Selective staining of a subset of GABAergic neurons in cat visual cortex by monoclonal antibody VC1.1

J. R. Naegele, Y. Arimatsu, P. Schwartz, C. J. Barnstable

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Abstract

VC1.1 is a monoclonal antibody generated against cat area 17, which selectively outlines subsets of cortical neurons (Arimatsu et al., 1987). This study was conducted to determine the ultrastructural distribution of the VC1.1 antigen and to identify the particular subclasses of cortical neurons that were labeled. In the light microscope, VC1.1 delineated the surfaces of neurons located mainly in layer IV but also in other layers. The staining surrounded neuronal cell bodies and dendrites in a periodic or meshwork pattern but did not label axons. VC1.1-labeled neurons were morphologically heterogeneous and included multipolar, bipolar, and bitufted classes. In the electron microscope, VC1.1 immunoreactivity surrounded presynaptic membranes of terminal boutons and intersynaptic sections of postsynaptic membranes, but was not present within terminal boutons or synaptic clefts. Both asymmetric and symmetric synapses were immunoreactive. Labeling was also observed intracellularly on VC1.1-outlined neurons, associated with perisynaptic portions of plasma membranes. Tract-tracing methods were used in conjunction with immunocytochemistry to determine whether VC1.1 identified projection neurons, local circuit neurons, or a combination of both types. Layer V and VI orticogeniculate and corticotectal projection neurons were retrogradely labeled with rhodamine fluorescent latex microspheres. In a large sample of retrogradely labeled neurons, none were VC1.1-positive, suggesting that VC1.1 stained a population of local circuit neurons. Additional immunocytochemical double-labeling studies with an antiserum to GABA and VC1.1, revealed that VC1.1-positive neurons were immunoreactive to GABA. These were a major subset of the GABAergic neurons in area 17 and tended to have medium to large cell bodies. It is concluded that VC1.1 identifies a new, immunologically distinct subset of GABAergic neurons in area 17. The restricted distribution of this antigen on perisynaptic portions of GABA-containing cells and surrounding terminal boutons onto these cells suggests that this antigen may play an important role in inhibitory cortical circuits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1988

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)

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