Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience edition:37 location:San Diego, CA, U.S.A. date:November 3-7, 2007
We examined the expression profile of neurofilament protein in discrete cell types in whole-mounts and sections of adult cat retina using a monoclonal antibody (SMI-32), which recognizes the non-phosphorylated epitope on the high molecular weight subunit of neurofilament protein. Eight retinas from cats binocularly deprived throughout the first 6 months of life (the same animals from which behavioral and proteomic data were collected), and 8 control cat retinas were examined. A population of large retinal ganglion cells exhibited neurofilament protein expression in their soma and the proximal parts of their dendritic arbors. These immunopositive cells were distributed throughout the retina. In retinas of control cats the immunoreactive dendrites branched specifically into sublamina-a of the inner plexiform layer, well described as the OFF inner plexiform sublamina. On the contrary, in the examined temporal part of the retinas from deprived cats, these large ganglion cells branched throughout the entire inner plexiform layer. Moreover in temporal retina in binocularly deprived cats the diameter of alpha ganglion cells was significantly larger, as compared to temporal part of retina of control cats. Surprisingly, the nasal part of retinas of binocularly deprived cats exhibited normal cell diameter distribution. This diverse susceptibility to visual deprivation early in life in temporal as compared to the nasal retina might be explained in terms of: 1. the differential developmental maturation of ganglion cells deriving from temporal and nasal part of retina and 2. the differential geniculate and collicular pattern of projections of retinal ganglion cells originating from temporal and nasal retina.