In the insect antennal lobe different types of local interneurons mediate complex excitatory and inhibitory interactions between the glomerular pathways to structure the spatiotemporal representation of odors. Mass spectrometric and immunohistochemical studies have shown that in local interneurons classical neurotransmitters are likely to colocalize with a variety of substances that can potentially act as cotransmitters or neuromodulators. In the antennal lobe of the cockroach Periplaneta americana, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) has been identified as the potential inhibitory transmitter of spiking type I local interneurons, whereas acetylcholine is most likely the excitatory transmitter of nonspiking type IIa1 local interneurons. This study used whole-cell patch clamp recordings combined with single-cell labeling and immunohistochemistry to test if the GABAergic type I local interneurons and the cholinergic type IIa1 local interneurons express allatotropin and tachykinin-related neuropeptides (TKRPs). These are two of the most abundant types of peptides in the insect antennal lobe. GABA-like and choline acetyltransferase (ChAT)-like immunoreactivity were used as markers for GABAergic and cholinergic neurons, respectively. About 50% of the GABA-like immunoreactive (-lir) spiking type I local interneurons were allatotropin-lir, and ∼ 40% of these neurons were TKRP-lir. About 20% of nonspiking ChAT-lir type IIa1 local interneurons were TKRP-lir. Our results suggest that in subpopulations of GABAergic and cholinergic local interneurons, allatotropin and TKRPs might act as cotransmitters or neuromodulators. To unequivocally assign neurotransmitters, cotransmitters, and neuromodulators to identified classes of antennal lobe neurons is an important step to deepen our understanding of information processing in the insect olfactory system.
Despite numerous reports that different markers are expressed by horizontal cells in the avian retina, it remains unknown whether different types of horizontal cells can be defined by differences in their immunocytochemical profiles. The purpose of this study was to rectify this deficiency. We identified horizontal cells by indirect immunofluorescence with antibodies to calretinin, trkA, GABA, Prox1, AP2alpha, Pax6, islet1, and Lim1 + 2. We found two major groups of horizontal cells, those that express trkA and those that express calretinin. The trkA-immunoreactive (-IR) horizontal cells had small, round somata and robust, bulbous dendritic endings, whereas calretinin-IR horizontal cells had large, polygonal cell bodies and fine, diffuse dendritic endings, both contacting the calbindin-IR pedicles of double cones. Weak gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunoreactivity was observed only in a few of the trkA-IR horizontal cells, whereas the overlap of calretinin and GABA immunoreactivities was 100%. The majority of trkA-IR horizontal cells expressed islet1, and the majority of calretinin-IR horizontal cells expressed Lim1 + 2, AP2alpha, and Pax6. Islet1 immunoreactivity was observed in a small fraction of calretinin-IR/non-trkA-IR cells. In agreement with previous reports, we detected Prox1 immunoreactivity in all types of horizontal cells. These immunolabeling profiles suggest that there are four immunochemically distinct subtypes of horizontal cells in the postnatal chick retina, which may match the four types that have been observed in Golgi-impregnated pigeon and turtle retinas.