Visual Neuroscience

Research Articles

Immunocytochemical localization of dopamine D1 receptors in the retina of mammals

J. Nguyen-Legrosa1, A. Simona1, I. Cailléa2 and B. Blocha2

a1 INSERM U-86, Laboratoire de NeuroCytologie Oculaire, Paris Cedex, France

a2 EP CNRS 74, Laboratoire d'histologie-Embryologie (UFR II), Université de Bordeaux II, Bordeaux Cedex, France


Dopamine is one of the major neurotransmitters in the retina. It is released from amacrine and interplexiform cells into both inner (IPL) and outer (OPL) plexiform layers. Several dopaminergic actions are known to occur through D1 receptors (D1R) but the precise location of these receptors has not been established. An antibody that recognizes the intracytoplasmic C-terminal of the rat D1R was used to detect D1R, immunohistochemically, in rats (Wistar and RCS), mouse, hamster, and macaque monkey retinas. The OPL was heavily stained in each species, consistent with the known actions of dopamine on horizontal cells. Three to five bands were observed in the IPL, depending on species. Three were in the a sublayer, the outermost of which was close to the amacrine cell layer, and may represent the massive dopamine input to the AII rod-amacrine cells. As observed in mice, where bipolar cells are D1-immunoreactive, the band located in sublayer 3 of the IPL may contain cone-bipolar cell terminals. A band of D1R-immunoreactivity in the b sublayer of the IPL contains ON-bipolar cell terminals and a second site of interaction between dopaminergic cells and the AII amacrine cells. This sublayer was absent from the RCS rat retina, suggesting a severe impairment of the rod-driven pathway following rod degeneration in these mutant rats. Cells in the ganglion cell layer exhibited relatively heavy staining, and may be ganglion cells or displaced amacrine cells. Some extrasynaptic localizations of D1R in the retina are suggested.

(Received June 10 1996)

(Accepted September 20 1996)


Reprint requests to: Jeanine Nguyen-Legros, Laboratoire de Neuro-Cytologie Oculaire, INSERM U-86, 15, rue de l'ecole de Médecine, 75270 Paris Cedex 06, France.