Localization of the paranodal protein Caspr in the mammalian retina

Brendan J. O'Brien, Arlene A. Hirano, Elizabeth D. Buttermore, Manzoor A. Bhat, Elior Peles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: The retina has the demanding task of encoding all aspects of the visual scene within the space of one fixation period lasting only a few hundred milliseconds. To accomplish this feat, information is encoded in specialized parallel channels and passed on to numerous central nuclei via the optic nerve. These parallel channels achieve specialization in at least three ways: the synaptic networks in which they participate, the neurotransmitter receptors expressed and the types and locations of ion channels or transporters used. Subcellular localization of receptors, channels and transporters is made yet more complex in the retina by the double duty many retinal processes serve. In the present work, we show that the protein Caspr (Contactin Associated Protein), best known for its critical role in the localization of voltage-gated ion channels at the nodes of Ranvier, is present in several types of retinal neurons including amacrine, bipolar, horizontal, and ganglion cells. Methods: Using standard double label immunofluorescence protocols, we characterized the pattern of Caspr expression in the rodent retina. Results: Caspr labeling was observed through much of the retina, including horizontal, bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cells. Among amacrine cells, Caspr was observed in AII amacrine cells through co-localization with Parvalbumin and Disabled-1 in rat and mouse retinas, respectively. An additional amacrine cell type containing Calretinin also co-localized with Caspr, but did not co-localize with choline-acetyltransferase. Nearly all cells in the ganglion cell layer contain Caspr, including both displaced amacrine and ganglion cells. In the outer retina, Caspr was co-localized with PKC labeling in rod bipolar cell dendrites. In addition, Caspr labeling was found inside syntaxin-4 'sandwiches' in the outer plexiform layer, most likely indicating its presence in cone bipolar cell dendrites. Finally, Caspr was co-localized in segments of horizontal cell dendrites labeled with Calbindin-D28k. Conclusions: Caspr is best known for its role in organizing the localization of different voltage-gated ion channels in and around nodes of Ranvier. As neuronal processes in the retina often play a dual role involving both input and output, it is possible that the localization of Caspr in the retina will help us decipher the way retinal cells localize ion channels in their processes to increase computational capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1854-1863
Number of pages10
JournalMolecular vision
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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