Previous studies have been directed at the elucidation of neuron-specific gene expression in the mammalian central nervous system. In particular, we have identified a series of marker molecules that are expressed in cerebellar Purkinje cells with varying degrees of specificity. Here, we show by light microscopic immunocytochemistry and Northern transfer and hybridization that two of these markers, namely, L7 and PEP19, are expressed in the retina of mouse and rabbit, while a third marker, cerebellin, is absent. Light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry proves that L7-like immunoreactivity is restricted to rod bipolar cells, while PEP19-like immunoreactivity is distributed in both rod and cone bipolars. PEP19 is also expressed by subsets of amacrine and ganglion cells. The density of PEP19-positive bipolar cells is greater than that of L7-positive bipolar cells, although the density of each is approximately equal in central and peripheral portions of the retina. An antiserum to a fourth Purkinje cell marker, vitamin D-dependent calcium-binding protein-28 kD (CaBP), reveals primarily axon-less horizontal cells, but also subsets of rod bipolar, amacrine, and, in the mouse but not in the rabbit, ganglion cells. The processes of immunoreactive cell bodies form discrete bands in the internal plexiform layer, and mixtures of the antisera help distinguish their identity. Thus, these Purkinje cell markers can be used at the electron microscopic level to unravel the extremely complex neuropil of this retinal layer. Furthermore, knowledge of the retinal distribution of this panel of molecules is of general value for future studies of retinal neuronal typology and can serve to map the densities of subsets of bipolar cells throughout the retina. The expression of L7 and PEP19 in bipolar cells and in Purkinje cells suggests a biochemical relationship between these two spatially distant neuronal populations.