Journal of Neurocytology

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 253–264 | Cite as

Immunolocalization of cellular retinol-, retinaldehyde- and retinoic acid-binding proteins in rat retina during pre- and postnatal development

  • A. M. De Leeuw
  • V. P. Gaur
  • J. C. Saari
  • A. H. Milam


Cellular retinol-, retinaldehyde- and retinoic acid-binding proteins were localized in rat retina during pre- and postnatal development by indirect immunofluorescence. Cryostat tissue sections were prepared daily from embryonic day 11 until the day of birth (E11–22) and from postnatal days 1–32 (P1–32). Cellular retinaldehyde- and retinol-binding proteins were first detected in retinal pigment epithelium on E13 and E18, respectively, and in Müller cells at P1 and P15. Parallel studies showed that in adult retina cellular retinoic acid-binding protein is present in a subpopulation of GABAergic amacrine cells. During retinal differentiation, cellular retinoic acid-binding protein was first detected at E18 in cells sclerad to the developing inner plexiform layer, suggesting that this binding protein is expressed in amacrine cells very early during differentiation. During early ocular morphogenesis, cellular retinoic acid-binding protein was present in mesenchymal cells enveloping the eye (E12–15), in the neuroblastic layer of the retina (E13–15), in the nerve fibre layer (E14–15), and the developing optic nerve (E15). Our results suggest that retinoic acid, the natural ligand of cellular retinoic acid-binding protein, may be involved in neuronal differentiation in the inner retina. The studies further support a role for cellular retinoic acid-binding protein in mediating the effects of retinoic acid on developing neural crest cells and raise new questions about the role of cellular retinaldehyde-binding protein in the visual cycle and during development.


Retina Retinoic Acid Retinal Pigment Epithelium Neural Crest Postnatal Development 
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Copyright information

© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. M. De Leeuw
    • 1
  • V. P. Gaur
    • 1
    • 3
  • J. C. Saari
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. H. Milam
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Anatomy DepartmentBowman Gray School of MedicineWinston-SalemUSA

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