Distribution of Soluble Guanylyl Cyclase in Rat Retina

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The nitric oxide (NO)-cGMP pathway is implicated in modulation of visual information processing in the retina. Despite numerous functional studies of this pathway, information about the retinal distribution of the major downstream effector of NO, soluble guanylyl cyclase (sGC), is very limited. In the present work, we have used immunohistochemistry and multiple labeling to determine the distribution of sGC in rat retina. sGC was present at high levels in inner retina but barely detectable in outer retina. Photoreceptors and horizontal cells, as well as Müller cells, were immunonegative, whereas retinal ganglion cells exhibited moderate staining for sGC. Strong immunostaining was found in subpopulations of bipolar and amacrine cells, but staining was weak in rod bipolar cells, and AII amacrine cells were immunonegative. Double labeling of sGC with neuronal nitric oxide synthase showed that the two proteins are generally located in adjacent puncta in inner plexiform layer, implying paracrine interactions. Our results suggest that the NO-cGMP pathway modulates the neural circuitry in inner retina, preferentially within the cone pathway. J. Comp. Neurol. 500:734–745, 2007. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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