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Generation of cat retinal ganglion cells in relation to central pathways

Naturevolume 302pages611614 (1983) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The ganglion cells of the cat retina form classes distinguishable in terms of perikaryal size1,2, dendritic morphology3 and functional properties4. Further, the axons differ in their diameters, patterns of chiasmatic crossing and in their central connections5–8. Here we define, by 3H-thymidine autoradiography, the order of production of cells of each class and relate the order of the ‘birthdates’ to the known axonal pathways. The ganglion cell classes are produced in broad waves, which overlap as cells are produced first for central then for peripheral retina. Medium-sized cells are produced before the largest cells, and small ganglion cells are produced throughout the period of cell generation. This sequence of cell production relates to the orderly arrangement of axons in the optic tract9,10, and can also be related to the rules of chiasmatic crossing observed for each ganglion cell class11–13.

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Author notes

    • C. Walsh

    Present address: Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung, Deutschordenstrasse 46, D-6000, Frankfurt, 71, FRG

Affiliations

  1. Committee on Neurobiology, and Department of Pharmacological and Physiological Sciences, University of Chicago, 947 E. 58th Street, Chicago, Illinois, 60637, USA

    • C. Walsh
    •  & R. W. Guillery
  2. Departments of Anatomy, Ophthalmology and Neurosurgery, University of Illinois at the Medical Center, PO Box 6998, Chicago, Illinois, 60680, USA

    • E. H. Polley
  3. Department of Physiological Optics, University of Alabama School of Optometry, University Station, Birmingham, Alabama, 35294, USA

    • T. L. Hickey

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https://doi.org/10.1038/302611a0

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