Localization and possible function of P2Y4 receptors in the rodent retina

M. M. Ward, T. Puthussery, E. L. Fletcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Extracellular ATP acts as a neurotransmitter in the retina, via the activation of ionotropic P2X receptors and metabotropic P2Y receptors. The expression of various P2X and P2Y receptor subtypes has been demonstrated in the retina, but the localization of P2Y receptors and their role in retinal signaling remains ill defined. In this study, we were interested in determining the localization of the P2Y4 receptor subtype in the rat retina, and using the electroretinogram (ERG) to assess whether activation of these receptors modulated visual transmission. Using light and electron microscopy, we demonstrated that P2Y4 receptors were expressed pre-synaptically in rod bipolar cells and in processes postsynaptic to cone bipolar cells. Furthermore, we show that the expression of P2Y4 receptors on rod bipolar cell axon terminals is reduced following dark adaptation, suggesting receptor expression may be dependent on retinal activity. Finally, using the electroretinogram, we show that intravitreal injection of uridine triphosphate, a P2Y receptor agonist, decreases the amplitude of the rod PII, supporting a role for P2Y receptors in altering inner retinal function. Taken together, these results suggest a role for P2Y4 receptors in the modulation of inner retinal signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1262-1274
Number of pages13
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 9 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • electron microscopy
  • electroretinogram
  • extracellular-ATP
  • purinergic
  • rod bipolar cell
  • rod pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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