Synaptic circuitry in the retinorecipient layers of the optic tectum of the lamprey (Lampetra fluviatilis). A combined hodological, GABA and glutamate immunocytochemical study.Brain Struct Funct. 2009 Sep; 213(4-5):395-422.BS
The ultrastructure of the retinorecipient layers of the lamprey optic tectum was analysed using tract tracing techniques combined with GABA and glutamate immunocytochemistry. Two types of neurons were identified; a population of large GABA-immunonegative cells, and a population of smaller, highly GABA-immunoreactive interneurons, some of whose dendrites contain synaptic vesicles (DCSV). Five types of axon terminals were identified and divided into two major categories. The first of these are GABA-immunonegative, highly glutamate-immunoreactive, contain round synaptic vesicles, make asymmetrical synaptic contacts, and can in turn be divided into AT1 and AT2 terminals. The AT1 terminals are those of the retinotectal projection. The origin of the nonretinal AT2 terminals could not be determined. AT1 and AT2 terminals establish synaptic contacts with DCSV, with dendrites of the retinopetal neurons (DRN), and with conventional dendritic (D) profiles. The terminals of the second category are GABA-immunoreactive and can similarly be divided into AT3 and AT4 terminals. The AT3 terminals contain pleiomorphic synaptic vesicles and make symmetrical synaptic contacts for the most part with glutamate-immunoreactive D profiles. The AT4 terminals contain rounded synaptic vesicles and make asymmetrical synaptic contacts with DRN, with DCSV, and with D profiles. A fifth, rarely observed category of terminals (AT5) contain both clear synaptic vesicles and a large number of dense-core vesicles. Synaptic triads involving AT1, AT2 or AT4 terminals are rare. Our findings are compared to these of previous studies of the fine structure and immunochemical properties of the retinorecipient layers of the optic tectum or superior colliculus of Gnathostomes.