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Maria Thereza Perez

Senior Lecturer

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Immunocytochemical localisation of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in developing and transplanted rabbit retinas


  • R K Sharma
  • M T Perez
  • B Ehinger

Summary, in English

Nitric oxide (NO) acts as a modulator of neuronal transmission in mature neuronal systems, including the retina. Recently, NO has also been suggested to have a trophic function during development. We examined immunocytochemically the distribution of NO-producing cells in developing and transplanted rabbit retinas. An antibody detecting the neuronal isoform of its biosynthetic enzyme, nitric oxide synthase (NOS), was used on normal developing retinas [starting at embryonic day (E) 15] and on rabbit retinal transplants after various survival times (1-139 days after surgery). Weakly stained cell bodies were first observed in the proximal margin of the neuroblastic layer at E 29. Stained processes projecting towards a developing inner plexiform layer were also visible at this time point. Immunoreactive cells were located at later stages in the innermost part of the inner nuclear layer and in the ganglion cell layer, and are likely to correspond mainly to amacrine cells. NOS-labelled cells were also found in retinal transplants. The first NOS-labelled cells appeared, as in normal developing retinas, in ages corresponding to E 29 and were still detected in transplants corresponding to postnatal day 123. NOS-labelled cells were seen in areas between rosettes, where amacrine cells are located. NOS-labelled processes were at times seen to project for long distances, forming very distinct plexuses. NOS-containing amacrine cells thus appear both in the transplants and in developing retinas in the embryonic stages, long before synaptic function involving these cells can be expected, suggesting a role for NO not only in neuromodulation but also in retinal development.


  • Ophthalmology, Lund

Publishing year







Histochemistry and Cell Biology





Document type

Journal article




  • Age Factors
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Neurons
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase
  • Rabbits
  • Retina
  • Time Factors
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't




  • ISSN: 0948-6143