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Brn-3a (C-20) antibody


Antibody ID


Target Antigen

Brn-3a (C-20) mouse, rat, human, mouse, porcine, human, rat

Proper Citation

(Santa Cruz Biotechnology Cat# sc-31984, RRID:AB_2167511)


polyclonal antibody


Discontinued: 2016; validation status unknown check with seller; recommendations: WB, IF, ELISA; Immunofluorescence; ELISA; Western Blot

Host Organism



Santa Cruz Biotechnology

Localization, distribution, and connectivity of neuropeptide Y in the human and porcine retinas-A comparative study.

  • Christiansen AT
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2018 Aug 15

Literature context:


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is a peptide neurotransmitter abundantly expressed in the mammalian retina. Since its discovery, NPY has been studied in retinas of several species, but detailed characterization of morphology, cell-type, and connectivity has never been conducted in larger mammals including humans and pigs. As the pig due to size and cellular composition is a well-suited animal for retinal research, we chose to compare the endogenous NPY system of the human retina to that of pigs to support future research in this field. In the present study, using immunohistochemistry, confocal microscopy and 3D reconstructions, we found NPY to be expressed in GABAergic and calretinin-immunoreactive (-ir) amacrine cells of both species as well as parvalbumin-ir amacrine cells of humans. Furthermore, we identified at least two different types of medium- to wide-field NPY-ir amacrine cells. Finally, we detected likely synaptic appositions between the NPY-ir amacrine cells and melanopsin- and nonmelanopsin-ir ganglion cells, GABAergic and dopaminergic amacrine cells, rod bipolar cells, and horizontal cells, suggesting that NPY-ir cells play diverse roles in modulation of both image and non-image forming retinal signaling. These findings extend existing knowledge on NPY and NPY-expressing cells in the human and porcine retina showing a high degree of comparability. The extensive distribution and connectivity of NPY-ir cells described in the present study further highlights the potential importance of NPY signaling in retinal function.

Funding information:
  • NIA NIH HHS - R01 AG012423(United States)

Visual and Motor Deficits in Grown-up Mice with Congenital Zika Virus Infection.

  • Cui L
  • EBioMedicine
  • 2018 Mar 26

Literature context:


Human infants with congenital Zika virus (ZIKV) infection exhibit a range of symptoms including microcephaly, intracranial calcifications, macular atrophy and arthrogryposis. More importantly, prognosis data have lagged far behind the recent outbreak of ZIKV in 2015. In this work, we allow congenitally ZIKV-infected mice to grow into puberty. These mice exhibited motor incoordination and visual dysfunctions, which can be accounted by anatomical defects in the retina and cerebellar cortex. In contrary, anxiety level of the ZIKV-infected mice is normal. The spectrum of anatomical and behavioral deficits is consistent across different mice. Our data provided evidence that may help predict the public health burden in terms of prognosis of ZIKV-related congenital brain malformations in an animal model. Our study provided behavioral evaluation for the prognosis of congenital ZIKV infection and provides a platform for screening and evaluation of drugs candidates and treatment aiming at improving regeneration of infected neurons to prevent sequelae caused by ZIKV infection of fetus.

Study of retinal neurodegeneration and maculopathy in diabetic Meriones shawi: A particular animal model with human-like macula.

  • Hammoum I
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2017 Sep 1

Literature context:


The purpose of this work was to evaluate a potentially useful animal model, Meriones shawi (M.sh)-developing metabolic X syndrome, diabetes and possessing a visual streak similar to human macula-in the study of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema (DME). Type 2 diabetes (T2D) was induced by high fat diet administration in M.sh. Body weights, blood glucose levels were monitored throughout the study. Diabetic retinal histopathology was evaluated 3 and 7 months after diabetes induction. Retinal thickness was measured, retinal cell types were labeled by immunohistochemistry and the number of stained elements were quantified. Apoptosis was determined with TUNEL assay. T2D induced progressive changes in retinal histology. A significant decrease of retinal thickness and glial reactivity was observed without an increase in apoptosis rate. Photoreceptor outer segment degeneration was evident, with a significant decrease in the number of all cones and M-cone subtype, but-surprisingly-an increase in S-cones. Damage of the pigment epithelium was also confirmed. A decrease in the number and labeling intensity of parvalbumin- and calretinin-positive amacrine cells and a loss of ganglion cells was detected. Other cell types showed no evident alterations. No DME-like condition was noticed even after 7 months. M.sh could be a useful model to study the evolution of diabetic retinal pathology and to identify the role of hypertension and dyslipidemia in the development of the reported alterations. Longer follow up would be needed to evaluate the potential use of the visual streak in modeling human macular diseases.

Involvement of microglia in early axoglial alterations of the optic nerve induced by experimental glaucoma.

  • Bordone MP
  • J. Neurochem.
  • 2017 Jul 12

Literature context:


Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, characterized by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss and optic nerve (ON) damage. Cumulative evidence suggests glial cell involvement in the degeneration of the ON and RGCs. We analyzed the contribution of microglial reactivity to early axoglial alterations of the ON in an induced model of ocular hypertension. For this purpose, vehicle or chondroitin sulfate (CS) were weekly injected into the eye anterior chamber from Wistar rats for different intervals. The amount of Brn3a(+) RGC significantly decreased in CS-injected eyes for 10 and 15 (but not 6) weeks. A reduction in anterograde transport of β-subunit cholera toxin was observed in the superior colliculus and the lateral geniculate nucleus contralateral to CS-injected eyes for 6 and 15 weeks. A disruption of cholera toxin β-subunit transport was observed at the proximal myelinated ON. A significant decrease in phosphorylated neurofilament heavy chain immunoreactivity, an increase in ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1(+), ED1(+) (microglial markers), and glial fibrillary acidic protein (astrocytes) (+) area, and decreased luxol fast blue staining were observed in the ON at 6 and 15 weeks of ocular hypertension. Microglial reactivity involvement was examined through a daily treatment with minocycline (30 mg/kg, i.p.) for 2 weeks, after 4 weeks of ocular hypertension. Minocycline prevented the increase in ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1(+), ED-1(+), and glial fibrillary acidic protein(+) area, the decrease in phosphorylated neurofilament heavy-chain immunoreactivity and luxol fast blue staining, and the deficit in anterograde transport induced by 6 weeks of ocular hypertension. Thus, targeting microglial reactivity might prevent early axoglial alterations in the glaucomatous ON. Cover Image for this issue: doi: 10.1111/jnc.13807.

Small-Molecule Stabilization of 14-3-3 Protein-Protein Interactions Stimulates Axon Regeneration.

  • Kaplan A
  • Neuron
  • 2017 Mar 8

Literature context:


Damaged central nervous system (CNS) neurons have a poor ability to spontaneously regenerate, causing persistent functional deficits after injury. Therapies that stimulate axon growth are needed to repair CNS damage. 14-3-3 adaptors are hub proteins that are attractive targets to manipulate cell signaling. We identify a positive role for 14-3-3s in axon growth and uncover a developmental regulation of the phosphorylation and function of 14-3-3s. We show that fusicoccin-A (FC-A), a small-molecule stabilizer of 14-3-3 protein-protein interactions, stimulates axon growth in vitro and regeneration in vivo. We show that FC-A stabilizes a complex between 14-3-3 and the stress response regulator GCN1, inducing GCN1 turnover and neurite outgrowth. These findings show that 14-3-3 adaptor protein complexes are druggable targets and identify a new class of small molecules that may be further optimized for the repair of CNS damage.

Amacrine cells coupled to ganglion cells via gap junctions are highly vulnerable in glaucomatous mouse retinas.

  • Akopian A
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2016 Jul 13

Literature context:


We determined whether the structural and functional integrity of amacrine cells (ACs), the largest cohort of neurons in the mammalian retina, are affected in glaucoma. Intraocular injection of microbeads was made in mouse eyes to elevate intraocular pressure as a model of experimental glaucoma. Specific immunocytochemical markers were used to identify AC and displaced (d)ACs subpopulations in both the inner nuclear and ganglion cell layers, respectively, and to distinguish them from retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). Calretinin- and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)-immunoreactive (IR) cells were highly vulnerable to glaucomatous damage, whereas choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-positive and glycinergic AC subtypes were unaffected. The AC loss began 4 weeks after initial microbead injection, corresponding to the time course of RGC loss. Recordings of electroretinogram (ERG) oscillatory potentials and scotopic threshold responses, which reflect AC and RGC activity, were significantly attenuated in glaucomatous eyes following a time course that matched that of the AC and RGC loss. Moreover, we found that it was the ACs coupled to RGCs via gap junctions that were lost in glaucoma, whereas uncoupled ACs were largely unaffected. Our results suggest that AC loss in glaucoma occurs secondary to RGC death through the gap junction-mediated bystander effect. J. Comp. Neurol., 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Non-image Forming Light Detection by Melanopsin, Rhodopsin, and Long-Middlewave (L/W) Cone Opsin in the Subterranean Blind Mole Rat, Spalax Ehrenbergi: Immunohistochemical Characterization, Distribution, and Connectivity.

  • Esquiva G
  • Front Neuroanat
  • 2016 Jul 4

Literature context:


The blind mole rat, Spalax ehrenbergi, can, despite severely degenerated eyes covered by fur, entrain to the daily light/dark cycle and adapt to seasonal changes due to an intact circadian timing system. The present study demonstrates that the Spalax retina contains a photoreceptor layer, an outer nuclear layer (ONL), an outer plexiform layer (OPL), an inner nuclear layer (INL), an inner plexiform layer (IPL), and a ganglion cell layer (GCL). By immunohistochemistry, the number of melanopsin (mRGCs) and non-melanopsin bearing retinal ganglion cells was analyzed in detail. Using the ganglion cell marker RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing (RBPMS) it was shown that the Spalax eye contains 890 ± 62 RGCs. Of these, 87% (752 ± 40) contain melanopsin (cell density 788 melanopsin RGCs/mm(2)). The remaining RGCs were shown to co-store Brn3a and calretinin. The melanopsin cells were located mainly in the GCL with projections forming two dendritic plexuses located in the inner part of the IPL and in the OPL. Few melanopsin dendrites were also found in the ONL. The Spalax retina is rich in rhodopsin and long/middle wave (L/M) cone opsin bearing photoreceptor cells. By using Ctbp2 as a marker for ribbon synapses, both rods and L/M cone ribbons containing pedicles in the OPL were found in close apposition with melanopsin dendrites in the outer plexus suggesting direct synaptic contact. A subset of cone bipolar cells and all photoreceptor cells contain recoverin while a subset of bipolar and amacrine cells contain calretinin. The calretinin expressing amacrine cells seemed to form synaptic contacts with rhodopsin containing photoreceptor cells in the OPL and contacts with melanopsin cell bodies and dendrites in the IPL. The study demonstrates the complex retinal circuitry used by the Spalax to detect light, and provides evidence for both melanopsin and non-melanopsin projecting pathways to the brain.

Funding information:
  • NIGMS NIH HHS - R01 GM080639(United States)

Involvement of endoplasmic reticulum stress in optic nerve degeneration after chronic high intraocular pressure in DBA/2J mice.

  • Ojino K
  • J. Neurosci. Res.
  • 2015 Nov 19

Literature context:


DBA/2J mice are one of several animal strains used for experimental models of both intraocular hypertension and glaucoma. This study investigates the relationship between endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and optic nerve degeneration in DBA/2J mice. Intraocular pressure (IOP) was measured in DBA/2J mice between the ages of 6 and 15 months. Optic nerve damage was assessed at 15 months of age. The nerve was immunostained with antibodies to either neurofilament heavy chain (NFH) or phosphorylated NFH (pNFH), and optic nerve damage was assessed by performing NFH- and pNFH-positive axon counts. Expression levels of the ER stress proteins 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein, also known as binding immunoglobulin protein, and C/EBP homologous protein were assayed with Western blotting. We also investigated ER stress localization in the optic nerve by double immunostaining with antibodies to ionized calcium-binding adaptor molecule 1, myelin basic protein, and glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP). In DBA/2J mice, IOP began to rise at 8 months of age, and retinal degeneration was detected at 15 months of age. DBA/2J mice had fewer axons than controls at 15 months of age. ER stress-related protein levels were higher in the optic nerves of DBA/2J mice and were colocalized with GFAP-positive astrocytes. Our findings suggest that ER stress plays a role in optic nerve degeneration during chronic ocular hypertension. Furthermore, ER stress may be related in some way to astrocyte activation.

Funding information:
  • NIAMS NIH HHS - R01 AR066703(United States)

Dopamine and full-field illumination activate D1 and D2-D5-type receptors in adult rat retinal ganglion cells.

  • Ogata G
  • J. Comp. Neurol.
  • 2012 Dec 1

Literature context:


Dopamine can regulate signal generation and transmission by activating multiple receptors and signaling cascades, especially in striatum, hippocampus, and cerebral cortex. Dopamine modulates an even larger variety of cellular properties in retina, yet has been reported to do so by only D1 receptor-driven cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) increases or D2 receptor-driven cAMP decreases. Here, we test the possibility that dopamine operates differently on retinal ganglion cells, because the ganglion cell layer binds D1 and D2 receptor ligands, and displays changes in signaling components other than cAMP under illumination that should release dopamine. In adult rat retinal ganglion cells, based on patch-clamp recordings, Ca(2+) imaging, and immunohistochemistry, we find that 1) spike firing is inhibited by dopamine and SKF 83959 (an agonist that does not activate homomeric D1 receptors or alter cAMP levels in other systems); 2) D1 and D2 receptor antagonists (SCH 23390, eticlopride, raclopride) counteract these effects; 3) these antagonists also block light-induced rises in cAMP, light-induced activation of Ca(2+) /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, and dopamine-induced Ca(2+) influx; and 4) the Ca(2+) rise is markedly reduced by removing extracellular Ca(2+) and by an IP3 receptor antagonist (2-APB). These results provide the first evidence that dopamine activates a receptor in adult mammalian retinal neurons that is distinct from classical D1 and D2 receptors, and that dopamine can activate mechanisms in addition to cAMP and cAMP-dependent protein kinase to modulate retinal ganglion cell excitability.

Funding information:
  • NIDDK NIH HHS - U01 DK062453(United States)