Vol 61, No 2 (2023)
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Published online: 2023-07-06

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Immunocytochemical localization of calbindin-D28K, calretinin, and parvalbumin in the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus) visual cortex

Jae-Rim Son1, Xin-Yu Kuai1, Chang-Jin Jeon1
Pubmed: 37435896
Folia Histochem Cytobiol 2023;61(2):81-97.


Introduction. While most animals of the Muridae family are nocturnal, the gerbil displays diurnal activity and provides a useful model for visual system research. The purpose of this study was to investigate the localization of calcium-binding proteins (CBPs) in the visual cortex of the Mongolian gerbil (Meriones unguiculatus). We also compared the labeling of CBPs to those of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)- and nitric oxide synthase (NOS)-containing neurons.

Material and methods. The study was conducted on twelve adult Mongolian gerbils (3–4 months old). We used horseradish peroxidase immunocytochemistry and two-color fluorescence immunocytochemistry with conventional and confocal microscopy to assess CBPs localization in the visual cortex.

Results. The highest density of calbindin-D28K (CB)- (34.18%) and parvalbumin (PV)-IR (37.51%) neurons was found in layer V, while the highest density of calretinin (CR)-IR (33.85%) neurons was found in layer II. The CB- (46.99%), CR- (44.88%), and PV-IR (50.17%) neurons mainly displayed a multipolar round/oval morphology. Two-color immunofluorescence revealed that only 16.67%, 14.16%, and 39.91% of the CB-, CR-, and PV-IR neurons, respectively, contained GABA. In addition, none of the CB-, CR-, and PV-IR neurons contained NOS.

Conclusions. Our findings indicate that CB-, CR-, and PV-containing neurons in the Mongolian gerbil visual cortex are distributed abundantly and distinctively in specific layers and in a small population of GABAergic neurons but are limited to subpopulations that do not express NOS. These data provide a basis for the potential roles of CBP-containing neurons in the gerbil visual cortex.

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