December 2002
Volume 43, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2002
Novel Synaptic Sites of Action of mGluR8a in the Mammalian Retina
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • P Koulen
    Pharmacology & Neuroscience University of North Texas Health Science Center Fort Worth TX
  • JH Brandstatter
    Neuroanatomy Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research Frankfurt Germany
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   P. Koulen, None; J.H. Brandstatter, None. Grant Identification: UNTHSC Grant (PK), DFG Grant SFB269 (JHB)
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science December 2002, Vol.43, 1963. doi:
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      P Koulen, JH Brandstatter; Novel Synaptic Sites of Action of mGluR8a in the Mammalian Retina . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2002;43(13):1963.

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

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Abstract: : Purpose: The distribution of the most recently identified metabotropic glutamate receptor type 8a (mGluR8a) in the mammalian retina is unknown except for its function as a presynaptic autoreceptor in rod photoreceptors. This study analyzed the localization of mGluR8a in the adult rat, mouse, and rabbit retina, and during postnatal development of the rat retina. Methods: mGluR8a immunoreactivity was detected using immunocytochemistry, and light and electron microscopy. Results: mGluR8a expression was found in both synaptic layers and in extrasynaptic locations predominantly on the somata of ganglion, amacrine and horizontal cells. This distribution pattern is different from the localization patterns of the other members of group III mGluRs in the mammalian retina that are restricted to either the outer plexiform layer (OPL) or the inner plexiform layer (IPL). Analysis of the expression of mGluR8a at the ultrastructural level in rat retina showed that the receptor is localized pre- and postsynaptically in the OPL on cone and rod photoreceptor terminals and on processes of horizontal cells. In the IPL mGluR8a was found postsynaptically on processes of amacrine cells and on the dendrites of ganglion cells. During postnatal development, mGluR8a was expressed at synapses in parallel with synapse formation, but appeared earlier at extrasynaptic sites. Conclusion: These results suggest that mGluR8a is involved in synaptic processing in both plexiform layers and in both the scotopic and photopic pathways in the mammalian retina. We propose that depending on its localization, pre- versus postsynaptic, mGluR8a modulates the release of L-glutamate by photoreceptors and the responses of retinal neurons to inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmitters. Furthermore, mGluR8a might have regulatory functions during neuronal development of the mammalian retina.

Keywords: 554 retina • 559 retinal connections, networks, circuitry • 490 neurotransmitters/neurotransmitter systems 

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