We studied the morphology of bipolar cells in fixed vertical tissue sections (slices) of the mouse retina by injecting the cells with Lucifer Yellow and Neurobiotin. Nine different cone bipolar cell types and one rod bipolar cell type were distinguished. The major criteria for classifying the cells were the branching pattern and stratification level of their axon terminals in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). To assess this, the IPL was subdivided into five strata of equal width. The slices were immunostained for calretinin, which labels three horizontal bands serving as a standard measure for the precise localization of the axon terminals. Immunostaining the retina with antibodies against the G-protein Ggamma13, a marker for ON-bipolar cells, made it possible to separate OFF- and ON-bipolar cells. At least two OFF-cone bipolar cells (Types 1 and 2) were immunolabeled with antibodies against the neurokinin 3 receptors (NK3R). A further OFF- and an ON-cone bipolar cell (Types 3 and 5) were immunostained with antibodies against the calcium-binding protein CaB5. The bipolar cell types described here were compared with previous schemes of rat and primate bipolar cells. Homologous types between the three species are discussed.
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.