Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications

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    Mapping kainate activation of inner neurons in the rat retina
    Nivison-Smith, L ; Sun, D ; Fletcher, EL ; Marc, RE ; Kalloniatis, M (WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2013-08-01)
    Kainate receptors mediate fast, excitatory synaptic transmission for a range of inner neurons in the mammalian retina. However, allocation of functional kainate receptors to known cell types and their sensitivity remains unresolved. Using the cation channel probe 1-amino-4-guanidobutane agmatine (AGB), we investigated kainate sensitivity of neurochemically identified cell populations within the structurally intact rat retina. Most inner retinal neuron populations responded to kainate in a concentration-dependent manner. OFF cone bipolar cells demonstrated the highest sensitivity of all inner neurons to kainate. Immunocytochemical localization of AGB and macromolecular markers confirmed that type 2 bipolar cells were part of this kainate-sensitive population. The majority of amacrine (ACs) and ganglion cells (GCs) showed kainate responses with different sensitivities between major neurochemical classes (γ-aminobutyric acid [GABA]/glycine ACs > glycine ACs > GABA ACs; glutamate [Glu]/weakly GABA GCs > Glu GCs). Conventional and displaced cholinergic ACs were highly responsive to kainate, whereas dopaminergic ACs do not appear to express functional kainate receptors. These findings further contribute to our understanding of neuronal networks in complex multicellular tissues.
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    Retinal amino acid neurochemistry in health and disease
    Kalloniatis, M ; Loh, CS ; Acosta, ML ; Tomisich, G ; Zhu, Y ; Nivison-Smith, L ; Fletcher, EL ; Chua, J ; Sun, D ; Arunthavasothy, N (TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, 2013-05-01)
    Advances in basic retinal anatomy, genetics, biochemical pathways and neurochemistry have not only provided a better understanding of retinal function but have also allowed us to link basic science to retinal disease. The link with disease allowed measures to be developed that now provide an opportunity to intervene and slow down or even restore sight in previously 'untreatable' retinal diseases. One of the critical advances has been the understanding of the retinal amino acid neurotransmitters, related amino acids, their metabolites and functional receptors. This review provides an overview of amino acid localisation in the retina and examples of how retinal anatomy and amino acid neurochemistry directly links to understanding retinal disease. Also, the implications of retinal remodelling involving amino acid (glutamate) receptors are outlined in this review and insights are presented on how understanding of detrimental and beneficial retinal remodelling will provide better outcomes for patients using strategies for the preservation or restoration of vision. An internet-based database of retinal images of amino acid labelling patterns and other amino acid-related images in health and disease is located at http://www.aminoacidimmunoreactivity.com.