Antibodies against neurofilament subunits label retinal ganglion cells but not displaced amacrine cells of hamsters

Life Sci. 1999;64(19):1773-8. doi: 10.1016/s0024-3205(99)00115-0.


Although neurofilament (NF) antibodies have been used to visualize ganglion cells and their axons in the retina, it is not known, however, how many ganglion cells contain NF, and how the various NF subunits are distributed in the ganglion cells. Moreover, it is not known whether displaced amacrine cells in the ganglion cell layer are also labelled. In order to see whether NF antibodies can be used as a specific marker for ganglion cells, antibodies raised against the low (NF-L), middle (NF-M) and high (NF-H) molecular weight subunits of NF were employed to stain retinal whole-mounts of adult hamsters after pre-labelling the ganglion cells with Granular Blue. It was found that NF-L and NF-H antibodies labelled 38,777 and 17,750 cells in the ganglion cell layer respectively. By co-localization with GB-labelled cells, 88% of NF-L positive cells and 91% of NF-H positive cells were found to be ganglion cells. In contrast, the NF-M antibody labelled only very few ganglion cells (418 per retina) although robust staining of axonal bundles was observed. Thus, NF antibodies may prove useful in studying this population of ganglion cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibodies / immunology
  • Cricetinae
  • Mesocricetus
  • Neurofilament Proteins / analysis*
  • Neurofilament Proteins / immunology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / ultrastructure*


  • Antibodies
  • Neurofilament Proteins