Direction-selective (DS) ganglion cells of the mammalian retina have their dendrites in the inner plexiform layer (IPL) confined to two narrow strata. The same strata are also occupied by the dendrites of cholinergic amacrine cells which are probably presynaptic to the DS ganglion cells. GABA is known to play a crucial role in creating DS responses. We examined the types of GABAA receptors expressed by the cholinergic amacrine cells and also those expressed by their presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons, by applying immunocytochemical markers to vertical sections of rat retinas. Double-labelling experiments with antibodies against choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) and specific antibodies against different GABAA receptor subunits were performed. Cholinergic amacrine cells seem to express an unusual combination of GABAA receptor subunits consisting of α2-, β1-, β2/3-, γ2-, and δ-subunits. Bipolar cells, which could provide synaptic input to the DS circuitry, were stained with antibodies against the glutamate transporter GLT-1. The axon terminals of these bipolar cells are narrowly stratified in close proximity to the dendritic plexus of displaced cholinergic amacrine cells. The retinal distribution of synaptoporin, a synaptic vesicle associated protein, was studied. Strong reduction of immunolabelling was observed in the two cholinergic strata. The anatomical findings are discussed in the context of models of the DS circuitry of the mammalian retina.