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Keywords:

  • GABA-immunocytochemistry;
  • amacrine cells;
  • horizontal cells;
  • bipolar cells;
  • interplexiform cells;
  • synaptic connections

Abstract

The distribution of GABA-like immunoreactivity in the macaque monkey retina was studied by using postembedding techniques on semithin and ultrathin sections. At the light microscopic level, both inner and outer plexiform layers showed strong GABA-like immunoreactivity in the central retina. All the horizontal cells, some bipolar cells, 30–40% of amacrine cells, occasional interplexiform cells, and practically all displaced amacrine cells were labeled. In the peripheral retina (beyond 5 mm eccentricity), the outer plexiform layer and the horizontal cells were not labeled, but all other cell types showed the same labeling pattern as in the central retina.

Synapses of the inner plexiform layer involving a pre- or postsynaptic GABA-labeled process were studied electron microscopically. Synapses involving a GABA-labeled presynaptic amacrine cell process made up 80% of the synapses observed. These GABA-labeled amacrine processes synapsed onto amacrine, bipolar, and ganglion cell processes as well as onto amacrine and ganglion cell bodies.

Synapses involving a postsynaptic GABA-labeled process made up 20% of the synapses studied. The GABA-like immunoreactive processes were postsynaptic to bipolar cells at the dyads and to amacrine cells at conventional synapses.