Expression and distribution of ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits on parasol ganglion cells in the primate retina

Bin Lin, Paul R. Martin, Ulrike Grünert

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The response properties of postreceptoral sensory neurones are determined by the properties of their input neurones, by intrinsic membrane properties, and by the properties of neurotransmitter receptors on the soma and dendritic tree. We previously showed that inhibitory neurotransmitter (GABAA and glycine) receptors on a well-characterised sensory neurone, the parasol ganglion cell in the primate retina, are segregated towards the distal part of the dendritic tree. Here we studied the distribution of excitatory ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits on the dendrites of parasol cells in the retina of a New World monkey, the marmoset, Callithrix jacchus. Individual ganglion cells were intracellularly injected in an in vitro retinal wholemount preparation. Ionotropic glutamate receptor subunits. including AMPA (GluR1-4), kainate (GluR6/7), NMDA (NR1C2′) subunits, and the orphan receptors δ1 and δ2 were visualized with immunocytochemical methods. Immunoreactive puncta that colocalized with the dendrites of ganglion cells were analyzed using standard and/or confocal light microscopy. Colocalized puncta were present on parasol dendrites for all subunits studied, but their density was much lower (approximately 1/5) than previously reported for inhibitory (GABA and glycine) receptors. Segregation of the glutamate receptor clusters (GluR1, GluR6/7 subunits) to the peripheral dendrites was less marked than that shown for GABA and glycine receptor clusters. No sign of segregation of colocalized puncta to the peripheral part of the dendritic field was seen with antibodies to the GluR2, GluR2/3, GluR4, δ1/2, or NR1C2′ subunits. The results suggest that although there is diverse expression of glutamate receptor subtypes, the glutamatergic synapses form only a small proportion of the total synaptic input to primate ganglion cells. They further suggest that the processes which control distribution of excitatory and inhibitory synapses on the dendritic field of ganglion cells are, at least to some extent, independent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-465
Number of pages13
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • AMPA receptor
  • Callithrix jacchus
  • Kainate receptor
  • Marmoset retina
  • NMDA receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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