Differential distribution of glycine transporters in Müller cells and neurons in amphibian retinas

Zheng Jiang, Baoqin Li, Frantisek Jursky, Wen Shen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Amphibian retinas are commonly used for electrophysiological studies on neural function and transduction because they share the same general properties as higher vertebrate retinas. Glycinergic synapses have been well described in amphibian retinas. However, the role of glycine transporters in the synapses is largely unknown. We studied the distribution and function of glycine transporters in the retinas from tiger salamanders, mudpuppies, and leopard frogs by immunofluorescence labeling and whole-cell recording methods. Our results indicated that GlyT1- and GlyT2-like transporters were present in Müller cells and neurons, respectively. GlyT1 labeling was present in Müller glial cells and co-localized with Glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), a Müller cell marker, whereas the GlyT2 immunoreactivity was present in the somas of amacrine cells (ACs) and processes in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) and the outer plexiform layer (OPL). Because the axon processes of glycinergic interplexiform cells (IPCs) are the only source of glycine input in the OPL, GlyT2 staining revealed a spatial pattern of the axon processes of IPCs in the OPL. The function of GlyT2 in the IPCs was studied in tiger salamander retinal horizontal cells (HCs) by whole-cell gramicidin perforated recording. The results demonstrated that inhibition of GlyT2 by a specific inhibitor, amoxapine, increased a tonic glycine input to HCs. Thus, the GlyT2 transporter is responsible for uptake of synaptic glycine in the outer retina. We also compared the distribution of glycine transporters in other amphibian species: salamander, mudpuppy, and frog. The results are consistent with the general pattern that GlyT1-like transporters are present in Müller cells and GlyT2-like transporters in neurons in amphibian retinas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-168
Number of pages12
JournalVisual neuroscience
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycine synapse
  • Glycine transporters
  • Interplexiform cells
  • Müller cells
  • Retina

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Sensory Systems


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