The protein product of the deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC) gene possesses netrin-binding activity and may be involved in axonal guidance during retinal development. The temporal and spatial expression of DCC was analyzed in developing rat retina by means of immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry as well as by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. Transient DCC protein expression is evident on ganglion cell axons in embryonic and neonatal retina. Double labeling experiments demonstrate DCC immunolabeling on processes that stratify in the inner plexiform layer and are derived from cholinergic amacrine cells. This pattern is maintained during the early postnatal period. DCC immunolabeling in the inner plexiform layer declines with age and is not observed in adult retina. The down-regulation of the DCC protein is confirmed by Western blot analysis. mRNA for DCC is expressed in embryonic, postnatal and adult retina and shows no correlation with the protein down-regulation. We suggest that DCC expression may be correlated with the functional segregation of the inner plexiform layer.
- Cell- och molekylärbiologi