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Tatiana Gründer, Konrad Kohler, Elke Guenther; Distribution and Developmental Regulation of AMPA Receptor Subunit Proteins in Rat Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2000;41(11):3600-3606.
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purpose. To learn more about a possible functional role ofα
-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxasole-propionate (AMPA) receptors in
retinal development, the spatial distribution and temporal regulation
of all AMPA receptor subunit proteins was studied in rats.
methods. Immunohistochemistry was performed on retinal sections between
embryonic days (E)20 and E21 and the adult stage by using specific
antibodies against AMPA subunits GluR1 to 4.
results. All AMPA subunits were expressed in the ganglion cell layer from E21
on. In the inner plexiform layer (IPL), discernible bands of labeling
appeared at distinct retinal ages for the different subunits. GluR1
immunoreactivity (IR) was concentrated in two broad bands by postnatal
day (P)3, whereas three bands were visible beginning on P9. Two bands
were located in a region of the IPL where off-cells terminate, and one
band was found in the innermost part of the IPL where on-cells
terminate. In contrast, two bands of GluR2/3- and GluR4-IR in the IPL
were only discernible beginning on P14 and seemed to be located between
the bands of GluR1-IR. GluR2/3 and GluR4 were observed both in
horizontal cells and in the outer plexiform layer from early
developmental stages on. GluR1 was not found in the outer retina,
indicating that horizontal and bipolar cell processes in the rat
express AMPA receptors composed of subunits GluR2 to 4. Double-labeling
experiments with cell-specific markers revealed the expression of
subunits GluR1 to 4 in cholinergic and AII amacrine cells.
conclusions. AMPA receptors are expressed before synapse formation, indicating a
role not only in fast signal transmission but also in the establishment
of inner retinal circuits. The differences in spatial and temporal
subunit expression suggest that different retinal cell types
selectively express distinct types of AMPA receptors during development
of the rat retina.
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