Photoreceptor density of the domestic pig retina


Matthew J. Chandler Angell Memorial Animal Hospital, 350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02130 USATel.: 617 522-7282 ext. 5163Fax: 617 522-4885e-mail:


The spatial distribution and densities of photoreceptors in seven whole-mounted porcine retinas were studied and maps illustrating photoreceptor topography were constructed. Total photoreceptor densities ranged from to 83 000 to 200 000 cells/mm2, with a mean of 138 500 cells/mm2. Cone densities ranged from 39 000 (area centralis) to 8500 cones/mm2 (peripherally), with a mean of 16 400 cones/mm2. Rod:cone ratios ranged from 3:1 centrally to 16:1 peripherally, with a mean ratio of 8:1. Averaged photoreceptor densities are greatest (166 000 cells/mm2) within the central inferior retina, and regional differences in rod:cone ratios were found. Cone densities are increased in a broad region dorsal to the optic disk, extending both nasally and temporally. This region is believed to represent the area centralis. Cone densities gradually decrease and taper towards the periphery and inferior retina as rod:cone ratios increase. In addition to the many anatomic and ultrastructural similarities to the human eye, this study illustrates similarities within the photoreceptor mosaic of these two species and supports the use of the pig retina as a model for human/animal research.