Glasauer, S.M., Wäger, R., Gesemann, M., Neuhauss, S.C. (2016) mglur6b:EGFP transgenic zebrafish suggest novel functions of metabotropic glutamate signaling in retina and other brain regions. The Journal of comparative neurology. 524(12):2363-78.
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) are mainly known for regulating excitability of neurons. However, mGluR6 at the photoreceptor-ON bipolar cell synapse mediates sign inversion through glutamatergic inhibition. Although this is currently the only confirmed function of mGluR6, other functions have been suggested. Here, we present Tg(mglur6b:EGFP)zh1, a new transgenic zebrafish line recapitulating endogenous expression of one of the two mglur6 paralogues in zebrafish. Investigating transgene as well as endogenous mglur6b expression within the zebrafish retina indicates that EGFP and mglur6b mRNA are not only expressed in bipolar cells, but also in a subset of ganglion and amacrine cells. The amacrine cells labeled in Tg(mglur6b:EGFP)zh1 constitute a novel cholinergic, non-GABAergic, non-starburst amacrine cell type described for the first time in teleost fishes. Apart from the retina, we find transgene expression in subsets of periventricular neurons of the hypothalamus, Purkinje cells of the cerebellum, various cell types of the optic tectum and mitral/ruffed cells of the olfactory bulb. These findings suggest novel functions of mGluR6 besides sign inversion at ON bipolar cell dendrites opening up the possibility that inhibitory glutamatergic signaling may be more prevalent than currently thought.