Distributions of choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholinesterase activities in the retinal layers of the red-tailed hawk and road runner.
The activities of choline acetyltransferase and acetylcholinesterase were assayed in submicrogram samples from layers of red-tailed hawk and road runner retina. Both enzyme activities were concentrated in and near the inner plexiform layer. Within the inner plexiform layers of both species, activities of each enzyme were concentrated in two bands, one in each half of this layer. Little choline acetyltransferase activity was found superficial to the middle third of the inner nuclear layer. The distributions of acetylcholinesterase activities corresponded well to those of choline acetyltransferase, except in the outer plexiform layer and the outer margin of the inner nuclear layer of the hawk. These distributions of enzyme activities indicate that populations of amacrine cells in the retinae of these species are cholinergic. In addition to these same cells and presumably cholinoceptive amacrine and ganglion cells, acetylcholinesterase activity in the hawk was associated with a population of horizontal cells that may be unrelated to synaptic cholinergic neurotransmission. Choline acetyltransferase activities associated with amacrine somata and processes were about four times greater in the hawk than in the road runner, suggesting important differences in the density and function of cholinergic elements between species. Possible synaptic relationships in the inner plexiform layer consistent with the interspecies differences in enzyme activities are considered.
White, LE; Ross, CD; Godfrey, DA
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