We prepared antibodies selective for the C-terminus of the human mGluR6 receptor and used confocal and electron microscopy to study the patterns of immunostaining in retina of monkey, cat, and rabbit. In all three species punctate stain was restricted to the outer plexiform layer. In monkey, stain was always observed in the central element of the postsynaptic "triad" of rod and cone terminals. In monkey peripheral retina, stain was seen only in central elements, but in the fovea, stain was also observed in some dendrites contacting the base of the cone terminal. S-cone terminals, identified by staining for S opsin, showed staining of postsynaptic dendrites. These were identified as dendrites of the ON S-cone bipolar cell by immunostaining for the marker cholecystokinin precursor. The staining pattern suggests that all types of ON bipolar cells, despite their marked differences in function, express a single isoform of mGluR6. Ultrastructurally, mGluR6 was located not on the tip of the central element, near the site of vesicle release, but on its base at the mouth of the invagination, 400-800 nm from the release site. Thus, the mGluR6 receptors of ON bipolar cells lie at about the same distance from sites of vesicle release as the iGluR receptors of OFF bipolar cells at the basal contacts.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.