Postembedding immunocytochemistry for GABA and glycine reveals the synaptic relationships of the dopaminergic amacrine cell of the cat retina

J Comp Neurol. 1991 Aug 8;310(2):267-84. doi: 10.1002/cne.903100210.


Postembedding electron microscope immunocytochemistry of glycine and GABA conjugated to colloidal gold has been applied to pre-embedded cat retina stained with the antibody against tyrosine hydroxylase (Toh+). Toh+ stained cells are the equivalent of A18 amacrine cells of Golgi descriptions (Kolb et al., '81). The dendrites of Toh+ cells synapse upon several different types of glycine-positive amacrine cell bodies. We suggest that these are the A8, A3/A4, and AII amacrine cell varieties by analogous immunocytochemical staining intensity, to glycine autoradiographic labeling intensity (Pourcho and Goebel, '85). The greatest number of synapses from Toh+ dendrites are directed at the least glycine-positive amacrine, which is the AII cell by all morphological criteria. A few glycine-positive profiles are also presynapatic to the Toh+ stained cell body itself. Toh+ profiles are also presynaptic to GABA-positive amacrine cell bodies. The commonest amacrine synapsed upon is very heavily labeled with GABA immunocytochemistry. We consider it to be the A17 amacrine cell, which is known to label strongly by [3H] muscimol autoradiography (Pourcho and Goebel, '83). The cell body of the Toh+ amacrine cell also receives many synapses, which appear to be GABA-positive, and Toh+ profiles running in stratum 1 of the inner plexiform layer (IPL) are both pre- and postsynaptic to GABA-positive amacrine cell profiles. In addition, the cell body and primary dendrites of the Toh+ cell receive input from a bipolar type and GABA- or glycine-negative profiles. GABA-positive profiles, belonging to the interplexiform cell (IPC), are synapsed upon by Toh+ profiles that run in the outer plexiform layer (OPL).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cats
  • Dopamine / metabolism
  • Dopamine / physiology*
  • Glycine / immunology
  • Glycine / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Muscimol
  • Plastic Embedding
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retina / enzymology
  • Staining and Labeling
  • Synapses / chemistry
  • Synapses / enzymology
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / analysis
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase / immunology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / immunology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Muscimol
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Tyrosine 3-Monooxygenase
  • Glycine
  • Dopamine