Morphological diversity and glutamate immunoreactivity of retinal terminals in the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the cat.

Although the cat visual system has been the subject of intensive investigation, little attention has been given to the morphological features of ganglion cell projections to the suprachiasmatic nucleus. The present study has utilized anterograde transport of horseradish peroxidase and wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated horseradish peroxidase to label ganglion cell terminals in the cat suprachiasmatic nucleus. Visualization of the reaction product was facilitated through the use of gold-substituted silver intensification. Ganglion cell terminals were found to be morphologically diverse, making both asymmetric and symmetric contacts with postsynaptic processes. Synaptic vesicles were either scattered or densely packed, sometimes forming paracrystalline arrays. In contrast to other retinorecipient areas in which ganglion cell terminals have been characterized by the presence of lightly staining mitochondria, many of the retinal terminals in the suprachiasmatic nucleus were seen to contain darkly stained mitochondria. Postembedding antiglutamate immunocytochemistry was used to evaluate the level of endogenous glutamate in these ganglion cell terminals. Although morphologically diverse, all of the retinal terminals in the suprachiasmatic nucleus were glutamate positive, consistent with the postulated role of glutamate as the neurotransmitter of retinal ganglion cells.
AuthorsB Chen, R G Pourcho
JournalThe Journal of comparative neurology (J Comp Neurol) Vol. 361 Issue 1 Pg. 108-18 (Oct 9 1995) ISSN: 0021-9967 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID8550873 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.)
Chemical References
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Animals
  • Cats (anatomy & histology, metabolism)
  • Glutamic Acid (analysis)
  • Horseradish Peroxidase
  • Immunoenzyme Techniques
  • Mitochondria (chemistry)
  • Nerve Endings (chemistry, ultrastructure)
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells (chemistry, ultrastructure)
  • Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (anatomy & histology, chemistry)
  • Synaptic Vesicles (chemistry)
  • Wheat Germ Agglutinin-Horseradish Peroxidase Conjugate

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