Localizations of the kainate-selective glutamate receptor subunits GluR5, 6, and 7 were studied in the cat retina by light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. GluR5 immunoreactivity was observed in the cell bodies and dendrites of numerous cone bipolar cells and ganglion cells. The labeled cone bipolar cells make basal or flat contacts with cone pedicles in the outer plexiform layer, leading to their identification as OFF-center bipolar cells. Reaction product within the inner plexiform layer was observed in processes of ganglion cells at their sites of input from cone bipolar cells. Staining for GluR6 was localized to A- and B-type horizontal cells, numerous amacrine cells, and an occasional cone bipolar cell. The larger ganglion cells were also immunoreactive. As with other GluR molecules, labeling was usually confined to one of the two postsynaptic elements at a cone bipolar dyad contact. Immunoreactivity for GluR7 was very limited and was seen only in a few amacrine and displaced amacrine cells. Findings of this study are consistent with a major role for kainate receptors in mediating OFF pathways in the outer retina with participation in both OFF and ON pathways in the inner retina.