Localization of L‐glutamic acid decarboxylase mRNA in monkey and human retina by in situ hybridization

P. Vijay Sarthy*, Marlene Fu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Immunocytochemical studies with γ‐aminobutyric acid (GABA) antibodies and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies have shown that the primate retina contains GABAergic amacrine, interplexiform, and displaced amacrine cells. In addition, subpopulations of photoreceptors and horizontal cells have also been suggested to be GABAergic in this retina. In the present study, we have used in situ hybridization to localize GABAergic neurons in human and monkey retinas. In situ hybridizations were carried out with 35S‐labeled DNA and RNA probes derived from human and cat glutamic acid decarboxylase cDNA clones. In the monkey retina, labeled cells were present in the inner nuclear and ganglion cells layers. The outer nuclear layer or the inner segment layer had only background levels of labeling. In the inner nuclear layer, all labeled somata were located in the vitread‐half bordering the inner nuclear layer/inner plexiform layer boundary. These cells constituted ∼83% of all labeled cells. Labeled cells were also seen in the ganglion cell layer. In the human retina, labeled somata were observed only in the inner nuclear and the ganglion cell layers. In the inner nuclear layer, the majority of labeled cells were located close to the inner nuclear layer/inner plexiform layer boundary although a minor population of labeled somata (∼20%) were found deeper in the inner nuclear layer. The distribution of glutamic acid decarboxylase mRNA–containing cells we observed is in good agreement with the known location of GABAergic neurons. We, however, did not find glutamic acid decarboxylase mRNA in either horizontal cells or photoreceptors in monkey and human retina.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-697
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 22 1989


  • GABA
  • immunocytochemistry
  • neurotransmitter
  • opsin mRNA
  • photoreceptor
  • vision

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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