Calcium-binding protein Caldendrin and CaMKII are localized in spinules of the carp retina

J Comp Neurol. 2004 Nov 1;479(1):84-93. doi: 10.1002/cne.20314.


Calcium-binding proteins translate the influx of Ca(2+) at excitatory synapses into spatiotemporal signals that regulate a variety of processes underlying synaptic plasticity. In the fish retina, the synaptic connectivity between photoreceptors and horizontal cells undergoes a remarkable plasticity, triggered by the ambient light conditions. With increasing light, the synaptic dendrites of horizontal cells form numerous spinules that are dissolved during dark adaptation. The dynamic regulation of this process is calcium-dependent and involves the Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), but astonishingly its principal regulator Calmodulin (CaM) could not be localized to spinules. Here, we show that antibodies directed against Caldendrin (CaBP1), a member of the EF-hand calcium-binding protein family, strongly label the terminal dendrites of horizontal cells invaginating cone pedicles. Double-labeling experiments revealed that this label is closely associated with label for CaMKII. This association was confirmed at the ultrastructural level. Caldendrin immunoreactivity and CaMKII immunoreactivity are both present in horizontal cell dendrites flanking the synaptic ribbon within the cone pedicle and in particular in spinules formed by these terminals. Comparison of light- and dark-adapted retinas revealed a shift of the membrane-associated label for Caldendrin from the terminal dendrites into the spinules during light adaptation. These results suggest that Caldendrin is involved in the dynamic regulation of spinules and confirms the assumed potential of Caldendrin as a neural calcium sensor for synaptic plasticity.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Carps / physiology*
  • Dendritic Spines / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinase Type 2
  • Calcium-Calmodulin-Dependent Protein Kinases
  • Ca2+-binding protein-1