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Christian Albrecht May, Winfried Neuhuber, Elke Lütjen-Drecoll; Immunohistochemical Classification and Functional Morphology of Human Choroidal Ganglion Cells. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2004;45(2):361-367. doi: 10.1167/iovs.03-0624.
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purpose. To characterize human choroidal ganglion cells (CGCs) further, regarding their immunohistochemical and ultrastructural appearance and their pre- and postsynaptic connections.
methods. Choroidal wholemounts and serial sections of human donor eyes were stained with antibodies against neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vesicular monoaminergic transporter (VMAT)-2, vesicular acetylcholine transporter (VAChT), neuropeptide Y (NPY), substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), calretinin, galanin, synaptophysin, and α-smooth muscle actin. Ultrathin sections of glutaraldehyde-fixed eyes were studied with an electron microscope.
results. All CGCs stained for nNOS, most for VIP, approximately 45% for calretinin, and only single neurons for NPY and galanin. Ultrastructurally, the CGCs showed an incomplete glial sheath and, in places, showed close contact to surrounding collagen fibrils. The CGCs were in close contact with numerous boutons staining for the different neuronal markers including synaptophysin, nNOS, VIP, NPY, TH, VMAT-2, VAChT, calretinin, and NPY.
conclusions. The data indicate a complex integrative function of CGCs. The immunohistochemical and ultrastructural characteristics also indicate that the CGCs may have mechanosensory properties. The complex synaptic information points to a specific regulative CGC function in parallel with ciliary muscle contraction (accommodation). Axons originating from CGCs mainly supply the choroidal vasculature, thus implicating the CGCs as vasodilative neurons, but single CGCs may also innervate other structures such as nonvascular choroidal smooth muscle cells.
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