The Cholinergic System in the Chicken Retina: Cellular Localization and Development

  • Robert W. Baughman
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 27)


The cellular localization of the cholinergic system of the chicken retina was determined by means of freeze-drying and dry autoradiography following incubation with [3H]choline under conditions favoring high-affinity uptake. The cholinergic cells were localized to the inner nuclear and ganglion cell layers, and they extended processes in two bands in the inner plexiform layer. During embryogenesis in the chick, the cholinergic system was found to develop in two stages; the first occurs relatively early in retinal differentiation and is associated with increased ACh synthesis and storage and with a large rise in CAT activity; and the second occurs just before hatching, coincident with synaptogenesis and the appearance of visual function, and is associated with further increases in ACh synthesis and storage and with the development of high-affinity choline uptake.


Cholinergic System Ganglion Cell Layer Plexiform Layer Choline Acetyltransferase Outer Plexiform Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bader, C. R., R. W. Baughman, and J. L. Moore (1978). Different time course of development for high-affinity choline uptake and choline acetyltransferase in the chick retina. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 75:2525–2529.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baughman, R. W., and C. R. Bader (1977). Biochemical characterization and cellular localization of the cholinergic system in the chicken retina. Brain Res. 138: 469–485.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Burt, A. M. (1968). Acetylcholine esterase and choline acetyltransferase activity in the developing chick spinal cord. J. Exp. Zool. 169:107–112.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cajal, S. R.y (1972). The Structure of the Retina. S.A. Thorpe and M. Glickstein (translators). Thomas, Springfield, Ill., pp. 76–121.Google Scholar
  5. Chiappinelli, V., E. Giocobini, G. Pilar, and H. Uchimura (1976). Induction of cholinergic enzymes in chick ciliary ganglion and iris muscle cells during synapse formation. J. Physiol. (Lond.) 257:749–766.Google Scholar
  6. Coulombre, A. J. (1955). Correlations of structural and biochemical changes in the developing retina of the chick. Am. J. Anat. 96:153–189.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cowan, W. M. (1970). Centrifugal fibers to the avian retina. Brit. Med. Bull. 26:112–118.Google Scholar
  8. Graham, L. T. (1974). Comparative aspects of neurotransmitters in the retina. In: The Eye. H. Davson and L. T. Grahams (eds.). Academic Press, New York, vol. 6, pp. 283–342.Google Scholar
  9. Gray, E. G., and V. P. Whittaker (1962). The isolation of nerve endings from brain: an electron microscope study of cell fragments derived by homogenization and centrifugation. A. Anat. (Lond.) 96:79–87.Google Scholar
  10. Haga, T., and H. Noda (1973). Choline uptake systems of rat brain synaptosomes. Biochim. Biophys. Acta (Amst.) 291:564–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hebb, C. (1957). Biochemical evidence for the neural function of acetylcholine. Physiol. Rev. 37:169–220.Google Scholar
  12. Hughes, W. F., and A. LaVelle (1974). On the synaptogenic sequence in the chick retina. Anat. Rec. 179:297–302.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kahn, A. J. (1974). An autoradiographic analysis of the time of appearance of neurons in the developing chick neural retina. Dev. Biol. 38:30–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lindeman, V. F. (1947). The cholinesterase and acetylcholine content of the chick retina, with special reference to functional activity as indicated by the pupillary constrictor reflex. Am. J. Physiol. 148:40–44.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Masland, R. H., and A. Ames III (1976). Responses to acetylcholine of ganglion cells in an isolated mammalian retina. J. Neurophysiol. 39:1220–1235.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Shen, S. C., R. Greenfield, and E. J. Boell (1956). Localization of acetylcholinesterase in chick retina during histogenesis. J. Comp. Neurol. 106:433–461.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Sugiyama, H., M. P. Daniels, and M. Nirenberg (1977). Muscarinic acetylcholine receptors of the developing retina. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 74:5224–5528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Vogel, Z., and M. Nirenberg (1976). Localization of acetylcholine receptors during synaptogenesis in retina. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 73:1806–1810.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. White, H. L., and J. C. Wu (1973). Choline and carnitine acetyltransferases of heart. Biochemistry 12:841–846.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Witkovsky, P. (1963). An ontogenic study of retinal function in the chick. Vision Res. 3:341–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Yamamura, H. I., and S. H. Snyder (1973). High-affinity transport of choline into synaptosomes of rat brain. J. Neurochem. 21:1355–1374.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert W. Baughman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurobiologyHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations