May 2007
Volume 48, Issue 13
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   May 2007
Alpha-Like Ganglion Cells of the Primate Retina
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • J. D. Crook
    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    Neurobiology and Behavior,
  • B. Peterson
    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    Biological Structure,
  • D. Dacey
    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
    Biological Structure,
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships J.D. Crook, None; B. Peterson, None; D. Dacey, None.
  • Footnotes
    Support NIH Grant EY06678 and RR 00166
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science May 2007, Vol.48, 5943. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      J. D. Crook, B. Peterson, D. Dacey; Alpha-Like Ganglion Cells of the Primate Retina. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2007;48(13):5943.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose:: The morphological correlate of the cat alpha-Y ganglion cell has been described in a number of mammalian species but its correspondence in primate is uncertain. The prevailing view is that the magnocellular-projecting parasol ganglion cell type (also called the M-cell) corresponds to the cat alpha cell, though parasol cells (and the majority of cells of the magnocellular lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) layers) are physiologically X-like. In this study we propose a newly identified low density ganglion cell type as an alternative candidate for the primate alpha cell.

Methods:: The dendritic morphology of diverse ganglion cell types was determined by retrograde transport of biotinylated rhodamine dextran injected into either the LGN or the superior colliculus. Retrogradely labeled ganglion cell morphology was revealed in vitro by photodynamic staining and subsequent HRP histochemistry (Dacey et al., Neuron, 37(1):15-27, 2003).

Results:: Alpha-like ganglion cells show large cell bodies comparable to that of the parasol ganglion cells (alpha-like:16.9±2.5∝m diam., n=24 vs parasol:17.4±2.7∝m diam.; Watanabe and Rodieck; J.Comp.Neurol, 289(3):434-54, 1989). However alpha-like cells have thick primarydendrites, simple radiate dendritic branching and larger dendritic field diameters, about 1.5 times that of parasol cells at all retinal eccentricities (457.4±102∝m diam, n=24), and thus comprise ~3% of the total ganglion cell population. The alpha-like cells can also be divided into inner and outer cell populations that stratify at ~40 and 60% depths within the inner plexiform layer appearing to costratify with the inner and outer parasol cells. Alpha-like cells are consistently retrogradely labeled from tracer injections in the LGN and the superior colliculus.

Conclusions:: The macaque alpha-like cell shows several morphological features characteristic of the cat alpha cell and is thus a viable candidate for a primate Y-cell physiological type. Measurements of the light response properties of the alpha-like cell can directly test this hypothesis.

Keywords: ganglion cells • retina: proximal (bipolar, amacrine, and ganglion cells) • retinal connections, networks, circuitry 

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.