AII amacrine cells in the mammalian retina show disabled-1 immunoreactivity

J Comp Neurol. 2004 Mar 15;470(4):372-81. doi: 10.1002/cne.20010.


Disabled 1 (Dab1) is an adapter molecule in a signaling pathway, stimulated by Reelin, which controls cell positioning in the developing brain. It has been localized to AII amacrine cells in the mouse and guinea pig retinas. This study was conducted to identify whether Dab1 is commonly localized to AII amacrine cells in the retinas of other mammals. We investigated Dab1-labeled cells in human, rat, rabbit, and cat retinas in detail by immunocytochemistry with antisera against Dab1. Dab1 immunoreactivity was found in certain populations of amacrine cells, with lobular appendages in the outer half of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) and a bushy, smooth dendritic tree in the inner half of the IPL. Double-labeling experiments demonstrated that all Dab1-immunoreactive amacrine cells were immunoreactive to antisera against calretinin or parvalbumin (i.e., other markers for AII amacrine cells in the mammalian retina) and that they made contacts with the axon terminals of the rod bipolar cells in the IPL close to the ganglion cell layer. Furthermore, all Dab1-labeled amacrine cells showed glycine transporter-1 immunoreactivity, indicating that they are glycinergic. The peak density was relatively high in the human and rat retinas, moderate in the cat retina, and low in the rabbit retina. Together, these morphological and histochemical observations clearly indicate that Dab1 is commonly localized to AII amacrine cells and that antiserum against Dab1 is a reliable and specific marker for AII amacrine cells of diverse mammals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amacrine Cells / chemistry*
  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Cell Count / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / analysis*
  • Rabbits
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Species Specificity


  • Dab1 protein, mouse
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins