The mouse retina has become an important model in vision research, mainly because of the wide availability of transgenic animals. In order to study cell function and connectivity in the inner retina, antibodies that differentially stain one cell type, or a small number of cell types, are helpful as markers. Here we characterize the CD15 (3[alpha1-3]-fucosyl-N-acetyl-lactosamine)-positive cells in the mouse retina using immunofluorescence confocal microscopy and reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction. CD15 immunoreactivity was observed in two distinct types of amacrine cells and, faintly, in some cone bipolar cells. Type I CD15+ amacrine cells are GABAergic wide-field cells that stratify in lamina 3 and 4/5 of the inner plexiform layer. Type II CD15+ amacrine cells are also GABAergic and costratify with the dopaminergic tyrosine hydroxylase-positive cells in lamina 1 of the inner plexiform layer. The densities of types I and II CD15+ amacrine cells in mid-periphery were 258 cells/mm(2) and 274 cells/mm(2). Double labeling with several other markers for amacrine cell types showed that neither type belongs to another previously identified subpopulation of amacrine cells. Single-cell RT-PCR showed that CD15+ amacrine cells coexpress several AMPA receptors - GluR1, GluR2, and GluR4 being the most common combination.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.