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Distribution of GABA immunoreactivity in the cat retina: A light- and electron-microscopic study

  • Roberta G. Pourcho (a1) and Michael T. Owczarzak (a1)
  • DOI:
  • Published online: 01 June 2009

The distribution of GABA-like immunoreactivity in the cat retina was studied through the use of preembedding immunocytochemistry for light microscopy and by postembedding immunogold techniques for electron microscopy. Staining was observed in both inner and outer plexiform layers. Approximately 30% of the somata in the amacrine portion of the inner nuclear layer were immunoreactive and included amacrine and interplexiform cells. Horizontal cells and a subpopulation of cone bipolar cells were also stained. In the ganglion cell layer, staining was observed in both small- and medium-sized neurons. GABA-labeled amacrine cells were presynaptic to somata of amacrine cells and to dendrites of amacrine, bipolar, and ganglion cells. Bipolar cells were a major target, receiving more than 60% of all labeled synapses in the inner plexiform layer. Many of these contacts were reciprocal synapses. These findings support a major role for GABA-labeled amacrines in providing feedback inhibition to bipolar cells in the inner retina.

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Visual Neuroscience
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