Retinal ganglion cell depletion alters the phenotypic expression of GABA and GAD in the rat retina

Edna N. Yamasaki, Belmira L S Andrade Da Costa, Valéria D. Barbosa, Jan Nora Hokoç

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have looked at the phenotypic expression of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and the two isoforms of its synthetic enzyme [glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)-65 and -67] in adult rat retinas that had the superior colliculus, pretectum and optic tract lesioned unilaterally at birth. It has been shown previously that this type of manipulation induces retrograde degeneration of retinal ganglion cells presumably without affecting other intraretinal neurons. We present evidence that GABAergic amacrine cells are affected by such manipulation. The number of cells immunoreactive for GABA, GAD-65 and GAD-67 decreased in the inner nuclear layer. In the retinal ganglion cell layer, however, the number of GABA- and GAD-65-labelled cells increased, while the number of GAD-67-labelled cells did not change. Biochemical assay showed that overall GAD activity was not altered in retinas of lesioned animals. Our results support the nation that, while neonatal lesion reorganizes the expression of GABA and GAD in the retina, enzyme activity is maintained within normal levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1885-1890
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997


  • Amacrine cell
  • Plasticity
  • Retinal ganglion cell


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