We produced the monoclonal antibody RT10F7, characterized its antigenic specificity and expression in the adult and developing retina, in cultured retinal cells and in other parts of the central nervous system. In metabolically-labelled retinal cultures RT10F7 immunoprecipitated a protein of approximately 36,000 mol. wt. In the adult, RT10F7 stained endfeet of Muller cells in the ganglion cell layer, four horizontal bands in the inner plexiform layer, and radial fibres in the outer plexiform layer which terminated at the outer limiting membrane. In the inner nuclear layer, most somata were underlined by Muller processes that wrapped around them, but some cell bodies were immunoreactive for RT10F7 in the cytoplasm. During development, postnatal day 21 was the first age at which the adult pattern of immunoreactivity was present, although a fourth band in the inner plexiform layer was less clear than for the adult. By 14 and eight days after birth, the pattern of RT10F7 immunoreactivity approximated that of the adult; however, only three bands and one band were present, respectively, in the inner plexiform layer. At earlier ages, postnatal days 4, 1 and embryonic ages 19 and 15, the monoclonal antibody stained Muller cell endfeet and radial fibres, from the inner plexiform layer through the neuroblastic layer to the outer limiting membrane. At these ages, the immunoreactivity was more prominent at the level of Muller cell endfeet. The monoclonal antibody stained gila in preparations of dissociated retinal cells maintained in culture but not astrocytes or oligodendrocytes from optic nerve cultures. In brain sections, tanycytes exhibited RT10F7 immunoreactivity. The monoclonal antibody RT10F7 recognized a specific cell type in the retina, the Muller cell. In the adult and developing retina, RT10F7 recognized an antigen that is present primarily in Muller cell processes. This feature allowed us to follow the maturation of the Muller cell and correlate it with developmental events in the retina. RT10F7 is a specific marker for Muller cells in vivo and in vitro and may be useful for studies of function of Muller cells after ablation or after injuries that are known to activate Muller cells.
- Radial glia
- Retinal development