate appearance indicating that it occurs at synapses. In the inner plexiform layer, labeling is concentrated in two bands. One band is located close to the inner nuclear layer; the other band is located in the middle of the inner plexiform layer. In the outer plexiform layer, sparse punctate labeling is seen. The distribution of gephyrin was also studied at the ultrastructural level in cat and monkey retina. Gephyrin is present on the postsynaptic membrane of amacrine cells and ganglion cells. The presynaptic profile to gephyrin immunoreactivity is always of an amacrine cell. The AII amacrine cell, the crucial glycinergic interneuron of the rod pathway, is presynaptic to gephyrin immunoreactivity in the OFF-sublamina and is itself gephyrin-positive at an input synapse from another (possibly GABAergic) amacrine cell in the ON-sublamina.

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