Horizontal cells of the normal and dystrophic rat retina: a wholemount study using immunolabelling for the 28-kDa calcium-binding protein

Exp Eye Res. 1993 Aug;57(2):141-8. doi: 10.1006/exer.1993.1109.


Immunocytochemistry with a monoclonal antibody against the 28-kDa calcium-binding protein (28-kDa CaBP) was used to study horizontal cells in both congenic control (RCS-rdy+) and dystrophic (RCS) 3-month-old rat retina. We found that horizontal cells in the RCS-rdy+ rat retinas were distributed evenly from the centre to the peripheral retina with a mean density of 783 cells mm-2. Cell size ranged between 6.5-12.5 microns in diameter with a mean of 8.87 microns. Individual cell processes could not be followed readily, however they formed a narrow plexus within the outer plexiform layer with the primary dendrites extending radially from each cell soma in an organized manner. In the RCS rat, by contrast, the horizontal cell processes were more disorganized than in the congenic controls. The degree of disorganization varied across the retina. In the posterior pole, where all outer layers had been lost, many processes were grossly swollen along their length and at the tips. The cell somas were also distributed more widely in the depth of the retina. In the peripheral retina, where a debris layer was still present, the processes were less swollen but they extended abnormally widely in depth. Despite the disorganized structure the mean and range of cell size (9.23 microns, 5.5-15.5 microns), and cell density (796 cells mm-2) were similar to that of the control RCS-rdy+ animals. These findings indicate that in dystrophic retinas beyond a certain stage of degeneration the horizontal cells become abnormal in their structure but are present at a normal density and the somas are not grossly swollen or shrunken.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Size
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / pathology*
  • Retinal Degeneration / pathology*
  • Time Factors


  • Calcium-Binding Proteins