Single-cell injection after immunocytochemistry is a reliable technique for classifying neurons by their morphological structure and their expression of a particular protein. The aim of the present study was to classify the morphological types of calbindin D28k-immunoreactive retinal ganglion cells in the mouse using single-cell injection after immunocytochemistry, to estimate the density of calbindin D28k-immunoreactive retinal ganglion cells in the mouse retina. Calbindin D28k is an important calcium-binding protein that is widely expressed in the central nervous system. Calbindin D28k-immunoreactive retinal ganglion cells were identified by immunocytochemistry and then iontophoretically injected with the lipophilic dye, DiI. Subsequently, the injected cells were imaged by confocal microscopy to classify calbindin D28k-immunoreactive retinal ganglion cells based on their dendritic ramification depth within the inner plexiform layer, field size, and morphology. The cells were heterogeneous in morphology: monostratified or bistratified, with small to large dendritic field size and sparse to dense dendritic arbors. At least 10 different morphological types (CB1-CB10) of calbindin D28k-immunoreactive retinal ganglion cells were found in the mouse retina. The density of each cell type was quite variable (1.98-23.76%). The density of calbindin D28k-immunoreactive cells in the ganglion cell layer of the mouse retina was 562 cells/mm(2), 8.18% of calbindin D28k-immunoreactive cells were axon-less displaced amacrine cells, 91.82% were retinal ganglion cells, and approximately 18.17% of mouse retinal ganglion cells expressed calbindin D28k. The selective expression of calbindin D28k in cells with different morphologies may provide important data for further physiological studies of the mouse retina.
Keywords: Calbindin D28k; Density; Immunocytochemistry; Single-cell injection; Types.
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