Identification of Amacrine Neurons with a Glycinergic and Gabaergic Phenotype in the Mouse Retina

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Jorge Alberto Pérez-León Annie Espinal-Centeno Zelene Mendoza-Gonzalez Alejandra C. Camacho Ashley Bryan Lopez Rosa A. Perez Manuel Miranda


The amacrine neurons in the mammalian retina comprise a large variety of cell types with distinct properties and functions that serve to integrate and modulate signals presented to output neurons. The majority of them use either glycine or GABA as inhibitory neurotransmitters and express the glycine transporter 1 (GlyT1) or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD67) and GABA transporters (GAT1 and GAT3), as a glycinergic or GABAergic marker respectively. We report here a novel subpopulation of amacrine neurons expressing both, GABAergic and glycinergic markers, in retinas from wild-type C57BL/6J mice and two transgenic lines. In retinal sections from the transgenic line expressing eGFP under the control of the glycine transporter 2, eGFP expression was exclusively found in cell bodies and dendrites of inhibitory amacrine neurons, identified for their immunoreactivity to syntaxin 1A. All of the glycinergic and a large portion of the GABAergic amacrine neurons contained eGFP; of these, 8-10% of GlyT1 positive neurons were also labeled either with GAD67, GAT1 or GAT3. These findings were confirmed in retinas from a wild-type and a mouse line expressing eGFP under the GAD67 promoter and two different anti-GlyT1 antibodies, showing the presence of a subpopulation with a dual phenotype. Moreover, eGFP-positive dendrites on both mouse lines were found juxtaposed to GlyR subunits and the scaffold protein gephyrin in several areas of the inner plexiform layer, demonstrating the glycinergic character of these neurons. This dual phenotype was also demonstrated in primary retina cultures, in which isolated neurons were positive for GlyT1 and GAD67 or GAT1/3. Altogether, these data provide compelling evidence of a subpopulation of dual inhibitory, glycinergic/GABAergic amacrine neurons. The co-release of both neurotransmitters may serve to strengthen the inhibition on ganglion cells under synaptic hyperexcitability.

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PÉREZ-LEÓN, Jorge Alberto et al. Identification of Amacrine Neurons with a Glycinergic and Gabaergic Phenotype in the Mouse Retina. Medical Research Archives, [S.l.], v. 10, n. 1, jan. 2022. ISSN 2375-1924. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 28 nov. 2022. doi:
Research Articles


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