We have produced and characterized a monoclonal antibody, MH1, which selectively labels rod horizontal cells and Miiller cells in the goldfish retina. Biochemical and tissue distribution studies indicate that MH1 may recognize four out of five classes of intermediate filament proteins in goldfish: vimentin, desmin, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and keratin, but not neurofilament. The intermediate filament which is labeled strongest in the retina is vimentin. In the goldfish retina, the only type of horizontal cells recognized by MH1 appear to be rod horizontal cells. This result suggests that the rod horizontal cell, an interneuron, and Miiller (glial) cells share a common antigen: vimentin, which is usually only expressed in mesenchymal origin cells.
The development of rod horizontal cells in the goldfish retina was also studied using MH1. The cells were not labeled by MH1 until 4–6 weeks posthatching, a stage in which the animals are already visually active. MH1 also did not label any horizontal cell in the region close to the ora terminalis in the goldfish retina. These results suggest that either the emergence and maturation of rod horizontal cells occur late during goldfish retinal development or the expression of vimentin itself occurs late in the development of rod horizontal cells.