Distribution of CGRP and its receptor components CLR and RAMP1 in the rat retina

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Calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) is a 37 amino acid neuropeptide with several functions including vasodilation, the perception of painful stimuli, and inflammation. The CGRP receptor consists of two main components; calcitonin-like receptor (CLR) and receptor activity-modifying protein 1 (RAMP1). While there is a growing recognition that CGRP plays a key role in migraine, the function of CGRP in the retina has not been fully established. This study aims to investigate the distribution of CGRP and its two receptor components in the rat retina, visually by immunohistochemistry and quantitatively using flow cytometry. CGRP immunoreactivity was found in the Müller cells while CLR/RAMP1 was located in the nerve fiber layer. Furthermore, since almost all RAMP1 immunoreactive cells co-express CLR, we propose that RAMP1 expression in the retina reflects functional CGRP receptors.HIGHLIGHTSCGRP is a key player in migraine.CGRP did not co-localize with its receptor components (CLR, RAMP1) in the retina.CGRP was found mainly in Müller cells while CLR and RAMP1 were co-expressed in the nerve fiber layer.More cells expressed CLR compared with RAMP1.RAMP1 expression in the retina indicates the presence of functional CGRP receptors.

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