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Giovanni Casini, Dennis W. Rickman, Nicholas C. Brecha; Expression of the γ-Aminobutyric Acid (GABA) Plasma Membrane Transporter-1 in Monkey and Human Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(4):1682-1690. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1117.
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purpose. To determine the expression pattern of the predominant γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) plasma membrane transporter GAT-1 in Old World monkey (Macaca mulatta) and human retina.
methods. GAT-1 was localized in retinal sections by using immunohistochemical techniques with fluorescence and confocal microscopy. Double-labeling studies were performed with the GAT-1 antibody using antibodies to GABA, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), and the bipolar cell marker Mab115A10.
results. The pattern of GAT-1 immunostaining was similar in human and monkey retinas. Numerous small immunoreactive somata were in the inner nuclear layer (INL) and were present rarely in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) of all retinal regions. Medium GAT-1 somata were in the ganglion cell layer in the parafoveal and peripheral retinal regions. GAT-1 fibers were densely distributed throughout the IPL. Varicose processes, originating from both the IPL and somata in the INL, arborized in the outer plexiform layer (OPL), forming a sparse network in all retinal regions, except the fovea. Sparsely occurring GAT-1 processes were in the nerve fiber layer in parafoveal regions and near the optic nerve head but not in the optic nerve. In the INL, 99% of the GAT-1 somata contained GABA, and 66% of the GABA immunoreactive somata expressed GAT-1. GAT-1 immunoreactivity was in all VIP-containing cells, but it was absent in TH-immunoreactive amacrine cells and in Mab115A10 immunoreactive bipolar cells.
conclusions. GAT-1 in primate retinas is expressed by amacrine and displaced amacrine cells. The predominant expression of GAT-1 in the inner retina is consistent with the idea that GABA transporters influence neurotransmission and thus participate in visual information processing in the retina.
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