The inhibitory neurotransmitter gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) has been shown to influence the responses of ganglion cells in the mammalian retina. Consistently, GABAA receptor subunits have been localized to different ganglion cell types. In this study, the distribution of the α1 subunit of the GABAA receptor on the dendrites of midget and parasol ganglion cells was investigated quantitatively in the retina of a New World monkey, the marmoset. Ganglion cells were injected with Neurobiotin in a live
in vitroretinal whole-mount preparation. Retinal pieces were then processed with an antibody against the α1 subunit of the GABAA receptor. Strong punctate immunoreactivity indicative of synaptic localization is present in the ON and OFF sublamina of the inner plexiform layer. Many of the immunoreactive puncta coincide with the dendrites of both midget and parasol ganglion cells. Immunoreactive puncta are present on distal and proximal dendrites of ON and OFF cells of both ganglion cell types. On average, parasol cells show a slight increase in the spatial density of immunoreactive puncta with distance from the soma, whereas the density of immunoreactive puncta on midget cells stays even. Parasol ganglion cells show a slightly higher average density of immunoreactive puncta (0.083 puncta/μm dendrite) than midget cells (0.054 puncta/μm dendrite).