GABA-immunoreactive starburst amacrine cells in pigmented and albino rats


Dr C. Distler, as above.


In this study we tested whether the critical anatomical substrate for retinal direction selectivity is altered in albino mammals. We used dual immunostaining for GABA and choline acetyltransferase and quantitatively analyzed the number of double-labelled starburst amacrine cells in wild-type and albino rats. In albino rats, the percentage of ON-amacrine cells with high GABA content was significantly lower than in pigmented animals. OFF-amacrines did not significantly differ between the two rat strains. Thus, the decreased GABA content in ON-amacrine cells could reflect an altered neuronal substrate for retinal direction selectivity. These results are discussed in relation to the optokinetic deficits described in albino mammals.