Morphology and distribution of neurons in the retinal ganglion cell layer of the adult tammar wallaby—Macropus eugenii

Authors

  • R. O. L. Wong,

    1. Department of Physiology, John Curtin School of Medical Research and Behavioural Biology, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra City, ACT 2601 Australia
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  • J. Wye-Dvorak,

    1. Department of Physiology, John Curtin School of Medical Research and Behavioural Biology, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra City, ACT 2601 Australia
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  • G. H. Henry

    1. Department of Physiology, John Curtin School of Medical Research and Behavioural Biology, Research School of Biological Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra City, ACT 2601 Australia
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Abstract

The morphology of the ganglion cell layer of the adult tammar wallaby has been examined from Nissl-stained retinal flatmounts. From this material, neurons have been classed as ganglion cells or displaced amacrine cells according to the disposition of Nissl substance. A further subdivision of ganglion cells into a separate group of alphalike cells was assisted by determining the range of soma sizes in neurofibrillar-stained flatmounts, a method which, in the cat, has revealed the presence of alpha cells. Isodensity contour maps prepared from the Nissl-stained flatmounts show a well-developed visual streak and an area centralis in the total neuronal population. A similar pattern was also found in the ganglion cells, thus confirming Tancred's (J. Comp. Neurol. 196:585–603, '81) finding, and, as well, in the alphalike ganglion cells and the displaced amacrine cells. The relative proportions of ganglion cells to displaced amacrines (GC:DA) were evaluated from isodensity profiles drawn along and vertical to the visual streak for the two cell types and also from maps showing the variation in the GC:DA ratio throughout the retina. A comparison with results published for other species shows that the visual streak development in the tammar wallaby is consistent with the expectations of the “terrain” theory and that, in its relative proportion of displaced amacrines, the tammar closely resembles the rabbit but contrasts sharply with the cat, which has half as many ganglion cells and three times as many displaced amacrines as the other two species.

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