• T C Nag

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Localization of glutamate in the human retina during early prenatal development

      G Jotwani S Wadhea T C Nag S Singhal

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      In this study we have localized glutamate (GLU) in fetal (14–25 weeks gestation, Wg) human retinas by immunohistochemistry. At 14 Wg, GLU-immunoreactivity (IR) was localized only in the central part of retina, showing a prominently labelled nerve fiber layero A few ganglion cells and displaced amacrine cells were very weakly labelled. At 17 Wg, GLU was localized conspicuously in many ganglion cells, displaced amacrine cells, some amacrine cells and the prospective photoreceptor cell bodies in the neuroepithelial layero With progressive development at 20 and 25 Wg, the IR for GLU was found additionally in the Müller cell endfeet, some bipolar cells as well as in the horizontal cells that were aligned in a row along the outer border of the inner nuclear layer of the central retinao The photoreceptor cell bodies in the outer nuclear layer were also prominently immunopositive for GLU. The developmental distribution of GLU in the human retina tends to indicate that it plays an important role in the differentiation and maturation of retinal neurons.

    • Differential expression of syntaxin-1 and synaptophysin in the developing and adult human retina

      T C Nag Shashi Wadhwa

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      Synaptophysin and syntaxin-1 are membrane proteins that associate with synaptic vesicles and presynaptic active zones at nerve endings, respectively. The former is known to be a good marker of synaptogenesis; this aspect, however, is not clear with syntaxin-1. In this study, the expression of both proteins was examined in the developing human retina and compared with their distribution in postnatal to adult retinas, by immunohistochemistry. In the inner plexiform layer, both were expressed simultaneously at 11–12 weeks of gestation, when synaptogenesis reportedly begins in the central retina. In the outer plexiform layer, however, the immunoreactivities were prominent by 16 weeks of gestation. Their expression in both plexiform layers followed a centre-to-periphery gradient. The immunoreactivities for both proteins were found in the immature photoreceptor, amacrine and ganglion cells; however, synaptophysin was differentially localized in bipolar cells and their axons, and syntaxin was present in some horizontal cells. In postnatal-to-adult retinas, synaptophysin immunoreactivity was prominent in photoreceptor terminals lying in the outer plexiform layer; on the contrary, syntaxin-1 was present in a thin immunoreactive band in this layer. In the inner plexiform layer, however, both were homogeneously distributed. Our study suggests that (i) syntaxin-1 appears in parallel with synapse formation; (ii) synaptogenesis in the human retina might follow a centre-to-periphery gradient; (iii) syntaxin-1 is likely to be absent from ribbon synapses of the outer plexiform layer, but may occur at presynaptic terminals of photoreceptor and horizontal cells, as is apparent from its localization in these cells, which is hitherto unreported for any vertebrate retina.

    • Age-related decrease in rod bipolar cell density of the human retina: an immunohistochemical study

      P Aggarwal T C Nag S Wadhwa

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      During normal ageing, the rods (and other neurones) undergo a significant decrease in density in the human retina from the fourth decade of life onward. Since the rods synapse with the rod bipolar cells in the outer plexiform layer, a decline in rod density (mainly due to death) may ultimately cause an associated decline of the neurones which, like the rod bipolar cells, are connected to them. The rod bipolar cells are selectively stained with antibodies to protein kinase C-𝛼. This study examined if rod bipolar cell density changes with ageing of the retina, utilizing donor human eyes (age: 6–91 years). The retinas were fixed and their temporal parts from the macula to the mid-periphery sectioned and processed for protein kinase C-𝛼 immunohistochemistry. The density of the immunopositive rod bipolar cells was estimated in the mid-peripheral retina (eccentricity: 3–5 mm) along the horizontal temporal axis. The results show that while there is little change in the density of the rod bipolar cells from 6 to 35 years (2.2%), the decline during the period from 35 to 62 years is about 21% and between seventh and tenth decades, it is approximately 27%.

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