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Localization, distribution, and connectivity of neuropeptide Y in the human and porcine retinas - a comparative study

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Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a peptide neurotransmitter abundantly expressed in the mammalian retina. Since its discovery, NPY has been studied in retinas of several species, but detailed characterization of morphology, cell-type, and connectivity has never been conducted in larger mammals including humans and pigs. As the pig due to size and cellular composition is a well-suited animal for retinal research, we chose to compare the endogenous NPY system of the human retina to that of pigs to support future research in this field. In the present study, using immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and 3D reconstructions, we found NPY to be expressed in GABAergic and calretinin-immunoreactive (-ir) amacrine cells of both species as well as parvalbumin-ir amacrine cells of humans. Furthermore, we identified at least two different types of medium- to wide-field NPY-ir amacrine cells. Finally, we detected likely synaptic appositions between the NPY-ir amacrine cells and melanopsin- and non-melanopsin-ir ganglion cells, GABAergic and dopaminergic amacrine cells, rod bipolar cells, and horizontal cells, suggesting that NPY-ir cells play diverse roles in modulation of both image and non-image forming retinal signaling. These findings extend existing knowledge on NPY and NPY-expressing cells in the human and porcine retina showing a high degree of comparability. The extensive distribution and connectivity of NPY-ir cells described in the present study further highlights the potential importance of NPY signaling in retinal function. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of comparative neurology
Volume526
Issue number12
Pages (from-to)1877-1895
Number of pages18
ISSN0021-9967
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 53721259