Calretinin in the cat retina: colocalizations with other calcium-binding proteins, GABA and glycine

Vis Neurosci. Mar-Apr 1997;14(2):311-22. doi: 10.1017/s0952523800011445.


Immunocytochemical techniques were used to determine the distribution of the calcium-binding protein calretinin in the cat retina. Comparisons were made with parvalbumin and calbindin as well as with the inhibitory neurotransmitters GABA and glycine. Calretinin immunoreactivity was seen in horizontal cells and multiple subpopulations of amacrine and ganglion cells. Cone outer segments were also stained. Calbindin immunoreactivity was present in cone photoreceptors, horizontal cells, at least two subtypes of cone bipolar cell, numerous amacrine cells, and cells residing in the ganglion cell layer. Heavy staining for parvalbumin was found in both A- and B-type horizontal cells, distinct subpopulations of amacrine and ganglion cells, and a small population of cone photoreceptor cells. To confirm the identity of cone photoreceptors, comparisons were made with retinas stained for opsins specific for red/green or blue cones (Szél et al., 1986). The localization of parvalbumin corresponded with that of blue-type cones only whereas calretinin and calbindin staining showed the same distribution as both red/green and blue cones. Double-label immunofluorescence studies revealed colocalization of all three of the calcium-binding proteins in a number of neurons including horizontal cells and AII amacrine cells. To assess a possible transmitter-specific relationship for calretinin, double-label studies were carried out with GABA and glycine. However, the staining patterns for each of these inhibitory amino acids differed substantially from that of calretinin. The possibility remains that calretinin and other calcium-binding proteins may play a role in neurotransmission through interactions with receptors or second-messenger agents.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Cats
  • Eye Proteins / immunology
  • Eye Proteins / metabolism*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Glycine / immunology
  • Glycine / metabolism*
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Parvalbumins / immunology
  • Parvalbumins / metabolism
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / metabolism*
  • Rod Opsins / metabolism
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / immunology
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G / metabolism*
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / immunology
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid / metabolism*


  • Calbindin 2
  • Calbindins
  • Eye Proteins
  • Parvalbumins
  • Rod Opsins
  • S100 Calcium Binding Protein G
  • gamma-Aminobutyric Acid
  • Glycine