GABAergic visual pathways in the frog Rana pipiens
Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is the most prevalent inhibitory neurotransmitter in the vertebrate brain. It can exert its influence either as GABAergic projection pathways or as local interneurons, which play an essential role in many visual functions. However, no GABAergic visual pathways have been studied in frogs so far. In the present study, GABAergic pathways in the central visual system of Rana pipiens were investigated with double-labeling techniques, combining immunocytochemistry for GABA with Rhodamine microspheres for retrograde tracing. Three GABAergic visual pathways were identified: (1) a retino-tectal projection, from retina to the contralateral optic tectum (OT); (2) an ipsilateral projection from the nucleus of the basal optic root (nBOR) to the pretectal nucleus lentiformis mesencephali (nLM); and (3) a second-order pathway from the nucleus isthmi (NI), bilaterally, to the optic tectum. These results indicate that GABA is involved in both first-order (retina to optic tectum) as well as second-order (nucleus isthmi to optic tectum) visual projections in Rana pipiens, and may play a major role in mediating visuomotor reflexs such as optokinetic nystagmus or other visually guided behaviors.(Received October 20 2000)
(Accepted March 19 2001)
Key Words: GABA; Retina; Optic tectum; Nucleus isthmi; Immunohistochemistry; Double-labeling.
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Zheng Li, Pfizer Global R & D Ann Arbor Laboratories, 2800 Plymouth Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48105, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org