Background: Seizure-related gene 6 (Sez-6) is expressed in neurons of the mouse brain, retina and spinal cord. In the cortex, Sez-6 plays a role in specifying dendritic branching patterns and excitatory synapse numbers during development. Methodology/Principal Findings: The distribution pattern of Sez-6 in the retina was studied using a polyclonal antibody that detects the multiple isoforms of Sez-6. Prominent immunostaining was detected in GABAergic, but not in All glycinergic, amacrine cell subpopulations of the rat and mouse retina. Amacrine cell somata displayed a distinct staining pattern with the Sez-6 antibody: a discrete, often roughly triangular-shaped bright spot positioned between the nucleus and the apical dendrite superimposed over weaker general cytoplasmic staining. Displaced amacrines in the ganglion cell layer were also positive for Sez-6 and weaker staining was occasionally observed in neurons with the morphology of alpha ganglion cells. Two distinct Sez-6 positive strata were present in the inner plexiform layer in addition to generalized punctate staining. Certain inner nuclear layer cells, including bipolar cells, stained more weakly and diffusely than amacrine cells, although some bipolar cells exhibited a perinuclear "bright spot" similar to amacrine cells. In order to assess the role of Sez-6 in the retina, we analyzed the morphology of the Sez-6 knockout mouse retina with immunohistochemical markers and compared ganglion cell dendritic arbor patterning in Sez-6 null retinae with controls. The functional importance of Sez-6 was assessed by dark-adapted paired-flash electroretinography (ERG). Conclusions: In summary, we have reported the detailed expression pattern of a novel retinal marker with broad cell specificity, useful for retinal characterization in rodent experimental models. Retinal morphology, ganglion cell dendritic branching and ERG waveforms appeared normal in the Sez-6 knockout mouse suggesting that, in spite of widespread expression of Sez-6, retinal function in the absence of Sez-6 is not affected.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)