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Wenyao Wang, Chengdong Wang, yuan zhou, Rongping Wei, Yan Nan, Linhua Deng, Jie Gao, Chun Zhang, Desheng Li, Mingliang Pu; A peculiar distribution pattern of retinal ganglion cells in the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2017;58(8):1612.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Characterize the vertical distribution pattern of retinal ganglion cells in the giant panda.
Four eyeballs were immediately collected from deceased adult pandas. For comparison, a pair of eyeballs was from one young adult cat. The eyecups were quickly fixed with 4% paraformaldehyde at room temperature for one hour. The retinas were then dissected from the retinal pigment epithelium, and 3–4 radial cuts were made to flatten the retina. Routine immunohistochemical staining techniques were applied to label retinal ganglion cells (RGCs). RNA-binding protein with multiple splicing (RBPMS) was used as an RGC marker to selectively label RGCs (custom-made by ProSci Inc, CA). Immunostained RGCs were scanned under confocal microscopy and analyzed with commercial software (Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Excel).
As expected, the isodensity map of RGCs in the cat exhibited a typical horizontally positioned visual streak, in contrast, that of the panda showed a vertically oriented isodensity RGCs band. This band crossed the center of AC-like peak density region and extended vertically from the superior to the inferior retina (5.22 ± 0.46 mm, n=3). The averaged width of the band was 2.18 ± 0.32 mm (n=3). The averaged soma size within the band increased with eccentricity. It was 18.13 ± 3.33 µm at the center of the AC-like region. The soma size increased at different eccentricities in the inferior retina (1mm: 17.93 ± 3.01 µm; 3mm: 20.18 ± 3.63 µm) and the superior retina (1mm: 17.3 ± 3.29 µm; 3mm: 19.78 ± 3.85 µm). Furthermore, RGCs in the inferior retina appeared larger than those observed in the superior retina (Inferior: 19.08 ± 3.22 µm; Superior: 18.48 ± 3.6 µm).
The present study suggests that the giant panda adopted a retinal structure that is essential for better visual performance and survival. These morphological characteristics of RGCs could be important for understanding visual adaptation and evolution of this living fossil.
This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2017 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Baltimore, MD, May 7-11, 2017.
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