Dopamine D1 receptor expression is bipolar cell type-specific in the mouse retina

J Comp Neurol. 2016 Jul 1;524(10):2059-79. doi: 10.1002/cne.23932. Epub 2015 Dec 8.


In the retina, dopamine is a key molecule for daytime vision. Dopamine is released by retinal dopaminergic amacrine cells and transmits signaling either by conventional synaptic or by volume transmission. By means of volume transmission, dopamine modulates all layers of retinal neurons; however, it is not well understood how dopamine modulates visual signaling pathways in bipolar cells. Here we analyzed Drd1a-tdTomato BAC transgenic mice and found that the dopamine D1 receptor (D1R) is expressed in retinal bipolar cells in a type-dependent manner. Strong tdTomato fluorescence was detected in the inner nuclear layer and localized to type 1, 3b, and 4 OFF bipolar cells and type 5-2, XBC, 6, and 7 ON bipolar cells. In contrast, type 2, 3a, 5-1, 9, and rod bipolar cells did not express Drd1a-tdTomato. Other interneurons were also found to express tdTomato including horizontal cells and a subset (25%) of AII amacrine cells. Diverse visual processing pathways, such as color or motion-coded pathways, are thought to be initiated in retinal bipolar cells. Our results indicate that dopamine sculpts bipolar cell performance in a type-dependent manner to facilitate daytime vision. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2059-2079, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: BAC transgenic mice; RRID: AB_10013483; RRID: AB_10013783; RRID: AB_2079751; RRID: AB_2086774; RRID: AB_2094841; RRID: AB_2115181; RRID: AB_2158332; RRID: AB_2201528; RRID: AB_2248534; RRID: AB_2261205; RRID: AB_2313634; RRID: AB_2314280; RRID: AB_2314947; RRID: AB_397957; RRID: AB_628142; RRID: AB_94936; immunohistochemistry; in situ hybridization: RRID: AB_10000347.

MeSH terms

  • Amacrine Cells / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Biotin / analogs & derivatives
  • Biotin / metabolism
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • Hyperpolarization-Activated Cyclic Nucleotide-Gated Channels / metabolism
  • Luminescent Proteins / genetics
  • Luminescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism
  • Opsins / metabolism
  • Potassium Channels / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / genetics
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1 / metabolism*
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Retina / cytology*
  • Retinal Bipolar Cells / classification*
  • Retinal Bipolar Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Bipolar Cells / metabolism*
  • Synaptotagmin II / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Visual Pathways / physiology*


  • Drd1 protein, mouse
  • Hcn1 protein, mouse
  • Hyperpolarization-Activated Cyclic Nucleotide-Gated Channels
  • Luminescent Proteins
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Opsins
  • Potassium Channels
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Dopamine D1
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Synaptotagmin II
  • Syt2 protein, mouse
  • Transcription Factors
  • clomeleon
  • neurobiotin
  • Biotin
  • Choline O-Acetyltransferase