Cell-specific expression of plasma membrane calcium ATPase isoforms in retinal neurons

David Krizaj, Steven J. Demarco, Juliette Johnson, Emanuel E. Strehler, David R. Copenhagen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Scopus citations


Ca2+ extrusion by high-affinity plasma membrane calcium ATPases (PMCAs) is a principal mechanism for the clearance of Ca2+ from the cytosol. The PMCA family consists of four isoforms (PMCA1-4). Little is known about the selective expression of these isoforms in brain tissues or about the physiological function conferred upon neurons by any given isoform. We investigated the cellular and subcellular distribution of PMCA isoforms in a mammalian retina. Mouse photoreceptors, cone bipolar cells and horizontal cells, which respond to light with a graded polarization, express isoform 1 (PMCA1) of the PMCA family. PMCA2 is localized to rod bipolar cells, horizontal cells, amacrine cells, and ganglion cells, and PMCA3 is predominantly expressed in spiking neurons, including both amacrine and ganglion cells but is also found in horizontal cells. PMCA4 was found to be selectively expressed in both synaptic layers. Optical measurements of Ca2+ clearance showed that PMCAs mediate Ca2+ extrusion in both rod and cone bipolar cells. In addition, we found that rod bipolar cells, but not cone bipolar cells possess a prominent Na+/Ca2+ exchange mechanism. We conclude that PMCA isoforms are selectively expressed in retinal neurons and that processes of Ca2+ clearance are different in rod and cone bipolar cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Comparative Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 9 2002


  • Bipolar cell
  • Ca extrusion
  • Na/Ca exchange
  • PMCA
  • Photoreceptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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