TRP channel gene expression in the mouse retina

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★ Messenger RNAs for all 28 TRP channel genes were detected in mouse retina. ★ 12 TRP mRNAs are enriched in the retina, with localized enrichment for TRPC1, TRPM1, TRPM3, and TRPML1. ★ TRPM1 splice variants and TRPM3 are strongly expressed in pigmented cells of the eyecup. ★ TRPP2 and TRPM7 antibodies reveal strong immunostaining of cone outer segments. ★ Cell-specific expression suggests physiological roles for multiple TRP channels.

In order to identify candidate cation channels important for retinal physiology, 28 TRP channel genes were surveyed for expression in the mouse retina. Transcripts for all TRP channels were detected by RT-PCR and sequencing. Northern blotting revealed that mRNAs for 12 TRP channel genes are enriched in the retina. The strongest signals were observed for TRPC1, TRPC3, TRPM1, TRPM3, and TRPML1, and clear signals were obtained for TRPC4, TRPM7, TRPP2, TRPV2, and TRPV4. In situ hybridization and immunofluorescence revealed widespread expression throughout multiple retinal layers for TRPC1, TRPC3, TRPC4, TRPML1, PKD1, and TRPP2. Striking localization of enhanced mRNA expression was observed for TRPC1 in the photoreceptor inner segment layer, for TRPM1 in the inner nuclear layer (INL), for TRPM3 in the INL, and for TRPML1 in the outer plexiform and nuclear layers. Strong immunofluorescence signal in cone outer segments was observed for TRPM7 and TRPP2. TRPC5 immunostaining was largely confined to INL cells immediately adjacent to the inner plexiform layer. TRPV2 antibodies stained photoreceptor axons in the outer plexiform layer. Expression of TRPM1 splice variants was strong in the ciliary body, whereas TRPM3 was strongly expressed in the retinal pigmented epithelium.

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