We have examined the distribution of the neuronal calcium-binding protein, neuronal calcium sensor I (NCS-1) in the developing and adult rat retina using subcellular fractionation of the rat retina and immunohistochemistry. NCS-1 immunoreactivity was situated primarily in the ganglion cells, a class of amacrine cells, and in the inner plexiform layer (IPL). During development, NCS-1 protein expression closely followed that of the synaptic vesicle protein, synaptophysin, increasing dramatically in the IPL at postnatal day 3, the time when conventional synapses are formed in the retina. These findings suggest that NCS-1 plays a role in synaptogenesis in the retina and in synaptic transmission at conventional synapses but not ribbon synapses in the adult rat retina.
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