The transient receptor potential (TRP) channels are involved in sensing mechanical/physical stimuli such as temperature, light, pressure, as well as chemical stimuli. Some TRP channels are present in the vertebrate retina, and the occurrence of the multifunctional channel TRP vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) has been reported in adult zebrafish. Here, we investigate the expression and distribution of TRPV4 in the retina of zebrafish during development using polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Western blot, and immunohistochemistry from 3 days post fertilization (dpf) until 100 dpf. TRPV4 was detected at the mRNA and protein levels in the eye of zebrafish at all ages sampled. Immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of TRPV4 in a population of the retinal cells identified as amacrine cells on the basis of their morphology and localization within the retina, as well as the co-localization of TRPV4 with calretinin. TRPV4 was first (3 dpf) found in the soma of cells localized in the inner nuclear and ganglion cell layers, and thereafter (10 dpf) also in the inner plexiform layer. The adult pattern of TRPV4 expression was achieved by 40 dpf the expression being restricted to the soma of some cells in the inner nuclear layer and ganglion cell layers. These data demonstrate the occurrence and developmental changes in the expression and localization of TRPV4 in the retina of zebrafish, and suggest a role of TRPV4 in the visual processing.
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