Expression of vesicular nucleotide transporter in the mouse retina

Satomi Moriyama, Miki Hiasa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Vesicular nucleotide transporter (VNUT) is a membrane protein that is responsible for vesicular storage and subsequent vesicular release of nucleotides, such as ATP, and plays an essential role in purinergic chemical transmission. In the present study, we investigated whether VNUT is present in the rodent retina to define the site(s) of vesicular ATP release. In the mouse retina, reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunological analyses using specific anti-VNUT antibodies indicated that VNUT is expressed as a polypeptide with an apparent molecular mass of 59 kDa. VNUT is widely distributed throughout the inner and outer retinal layers, particularly in the outer segment of photoreceptors, outer plexiform layer, inner plexiform layer, and ganglion cell layer. VNUT is colocalized with vesicular glutamate transporter 1 and synaptophysin in photoreceptor cells, while it is colocalized with vesicular γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter in amacrine cells and bipolar cells. VNUT is also present in astrocytes and Müller cells. The retina from VNUT knockout (VNUT-/-) mice showed the loss of VNUT immunoreactivity. The retinal membrane fraction took up radiolabeled ATP in diisothiocyanate stilbene disulfonic acid (DIDS)-, an inhibitor of VNUT, and bafilomycin A1-, a vacuolar adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) inhibitor, in a sensitive manner, while membranes from VNUT-/- mice showed the loss of DIDS-sensitive ATP uptake. Taken together, these results indicate that functional VNUT is expressed in the rodent retina and suggest that ATP is released from photoreceptor cells, bipolar cells, amacrine cells, and astrocytes as well as Müller cells to initiate purinergic chemical transmission.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-569
Number of pages6
JournalBiological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


  • ATP
  • Amacrine Cell
  • Bipolar Cell
  • Photoreceptor Cell
  • Retina
  • Vesicular Nucleotide Transporter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmaceutical Science


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