Horizontal cells of the mouse retina contain glutamic acid decarboxylase-like immunoreactivity during early developmental stages

J Neurosci. 1984 Dec;4(12):2948-55. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.04-12-02948.1984.


We have used an antiserum to L-glutamic acid decarboxylase ((GAD), a synthesizing enzyme for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)) to localize putative GABAergic neurons in the developing C57BL/6J mouse retina. At early developmental stages (embryonic day 17 to postnatal day 3), strong GAD-like immunoreactivity is detectable in cell bodies located within the neuroblastic layer. These cells have relatively large cell bodies and extend several sturdy processes which are oriented radially at these early stages. We have identified these cells as horizontal cells. In addition, cell bodies adjacent to the inner plexiform layer and both diffuse and punctate structures within the inner plexiform layer proper have weak GAD-like immunoreactivity at this time. By postnatal day 6, GAD-positive horizontal cell processes begin to form a horizontal network in the newly formed outer plexiform layer. Immunolabeling of amacrine cell bodies and of punctate structures in the inner plexiform layer becomes much stronger at this time, reaching a maximum staining intensity during the second postnatal week. After postnatal day 12, GAD-like immunoreactivity of the horizontal cells begins to decline; in 4-week-old mice the horizontal cells are no longer detectably labeled by this GAD antiserum. At the same time, the GAD-like-immunoreactive material in the inner plexiform layer becomes stratified, forming distinct layers. Amacrine cells and the inner plexiform layer remain GAD positive into adulthood.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / analysis
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / immunology*
  • Immunochemistry
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / enzymology
  • Retina / growth & development*
  • Retina / immunology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / analysis


  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase