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Keywords:

  • area centralis;
  • visual streak;
  • cone;
  • rod;
  • tapetum lucidum;
  • visual field

Abstract

Retinal topographies of some cell types and distribution of the tapetum lucidum in the sheep's eye were investigated in this study. The tapetum was observed macroscopically in the fundus. The topographical distributions of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), cones, and rods were simultaneously analyzed in retinal whole mounts stained with cresyl violet. Short-wavelength-sensitive (S) cones were immunocytochemically identified in retinal whole mounts. The tapetum was located dorsal to the optic disc, with the nasal part elongated horizontally and the temporal part expanded dorsally. RGCs were distributed densely in the area centralis, horizontal visual streak, and anakatabatic area. The highest density in the area centralis was approximately 18,000 RGCs/mm2. Cones showed high density in the horizontal area crossing the optic disc and dorsotemporal area, whereas rods showed high density in the horizontal area, which was greater in height than the horizontal area of high cone density. S cones showed high density in the dorsotemporal retina. The rod/cone ratios were high horizontally in the dorsal retina to the optic disc, with a mean value of 11:1. The cone/RGC and rod/RGC ratios were lower in the horizontal and dorsotemporal retina, and the rod/cone/RGC ratio was lowest in the area centralis (9:1:1). The retinal topographies and distribution of the tapetum were specialized in the horizontal and dorsotemporal fundus. This suggests that sheep have better visual acuity in horizontal and anteroinferior visual fields and that this specialization is related to the visual ecology of sheep. J. Comp. Neurol. 518:2305–2315, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.