ABSTRACT: The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is a regulator of local translation through its mRNA targets in the neurons. Previous studies have demonstrated that FMRP may function in distinct ways during the development of different visual subcircuits. However, the localization of the FMRP in different types of retinal cells is unclear. In this work, the FMRP expression in rat retina was detected by Western blot and immunofluorescence double labeling. Results showed that the FMRP expression could be detected in rat retina and that the FMRP had a strong immunoreaction (IR) in the ganglion cell (GC) layer, inner nucleus layer (INL), and outer plexiform layer (OPL) of rat retina. In the outer retina, the bipolar cells (BCs) labeled by homeobox protein ChX10 (ChX10) and the horizontal cells (HCs) labeled by calbindin (CB) were FMRP-positive. In the inner retina, GABAergic amacrine cells (ACs) labeled by glutamate decarbonylase colocalized with the FMRP. The dopaminergic ACs (tyrosine hydroxylase marker) and cholinergic ACs (choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) marker) were co-labeled with the FMRP. In most GCs (labeled by Brn3a) and melanopsin-positive intrinsically photosensitive retinal GCs (ipRGCs) were also FMRP-positive. The FMRP expression was observed in the cellular retinal binding protein-positive Müller cells. These results suggest that the FMRP could be involved in the visual pathway transmission.
Project description:All superclasses of retinal neurons, including bipolar cells (BCs), amacrine cells (ACs) and ganglion cells (GCs), display gap junctional coupling. However, coupling varies extensively by class. Heterocellular AC coupling is common in many mammalian GC classes. Yet, the topology and functions of coupling networks remains largely undefined. GCs are the least frequent superclass in the inner plexiform layer and the gap junctions mediating GC-to-AC coupling (GC::AC) are sparsely arrayed amidst large cohorts of homocellular AC::AC, BC::BC, GC::GC and heterocellular AC::BC gap junctions. Here, we report quantitative coupling for identified GCs in retinal connectome 1 (RC1), a high resolution (2 nm) transmission electron microscopy-based volume of rabbit retina. These reveal that most GC gap junctions in RC1 are suboptical. GC classes lack direct cross-class homocellular coupling with other GCs, despite opportunities via direct membrane contact, while OFF alpha GCs and transient ON directionally selective (DS) GCs are strongly coupled to distinct AC cohorts. Integrated small molecule immunocytochemistry identifies these as GABAergic ACs (?+ ACs). Multi-hop synaptic queries of RC1 connectome further profile these coupled ?+ ACs. Notably, OFF alpha GCs couple to OFF ?+ ACs and transient ON DS GCs couple to ON ?+ ACs, including a large interstitial amacrine cell, revealing matched ON/OFF photic drive polarities within coupled networks. Furthermore, BC input to these ?+ ACs is tightly matched to the GCs with which they couple. Evaluation of the coupled versus inhibitory targets of the ?+ ACs reveals that in both ON and OFF coupled GC networks these ACs are presynaptic to GC classes that are different than the classes with which they couple. These heterocellular coupling patterns provide a potential mechanism for an excited GC to indirectly inhibit nearby GCs of different classes. Similarly, coupled ?+ ACs engaged in feedback networks can leverage the additional gain of BC synapses in shaping the signaling of downstream targets based on their own selective coupling with GCs. A consequence of coupling is intercellular fluxes of small molecules. GC::AC coupling involves primarily ?+ cells, likely resulting in GABA diffusion into GCs. Surveying GABA signatures in the GC layer across diverse species suggests the majority of vertebrate retinas engage in GC::?+ AC coupling.
Project description:The TRK-fused gene (TFG) was originally identified in chromosome translocation events, creating a pair of oncogenes in some cancers, and was recently demonstrated as the causal gene of hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy with proximal dominant involvement. Recently, we cloned an alternative splicing variant of Tfg from a cDNA library of the rat retina, tentatively naming it retinal Tfg (rTfg). Although the common form of Tfg is ubiquitously expressed in most rat tissues, rTfg expression is localized to the central nervous system. In this study, we produced an antibody against an rTFG-specific amino acid sequence and used it to examine the localization of rTFG-like protein in the rat retina by immunohistochemistry and Western blots. Western blot analysis showed that the antibody detected a single band of 24 kDa in the rat retina. When we examined rTFG recombinant protein, the antibody detected two bands of about 42 kDa and 24 kDa. The results suggest that the 24 kDa rTFG-like protein is a fragment of rTFG. In our immunohistochemical studies of the rat retina, rTFG-like immunoreactivity was observed in all calbindin D-28K-positive horizontal cells and in some syntaxin 1-positive amacrine cells (ACs). In addition, the rTFG-like immunopositive ACs were actually glycine transporter 1-positive glycinergic or glutamate decarboxylase-positive GABAergic ACs. Our findings indicate that this novel 24 kDa rTFG-like protein may play a specific role in retinal inhibitory interneurons.
Project description:Di- and trimethylation of lysine 27 on histone H3 (H3K27me2/3) is an important gene repression mechanism. H3K27me2/3-specific demethylase, Jmjd3, was expressed in the inner nuclear layer during late retinal development. In contrast, H3K27 methyltransferase, Ezh2, was highly expressed in the embryonic retina but its expression decreased rapidly after birth. Jmjd3 loss of function in the developing retina resulted in failed differentiation of PKC-positive bipolar cell subsets (rod-ON-BP) and reduced transcription factor Bhlhb4 expression, which is critical for the differentiation of rod-ON-BP cells. Overexpression of Bhlhb4, but not of other BP cell-related genes, such as transcription factors Neurod and Chx10, in Jmjd3-knockdown retina rescued loss of PKC-positive BP cells. Populations of other retinal cell subsets were not significantly affected. In addition, proliferation activity and apoptotic cell number during retinal development were not affected by the loss of Jmjd3. Levels of histone H3 trimethyl Lys27 (H3K27me3) in the Bhlhb4 locus were lower in Islet-1-positive BP cells and amacrine cells than in the Islet-1-negative cell fraction. The Islet-1-negative cell fraction consisted mainly of photoreceptors, suggestive of lineage-specific demethylation of H3K27me3 in the Bhlhb4 locus. We propose that lineage-specific H3K27me3 demethylation of critical gene loci by spatiotemporal-specific Jmjd3 expression is required for appropriate maturation of retinal cells.
Project description:In the Chx10-null ocular retardation (or(J)) mouse, retinal progenitor cell (RPC) proliferation is impaired, and bipolar neurons, a late born cell type, fail to differentiate. It is unclear whether Chx10 is required to maintain proliferation throughout retinogenesis or whether the bipolar cell defect is an indirect effect of growth arrest. We show that Chx10 is dispensable for late-stage RPC proliferation but is essential to promote bipolar cell genesis in place of rods. Ectopic Chx10 expression drove bipolar instead of rod cell differentiation without affecting division. Converting Chx10 to an activator impaired bipolar cell differentiation, implying that repression is important for Chx10 activity. In the Chx10 null or(J) retina, only a small fraction of cells expressing mutated Chx10 mRNA were rods, but this fraction increased after p27(Kip1) inactivation, which partially rescues proliferation. Most significantly, acute Chx10 knockdown in the postnatal retina promoted rods in place of bipolar neurons without affecting division. Thus, Chx10 directly controls bipolar cell genesis by inhibiting rod differentiation independent of its temporally limited early effect on RPC proliferation.
Project description:Purpose:Experimental access to specific cell subtypes is essential for deciphering the complexity of retinal networks. Here, we characterized the selective labeling, caused by ectopic transgene expression, of two atypical retinal neurons in the ChAT-Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2)-EYFP mouse. Methods:Retinal sections and flat-mounts were prepared for double-staining immunohistochemistry with antibodies against EYFP and various neuronal markers. Sagittal/coronal brain slices were made to visualize EYFP signals in central nuclei. Whole-cell recordings were conducted to test the functionality of ChR2. Results:Two populations of EYFP-positive retinal cells were observed. The inner nuclear layer (INL)-located one (type I cell) distributed regularly throughout the entire retina, whereas the ganglion cell layer (GCL)-residing one (type II cell) was restricted ventrally. None of them was cholinergic, as evidenced by the complete absence of ChAT immunoreactivity. Type I cells were immunolabeled by the amacrine marker syntaxin. However, the vast majority of them were neither positive to GABA/GAD65, nor to GlyT1/glycine, suggesting that they were non-GABAergic non-glycinergic amacrine cells (nGnG ACs), which was confirmed by double-labeling with the nGnG AC marker PPP1R17. Type II cells were immunopositive to melanopsin, but not to Brn3a or Brn3b. They possessed dendrites stratifying in the outermost inner plexiform layer (IPL) and axons projecting to the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) rather than the olivary pretectal nucleus (OPN), suggesting that they belonged to a Brn3b-negative subset of M1-type intrinsically photosensitive retinal ganglion cells (ipRGCs). Glutamatergic transmission-independent photocurrents were elicited in EYFP-positive cells, indicating the functional expression of ChR2. Conclusions:The ChAT-ChR2-EYFP retina exhibits ectopic, but functional, transgene expression in nGnG ACs and SCN-innervating M1 ipRGCs, thus providing an ideal tool to achieve efficient labeling and optogenetic manipulation of these cells.
Project description:Far from being a simple sensor, the retina actively participates in processing visual signals. One of the best understood aspects of this processing is the detection of motion direction. Direction-selective (DS) retinal circuits include several subtypes of ganglion cells (GCs) and inhibitory interneurons, such as starburst amacrine cells (SACs). Recent studies demonstrated a surprising complexity in the arrangement of synapses in the DS circuit, i.e. between SACs and DS ganglion cells. Thus, to fully understand retinal DS mechanisms, detailed knowledge of all synaptic elements involved, particularly the nature and localization of neurotransmitter receptors, is needed. Since inhibition from SACs onto DSGCs is crucial for generating retinal direction selectivity, we investigate here the nature of the GABA receptors mediating this interaction. We found that in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) of mouse and rabbit retina, GABA(A) receptor subunit ?2 (GABA(A)R ?2) aggregated in synaptic clusters along two bands overlapping the dendritic plexuses of both ON and OFF SACs. On distal dendrites of individually labeled SACs in rabbit, GABA(A)R ?2 was aligned with the majority of varicosities, the cell's output structures, and found postsynaptically on DSGC dendrites, both in the ON and OFF portion of the IPL. In GABA(A)R ?2 knock-out (KO) mice, light responses of retinal GCs recorded with two-photon calcium imaging revealed a significant impairment of DS responses compared to their wild-type littermates. We observed a dramatic drop in the proportion of cells exhibiting DS phenotype in both the ON and ON-OFF populations, which strongly supports our anatomical findings that ?2-containing GABA(A)Rs are critical for mediating retinal DS inhibition. Our study reveals for the first time, to the best of our knowledge, the precise functional localization of a specific receptor subunit in the retinal DS circuit.
Project description:Purkinje cell protein 2 (PCP2), a member of the family of guanine dissociation inhibitors and a strong interactor with the G-protein subunit G alpha(o), localizes to retinal ON bipolar cells. The retina-specific splice variant of PCP2, Ret-PCP2, accelerates the light response of rod bipolar cells by modulating the mGluR6 transduction cascade. All ON cone bipolar cells express mGluR6 and G alpha(o), but only a subset expresses Ret-PCP2. Here we test the hypothesis that Ret-PCP2 contributes to shaping the various temporal bandwidths of ON cone bipolar cells in monkey retina. We found that the retinal splice variants in monkey and mouse are similar and longer than the cerebellar variants. Ret-PCP2 is strongly expressed by diffuse cone bipolar type 4 cells (DB4; marked with anti-PKCalpha) and weakly expressed by midget bipolar dendrites (labeled by antibodies against G alpha(o), G gamma 13, or mGluR6). Ret-PCP2 is absent from diffuse cone bipolar type 6 (DB6; marked with anti-CD15) and blue cone bipolar cells (marked with anti-CCK precursor). Thus, cone bipolar cells that terminate in stratum 3 of the inner plexiform layer (DB4) express more Ret-PCP2 than those that terminate in strata 3 + 4 (midget bipolar cells), and these in turn express more than those that terminate in stratum 5 (DB6 and blue cone bipolar cells). This expression pattern approximates the arborization of ganglion cells (GC) with different temporal bandwidths: parasol GCs stratifying near stratum 3 are faster than midget GCs stratifying in strata 3 + 4, and these are probably faster than the sluggish GCs that arborize in stratum 5.
Project description:Mutations in ANT, a mitochondrial ATP transporter, are typically associated with myopathy. Because of the high metabolic demands of the retina, the authors examined whether elimination of the Ant1 isoform in a transgenic mouse affects retinal function or morphology.RT-PCR was used to confirm Ant1 expression in retinas of wild-type (WT) or Ant1(-/-) mice. Full-field ERGs were used to test retinal function under dark- and light-adapted conditions and the recovery of the photoresponse to a bright flash. Using histologic methods, the authors assessed the retinal location of ANT and ANT1-?-gal reporter protein, mitochondrial activity with cytochrome c oxidase (COX) and succinate dehydrogenase (SDH) staining, retinal layer thickness, and bipolar cell types using Chx10 and recoverin.Ant1(-/-) mice had supernormal ERG b-waves under both dark- and light-adapted conditions. X-Gal staining was detected in a subset of cells within the inner retina. The following characteristics were normal in Ant1(-/-) mice compared with age-matched WT mice: recovery of the photoresponse, COX and SDH activity, retinal morphology, and bipolar cell morphology.The presence of ANT1 in a subset of inner retinal cells accompanied by supernormal ERG responses suggests that ANT1 may be localized to hyperpolarizing bipolar cells. However, the immunohistochemical techniques used here did not show any differences in bipolar cells. Moderate functional changes coupled with a lack of detectable morphologic changes suggest that ANT1 is not essential for ATP transport in the retina.
Project description:Retinal bipolar cells are interneurons that transmit visual signals from photoreceptors to ganglion cells. Although the visual pathways mediated by bipolar cells have been well characterized, the genes that regulate their development and function are largely unknown. To determine the role in bipolar cell development of the homeobox gene Vsx1, whose retinal expression is restricted to a major subset of differentiating and mature cone bipolar (CB) cells, we targeted the gene in mice. Bipolar cell fate was not altered in the absence of Vsx1 function, because the pan-bipolar markers Chx10 and Ret-B1 continued to be expressed in inner nuclear layer neurons labeled by the Vsx1-targeting reporter gene, tauLacZ. The specification, number, and gross morphology of the subset of on-center and off-center (OFF)-CB cells defined by tauLacZ expression from the Vsx1 locus were also normal in Vsx1(tauLacZ)/Vsx1(tauLacZ) mice. However, the terminal differentiation of OFF-CB cells in the retina of Vsx1(tauLacZ)/Vsx1(tauLacZ) mice was incomplete, as demonstrated by a substantial reduction in the expression of at least four markers (recoverin, NK3R, Neto1, and CaB5) for these interneurons. These molecular abnormalities were associated with defects in retinal function and documented by electroretinography and in vitro ganglion cell recordings specific to cone visual signaling. In particular, there was a general reduction in the light-mediated activity of OFF, but not on-center, ganglion cells. Thus, Vsx1 is required for the late differentiation and function of OFF-CB cells and is associated with a heritable OFF visual pathway-specific retinal defect.
Project description:PURPOSE: To evaluate the protective effects of bortezomib (Velcade) on ischemia-reperfusion (IR) injury in the rat retina. METHODS: The rats were randomized to receive treatment with saline, low-dose bortezomib (0.05 mg/kg), or high-dose bortezomib (0.2 mg/kg) before the induction of IR injury. Electroretinography (ERG) was used to assess functional changes in the retina. The expression of inflammatory mediators (iNOS, ICAM-1, MCP-1, TNF-?), anti-oxidant proteins (heme oxygenase, thioredoxin, peroxiredoxin), and pro-apoptotic proteins (p53, bax) were quantified by PCR and western blot analysis. An immunofluorescence study was performed to detect the expression of iNOS, oxidative markers (nitrotyrosine, 8-OHdG, acrolein), NF-?B p65, and CD 68. Apoptosis of retinal cells was labeled with in situ TUNEL staining. Neu-N staining was performed in the flat-mounted retina to evaluate the density of retinal ganglion cells. RESULTS: ERG showed a decreased b-wave after IR injury, and pretreatment with bortezomib, especially the high dosage, reduced the functional impairment. Bortezomib successfully reduced the elevation of inflammatory mediators, anti-oxidant proteins, pro-apoptotic proteins and oxidative markers after IR insult in a dose-dependent manner. In a similar fashion, NF-?B p65- and CD 68-positive cells were decreased by bortezomib treatment. Retinal cell apoptosis in each layer was attenuated by bortezomib. The retinal ganglion cell density was markedly decreased in the saline and low-dose bortezomib groups but was not significantly changed in the high-dose bortezomib group. CONCLUSIONS: Bortezomib had a neuro-protective effect in retinal IR injury, possibly by inhibiting the activation of NF-?B related to IR insult and reducing the inflammatory signals and oxidative stress in the retina.