Immunohistochemical identification and synaptic inputs to the diffuse bipolar cell type DB1 in macaque retina

J Comp Neurol. 2011 Dec 15;519(18):3640-56. doi: 10.1002/cne.22756.


Detailed analysis of the synaptic inputs to the primate DB1 bipolar cell has been precluded by the absence of a suitable immunohistochemical marker. Here we demonstrate that antibodies for the EF-hand calcium-binding protein, secretagogin, strongly label the DB1 bipolar cell as well as a mixed population of GABAergic amacrine cells in the macaque retina. Using secretagogin as a marker, we show that the DB1 bipolar makes synaptic contact with both L/M as well as S-cone photoreceptors and only minimal contact with rod photoreceptors. Electron microscopy showed that the DB1 bipolar makes flat contacts at both triad-associated and nontriad-associated positions on the cone pedicle. Double labeling with various glutamate receptor subunit antibodies failed to conclusively determine the subunit composition of the glutamate receptors on DB1 bipolar cells. In the IPL, DB1 bipolar cell axon terminals expressed the glycine receptor, GlyRα1, at sites of contact with AII amacrine cells, suggesting that these cells receive input from the rod pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amacrine Cells / metabolism*
  • Amacrine Cells / ultrastructure
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • Macaca fascicularis
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron / methods
  • Neural Pathways / metabolism*
  • Neural Pathways / ultrastructure
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / metabolism
  • Photoreceptor Cells, Vertebrate / ultrastructure
  • Presynaptic Terminals / metabolism
  • Presynaptic Terminals / ultrastructure
  • Receptors, Glutamate / metabolism
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • Retinal Bipolar Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Bipolar Cells / ultrastructure
  • Secretagogins
  • Synapses / metabolism*
  • Synapses / ultrastructure


  • Biomarkers
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins
  • Receptors, Glutamate
  • SCGN protein, human
  • Secretagogins