June 2015
Volume 56, Issue 7
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2015
Subcellular Localization of the Sigma-1 Receptor in Retinal Neurons — an Electron Microscopy Study
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Lianwang Guo
    Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • Timur A Mavlyutov
    Surgery, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • Miles Epstein
    Neuroscience, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Lianwang Guo, None; Timur Mavlyutov, None; Miles Epstein, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2015, Vol.56, 1492. doi:
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      Lianwang Guo, Timur A Mavlyutov, Miles Epstein; Subcellular Localization of the Sigma-1 Receptor in Retinal Neurons — an Electron Microscopy Study. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):1492.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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The Sigma-1 receptor (S1R) is known to play a protective role in the central nervous system including the retina. A major barrier for understanding the underlying mechanism is an ambiguity of S1R subcellular localizations.


We thus conducted the first electron microscopy (EM) study of S1R subcellular distribution in the mouse retina.


Immuno-EM imaging showed previously under-appreciated S1R presence in photoreceptor cells. Unlike in other cell types in previous reports, in photoreceptor cells S1R was found in the nuclear envelope but not localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), raising a possibility of S1R-mediated modulatory mechanisms different than conventionally thought. While in bipolar cells S1R was detected only in the nuclear envelope, in ganglion cells S1R was identified predominantly in the nuclear envelope and found in the ER as well. A predominant localization of S1R in the nuclear envelope in all three retinal neurons implicates a potential role of S1R in modulating nuclear activities. Moreover, its absence in the plasma membrane and presence in the subsurface ER cisternae that are juxtaposed to the plasma membrane in ganglion cells may lend mechanistic insights generally important for frequently reported S1R modulations of ion channels in neurons.


In sum, we are the first to determine precise subcellular localizations of the S1R in the retinal neurons using EM. Our findings provide mechanistic implications with general significance for better understanding of the S1R-mediated regulations in neurons.  


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