Developmental and adult characterization of secretagogin expressing amacrine cells in zebrafish retina

Stefanie Dudczig, Peter David Currie, Patricia Regina Jusuf

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Calcium binding proteins show stereotypical expression patterns within diverse neuron types across the central nervous system. Here, we provide a characterization of developmental and adult secretagogin-immunolabelled neurons in the zebrafish retina with an emphasis on co-expression of multiple calcium binding proteins. Secretagogin is a recently identified and cloned member of the F-hand family of calcium binding proteins, which labels distinct neuron populations in the retinas of mammalian vertebrates. Both the adult distribution of secretagogin labeled retinal neurons as well as the developmental expression indicative of the stage of neurogenesis during which this calcium binding protein is expressed was quantified. Secretagogin expression was confined to an amacrine interneuron population in the inner nuclear layer, with monostratified neurites in the center of the inner plexiform layer and a relatively regular soma distribution (regularity index > 2.5 across central–peripheral areas). However, only a subpopulation (~60%) co-labeled with gamma-aminobutyric acid as their neurotransmitter, suggesting that possibly two amacrine subtypes are secretagogin immunoreactive. Quantitative co-labeling analysis with other known amacrine subtype markers including the three main calcium binding proteins parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin identifies secretagogin immunoreactive neurons as a distinct neuron population. The highest density of secretagogin cells of ~1800 cells / mm2 remained relatively evenly along the horizontal meridian, whilst the density dropped of to 125 cells / mm2 towards the dorsal and ventral periphery. Thus, secretagogin represents a new amacrine label within the zebrafish retina. The developmental expression suggests a possible role in late stage differentiation. This characterization forms the basis of functional studies assessing how the expression of distinct calcium binding proteins might be regulated to compensate for the loss of one of the others.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0185107
Number of pages17
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017


  • zebrafish
  • retina
  • neurons
  • neuronal differentiation
  • vertebrates
  • central nervous system
  • enzyme-linked immunoassays
  • immunohistochemistry techniques

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