Transgenic mice provide a new approach for studying the structure and function of the mammalian retina. In the past, the cellular organization of the mammalian retina was investigated preferentially in primates, cats, and rats but rarely in mice. In the current study, the authors applied 42 different immunocytochemical markers to sections of the mouse retina and studied their cellular and synaptic localization by using confocal microscopy. The markers applied were from three major groups: 1) antibodies against calcium-binding proteins, such as calbindin, parvalbumin, recoverin, or caldendrin; 2) antibodies that recognize specific transmitter systems, such as glycine, gamma-aminobutyric acid, or acetylcholine; and 3) antibodies that recognize transmitter receptors and show their aggregation at specific synapses. Only a few markers labeled only one cell type: Most antibodies recognized specific groups of neurons. These were analyzed in more detail in double-labeling experiments with different combinations of the antibodies. In light of their results, the authors offer a list of immunocytochemical markers that can be used to detect possible changes in the retinal organization of mutant mice.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.